Gov`t decision to stay Osagyefo barge at EffasuLee Ocran

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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By Ghanaian Chronicle

9/7/2007 -

THE decision by Government not to move the Osagyefo Barge from Efaso-Mangyea in the Jomoro District in the Western Region to Tema and the subsequent take over by the American strategic investor, Balkan Energy continues to spark debates on who should be given the credit.

The DCE for the area, Martin Yamekeh Ackah, has commended the MP of the area, Hon Lee Ocran and the Nzema Youth Association for trying to take the credit. “They can never take credit for what we had planned to do”, he said.

The stakeholders who fought to make sure the Barge stayed in the District were Nzema Youth Association, a pressure group which emerged in the heat of the Barge’s movement, the Member of Parliament for Jomoro Constituency, Hon. Lee Ocran who, together with the youth, openly criticized government for such a harsh decision which they said was going to deny the youth of employment.

According to the youth, the movement of the Barge could have cost them dearly.

They chastised some of the traditional rulers in the area who were behind the decision, for betraying their subjects by joining government to take a decision that was intended to destroy the future of the youth.

To this end, they organized press conferences to state their case on why they thought government should rescind the decision to move the Barge to Tema. All of this happened in the heat of the energy crisis that had caught the nation unprepared.

While the youth was raising this legitimate argument in their meetings with the press, the Member of Parliament, Lee Ocran, was moving from one radio station to the other chastising government officials for taking such a harsh decision.

As a result, a Committee was to be set up by the district to meet President Kufour to explain the position of the traditional rulers and the youth of the area to him as regards the movement of the Barge.

This meeting with the President led to the handing over of the Barge to the American investor, Balkan Energy, to operate it without moving it to Tema.

Despite the struggle by the stakeholders, Mr. Martin Arkah, District Chief Executive of Jomoro on Tuesday told the press in Takoradi during a media interaction that the efforts of the MP and the Nzema Youth Association had done nothing to influence the decision of government, but it was rather a timely intervention to solve the long term energy problem which had necessitated the take over of the Barge by the American energy company.

According to the DCE, government would decide on policies and not on what people considered best for them.

Meanwhile, earlier in an interview with The Chronicle the MP asserted that in the heat of the controversial movement of the Barge, he had had to battle it out with some of the chiefs about his position.

He said some of the chiefs in the district who were on the side of government thought he was being harsh but he said he knew what he was doing to save the Barge from being moved to Tema.

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