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GA CHIEF WE LOVE KUFUOR BUT...

By George Kyei Frimpong - Ghanaian Chronicle

The Chief of Abbe and the Mankralo of Odukpon Kpeehe in Accra, Nii Samoa Okropon I, has stated that the Gas do not hate former President Kufuor, except that they were not happy with the way he disregarded their grievances.

“The people of Osu are not talking about his presidency, but his personality, because of his attitude towards the Gas,” he insisted. Speaking to The Chronicle in an interview Nii Okropon, said a cocoa factory was built in Takoradi in 1965 by the then Nkrumah government. In 1967, another one was built at Tema, which ex-President Kufuor vehemently disagreed to.

According to him, in page 14 of the April 1968 edition of the African Drum Magazine, Mr. Kufuor was quoted as saying, “Accra can't take everything. For example, I don't see why a chocolate factory should be built in Tema, since Ashantis are the growers of cocoa.”

He said Mr. Kufuor did not have qualms with the factory in Takoradi, but had a problem with the one in the Greater Accra Region.

He continued that President Kufuor changed the name of a street, which was called Asafo Janete Road, to Ghana Telecom road, again, the name of a road in La called Nii Armah Olleonu Road, was changed to Obasanjo Road.

He said great athlete, Gabriel Sowah Laryea, who represented Ghana from 1944 to 1957 in athletics and won several medals, was honoured by Queen Elizabeth by transforming the Brighton Park, where he used to train, to a gigantic stadium when he chose the name Accra Sports Stadium because it was his opinion that the land belonged to Gas.

The Abebe Chief said Mr. Laryea, who is now 86, has been very peeved with Kufuor for changing the name to the Ohene Djan Stadium.

Nii lamented that they were still not be able to understand the reason for changing the name on November 11, 2007, the same day Accra Hearts of Oak was founded (November 11, 1911)

He said when the Osu people took one building at ridge, during President Kufuor's tenure for their office, the building was pulled down in August 29, 2007, and yet still the land has not been used, adding that the roof of the ridge residence of another Osu native was ripped off to prevent him from staying there.

“So if the people of Osu cannot live in their own land, what makes ex-President Kufuor permissible to live there,” he inquired.

He indicated that in 2001, at Mantse Agbona, during the victory rally of the New Patriotic Party, the late Ferdinand Ayim made a very derogatory statement against the Gas, but President Kufuor did bring him to order.

He maintained that ex-President Kufuor, and his family, had benefited from the Osu lands more than the indigenous people.

He said the founder's day in Ghana, should not be about Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, but rather about the celebration of Tetteh Quarshie on 27th March, since the country was founded on the exploits of Tetteh Quarshie, and has lived on it for 128 years.

He said the economy relied on the proceeds of cocoa, and that cocoa has been the largest source of foreign exchange for Ghana.

“The Bank of Ghana, the University of Ghana, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), were all built with proceeds from cocoa, yet none of them has been named after Tetteh Quarshie or any of their halls, but roads have been named after Obetsebi Lamptey, Akufo Addo, J. B. Danquah, asking “what have they done to deserve all these?”

Nii said the family of Tetteh Quarshie, called Opinka We within the area in Osu, Ashi Tettey We (popularly known as Ashante), and wallow in abject poverty in Osu, are all aggrieved due to the consistent neglect by various governments.

He condemned the history books of historians, including late Prof Albert Adu Boahene, W. E. Ward and F.K Boah, for lying in their books that Tetteh Quarshie swallowed the cocoa seeds in Fernando Pó and defecated somewhere, and the seeds then germinated into cocoa seedlings.

The Chief of Abebe insisted that Tetteh Quarshie brought 11 pods of cocoa from Fernando Pó, and that he planted the seeds from Guinea Bissau, Cameroon, Nigeria, Dahomey, Osu to Mampong.