Tepa-Ash -- Plans hatched by the Ahafo Ano North district chief executive (DCE), Mr.Akwasi Adu Opoku, to discredit and dent the image of the Chronicle Ashanti bureau chief, Sebastian Freiku, has been exposed.
The DCE hired a Graphic reporter and a photographer from the Information Services Department to cover a meeting between Freiku and the executive committee of the assembly.
The meeting was scheduled for May 15, this year but the invitation dated May 8, was hand-delivered to Freiku on the afternoon of May 13. A similar letter dispatched through the post reached Freiku on May14.
To carry out the plan, the district co-ordinating director, Mr. Kwame Oppong, invited Freiku to an assembly meeting which was to dilate on a report in the April 4 edition of Chronicle headed, "Tepa NPP Executives Want 'Incorrigible' DCE out."
Unfortunately, Freiku could not honour the invitation because he was indisposed. He had a swollen finger, which ached badly.
The inability of Freiku to honour the invitation infuriated a Graphic reporter (name withheld) who had specially been transported to Tepa.
The DCE was going to make certain pronouncements to tarnish the image of Freiku so that the Graphic reporter would capture it in his report for which he had charged the DCE ?1.2 million.
Adu Opoku talking to this reporter after the meeting expressed his hatred for the Chronicle.
According to him until the said publication by Freiku, another Chronicle reporter one Brenda Osei Akoto had last year written and exposed some fraudulent activities of the DCE in the Chronicle.
Freiku explained his inability to honour the invitation on the short notice and the fact that the invitation was silent on the means of transport to and from Tepa to the meeting.
The editor had, in a response to the assembly suggested that meeting be rescheduled and also invite the omanhene of Tepa to the meeting as his principal witness in the course of investigation into allegations leveled against the DCE.
The response never got to the assembly, anyway, because the assembly's telephone line 20044 is disconnected.
The 20045 the assembly claimed per its letter head was its fax line and actually belonged to Ghana Telecom [GT] in Kumasi.
Freiku had no option than to get on to the internet and use the assembly's email address -email@example.com but that also failed. The address was non-existent.
The regional editor alternatively forgot about the invitation. He says he is ready to encounter the bragging DCE at any forum.
Freiku also said so long as the DCE remained incorrigible, he would continue to bring him to order.
Meanwhile, the DCE has appealed to assembly members not to allow politics to divide them since they are there for development.
He stressed the need for total support and genuine cooperation of the assembly members, irrespective of political affiliation in order for the district to develop.
Delivering his sessional address at the assembly meeting, he stressed that his vision for the district is to foster closer relations between all stakeholders to enhance the development of the district.
According to the DCE, plans are far advanced for the finance and administration sub-committee to boost the revenue mobilization in the district.
Adu Opoku said, as at the end of last year, an amount of ?126.9 million had been disbursed to 200 beneficiaries under the poverty alleviation loan.
He urged the poverty alleviation loan committee to reactivate its operations to recover all outstanding debts for the benefits of other prospective beneficiaries.
Speaking on education in the district, he said that 200 brilliant but needy children have benefited from the district assembly's scholarship scheme and urged the assembly to uplift the educational standard if the assembly wanted to make strides in development.
The DCE hinted that, as at the end of April this year, 69 blood specimens were screened at the district hospital's laboratory for HIV/AIDS out which 16 were positive.
According to him, 10 new tuberculosis cases were recorded during the first quarter of the year and urged all stakeholders to intensify their education on the disease.