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Regional News Fri, 12 Sep 2008

Kassena-Nankana Dce Connives With Brother-In-Law Over Clinic In Kandiga

The Kassena-Nankana District Chief Executive, honourable Emmanuel Chegiwe is in deep connivance with is brother-in-law, Paul Adagibuure a member of the Akurugo family of Kandiga Atosale to foment conflict and stall development effort in a suburb of Kandiga that is affectionately called “Lower Kandiga”. Lower Kandiga is made of 6 communities namely, Atosale, Akunkongo, Abempingo, Azaasi, Akukam and Afuntuam. The Anonyere River is a natural western boundary between these communities and Doba, an adjacent community. This river has long been a natural resource for the people of Kandiga living in the communities on their side of the river and people from Doba communities close to the river on their side of the river. Over the years however, the Doba community acting through their chief have been trying to extend their territorial influence to the other side of the river that is occupied by people of Kandiga. These tendencies of the Doba community leadership to claim ownership to a land that was conquered, tamed and will forever be tilled by the people of Kandiga is several decades old. However, because of the lack of merit in the claim of the Doba leadership they have never had the support of both past and present Paramount Chiefs of the Navrongo Traditional Area. Their own son the late Awalinkake did not support them.

However, in order to further their interest and to infiltrate the ranks of the Kandiga communities, the Doba Chief co-opted the Akurugo family of Kandiga that is from Atosale to be their “eye” and loyalist within the Kandiga communities. The Akurugo Family agreed and became subservient to the Doba people with the dead hope of becoming a sub-chief; an act that was and continues to be viewed by the larger community as abominable, and unacceptable. The Akurugo family were therefore, labelled as traitors. So for many years the larger Kandiga community watched them as they dabble in the issues of Doba, their new “Master” and Kandiga their God given land. For what ransom? Only God knows. Paul Adagibuure brother-in-law of Emmanuel Chigewe, a once highly respected man, a teacher of many youth, is from this Akurugo family and therefore a traitor. Now that “engineer” Chegiwe son of Doba has been given limitless power by Government, he did not only ensure the resurrection of a dead conflict between Doba and Kandiga that is beginning to smoulder but has plotted with his brother Paul to deny the women and children of “Lower Kandiga” access to health. Now, what is honourable Chegiwe and Paul’s game?

A custom barrier that used to be “Upper kandiga” on the only major road along that corridor leading to Burkina Faso, was pulled out to “Lower Kandiga”-Abempingo, to serve the dual purpose of collecting revenue for merchants and cargo trucks due to increased haulage of goods on main Burkina-Ghana High way. As soon as the structures were put up to house the Custom officers, the DCE and his uncles wanted it to be named Doba custom barrier. How insane? To everyone’s surprise they had the support of Chegiwe and after a long tussle with the custom officer in-charge then, eventually the matter was left to hang.

You will notice from above that I mentioned the communities that make up “Lower Kandiga” and Akurugo-Daboo is not one of them. However, though this is so, the electoral area covering lower Kandiga is called Akurugo-Daboo electoral area. Besides, the first primary school that was built by the Catholic Church in Atosale was name Akurugo-Daboo primary, which now has a Junior High School, apparently because they gave land for the school project. Every one has been happy about that. May I explain for sake of readers who are not familiar with Ninkare the meaning of Daboo. Daboo stands for family land, in terms of extended family’s initial settlement spot (parcel of land). It is typically usually deserted and used only for burials. There is however, growing discontent and tension owing to the insistence of officialdom to continue to use Akurugo-Daboo was the name of this area when there legitimate communities. The Catholic Church did an honour to the Akurugo family for giving them land to build a school. That should be point finale. No unnecessary extrapolations. The rhetorical question is, are the Akurugo family so strong and so powerful to have lobbied and gotten themselves imposed on the rest? Is that their ransom for being traitors?

Is there a grand plan to perpetuate the Doba influence through the loyal clan of Akurugo? And is officialdom aiding and abetting this move? Emphatically yes, if not in the past presently yes. Why do I say so?

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As part of the Ghana Health Service policy of bringing health service to the door stairs of the people through the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) initiative, a long overdue community Health Officer’s compound (clinic) was built in Abempingo . Ironically, when land was sought for this clinic, the Akurugo-Daboo family, the loyal servants were contacted to release land but they refused. The Elder from Abempingo offered land for the clinic to be constructed with the understanding that this time a community rather than a family name will be projected. Since the continuous use of the Akurugo-Daboo as the officially name of this area was creating uneasiness and tension among the people. The District Chief Executive’s office and the District Health Management Team (DHMT) were not left out of these discussions. Assemblymen and women and other prominent community leaders often presided over these meetings. But guess what happened and how officialdom reacted when the clinic was completed and had to be officially named and opened. In January this year, when this clinic was to be commissioned by the Honourable Chegiwe and other officials from the DHMT, to the dismay and utter surprise of the people, the came insisting that the clinic should be name Akurugo-Daboo clinic. Obviously this was an anticlimax for the people and so confusion ensued. Apparently, the brother-in-law of Chegiwe, Paul Adagibuure, a prominent member of the Akurugo family had connived with Chegiwe to let the status quo remain. This led to the breach of the fragile peace in this area. A protest petition was written and signed by all Elders of the six communities and sent to Chegiwe’s office but with the advice of Paul he acted swiftly and got some youth arrested and detained by the Navrongo police. The Elder’s again petitioned that, they, rather than the youth should be arrested since they ordered the petition against the naming of the clinic. As I attempt to chronicle these events, this very important health resource is left to disintegrate because Emanuel Chegiwe and his cronies will not listen to the people.

I was one of many who fought so hard to have this clinic built because the area in reference is not near any modern clinic or hospital. There is high under five mortality and unthinkable maternal mortality in this area that is not captured by the health system because it all happens at home. When I contacted the Honourable DEC, his reason for insisting on naming the clinic Akurugo-Daboo was that it must bear the name of the Electoral area. I found it so absurd to have used such a flimsy reason to deny women and children access to health. I could not help viewing him as a chief mechanic rather than a manager. I therefore, decided right from his office that this story must be heard by all Ghanaians. We all know that electoral areas span over several communities with their individual aspirations to own facilities. So the honourable Chegiwe should no best. Is it another sign of his well known weak mindedness? Even the mad man on the streets of Navrongo-Kowjega knows that Chegiwe is a square peg in a round hole. He rose from grass to grace on the broad back of the loyalty of his father-in-law Amana to the NPP to become a DCE though he was an obvious square. My investigations also revealed that, on the 5th of December 2007, when he was to commission a community nutrition centre construction at Akukam through communal labour and self-initiative, he insisted on naming it Akurugo-Daboo. One may wonder why names should matter. But it is an important passionate feeling of patriotism, freedom and justice that is akin to nationalism in all respects. If such passions are mismanaged by the organs that suppose to ensure them, it could potentially create conflict.

I have one advice for honourable Emmanuel Chegiwe, that if he intends to enjoy his fraudulent “wealth” that he grabbed left, right and centre from the Kassena-Nankana District especially his recently finished cosy mansion (by Navrongo standards) in Nogsenia on route to Korania, he must leave the people of Kandiga alone. During my investigations some of the people were of the view that Chegiwe should be “visited” when on his airy roof top drinking his favourite beer or sleeping in his new vono bed. To them that is the easiest. But I am not sure you would wish for such a visit. I have pledged to chronicle all there is in your card board including but not limited to the unscrupulous use of your personal grader in all assembly earth moving work, the numerous fraudulent contract awards, including ones that do not even fall under your jurisdiction, if you do not wake up and ensure that the clinic is opened and a nurse posted to Abempingo clinic as the people would want it called.

Watch out! Writing about you will be my leisure as I study in our premier University.

Joseph Ayindana Azipala B12 volca Hall, University of Ghana.

Source: Kassena-Nankana Dce Connives With Brother-In-Law Over Clinic In Kandiga
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