VICE PRESIDENT Alhaji Aliu Mahama has sent a strong warning to people who are trying to sabotage energy conservation efforts by selling the energy efficient lamps distributed by government.
He cautioned that the bulbs were supposed to be for free and anyone caught trying to make a profit out of them would be made to face the full rigours of the law.
The Vice President sounded these words of caution at a durbar of chiefs and people of Ejura during the celebration of Sekyere Yam festival.
The Ejura Sekyere-Dumase district had so far received 100,000 energy efficient bulbs. These, the Vice President noted, were to be distributed free of charge.
“I repeat that the bulbs are free so Nananom and the people have the responsibility to report to the security agencies anyone caught trying to make a profit out of the bulbs,” he warned.
The Sekyere Yam festival is used to regulate the farming season, as it marks the beginning of the period when fresh yams might be consumed.
The Vice President noted that though custom and tradition were not as strict as they used to be, they still helped to shape the attitudes and perceptions of the people.
In this vein, he charged traditional rulers to progressively modernise the way festivals are celebrated by passionately discussing government's policies during such occasions.
He cited the agricultural component of the Millennium Challenge Account, a key intervention that the district was to benefit from in the area of water, schools, rural electrification and feeder roads.
Alhaji Aliu Mahama was of the belief that this broad ranging development would have more impact if the people with support of their chiefs, truly understood what was in the pipeline.
“Because, with understanding, they would appreciate the role expected of them and thereby own the results and make it succeed. What we see now is the traditional areas and communities just passively waiting for government to develop them.”
Continuing, he said, “However, the recourse, especially land, soil, and water resources needed as the basis for modernization of agriculture which would transform rural economies, are all around us. The problem though is that the opportunities are sometimes lost in unnecessary litigation.”
Describing the Ejurahene, Nana Kwaku Safo, as a model development minded chief and strong advocate for his people, the Number Two Citizen urged traditional authorities to strengthen partnerships with government to tackle the challenges of development in a global world.
Responding to a request made by the Ejurahene on some development challenges facing the area, Vice President Mahama assured the chief and his people that government was working hard and that in due course, most of their needs would be met.
The Ejurahene requested for the equipping of Ejura police and fire service, development of the Ejura market and upgrading of the Ejuraman Senior Secondary School, including the provision of a bus for the institution.
The deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Osei Asibe Antwi, who briefed the people about government's policies and numerous development projects currently going on throughout the country, asked the people not to exempt themselves from the 2008 elections.
Rather, he said they should reciprocate government's action in undertaking development projects.
The District Chief Executive, Dr Joshua Ayarkwa, called on the people to forge ahead in unity and as one family irrespective of partisan, ethnic and clan differences to improve their lot.
“Disunity, suspicion and discrimination against each other will take us nowhere. Those of us in leadership, whether in central government, district assemblies, the church or mosque, or at the community level should ensure that whatever we do meets the needs of our followers.”
From Sheilla Sackey, Ejura,