Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, yesterday undertook a familiarisation tour of the Sunyani municipality and neighbouring communities. Some officials of the Regional Coordinating Council, Sunyani Municipal Assembly and some functionaries of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) accompanied him.
The tour gave the Regional Minister the opportunity to discuss ways of fostering closer ties between his office, chiefs, opinion leaders and the people, for accelerated development of the region. The chiefs advised Mr Baffour-Awuah to uphold the principles of truth, respect, unity and humility, as his hallmark in the performance of his duties.
Welcoming him at his palace, Nana Bosoma Asor Nkrawiri II, Omanhene of Sunyani, flanked by his elders and queenmothers, lauded the elevation of the Regional Minister, who until his appointment was the Deputy Regional Minister, saying, "this has brought honour to himself, his family and the region at large."
Nana Bosoma expressed confidence in the ability of Mr Baffour-Awuah, explaining that, "he ably exhibited his sterling leadership qualities in his previous roles as the District Chief Executive and Municipal Chief Executive of Sunyani and as Deputy Regional Minister."
Nana Bosoma asked the Regional Minister to use his high office to fight for the progress of the region. "As a native of this region, you know the happenings in the region. You shouldn't allow someone to deceive you in the performance of your duties", he said.
He regretted that Sunyani was not selected for a new stadium to host the CAN 2008 tournament and appealed to the Regional Minister to help in the expansion of the Coronation Park, as well as the rehabilitation of the ring roads in the regional capital.
Nana Bosoma advised Mr Baffour-Awuah to stand firm against all odds and pledged his support for his successful tenure in office, adding that, his doors were always open for consultations to help advance the course of the region.
Mr Baffour-Awuah expressed appreciation to President Kufuor for the confidence reposed in him and gave the assurance to perform to expectation. He announced that a modern stadium would be constructed in the municipality within two years and promised that more seats would be provided at the Coronation Park, as well as the rehabilitation of ring roads in Sunyani and the Sunyani-Atronie road. He asked the Omanhene and his elders not to hesitate to re-direct him, whenever he went wrong.
At Awua-Domase, Nana Kwame Korang VI, Paramount chief of Awua-Domase regretted that, the region's immense potentials in tourism were not being tapped to accelerate the region's development. "There are lots of sacred groves in this region but due to lack of knowledge most of these have not been tapped for development", he said.
The Omanhene called for adequate measures to reverse the trend to turn the fortunes of the region.
The Regional Minister promised to give maximum co-operation to the chiefs and his subjects to ensure the development of the region. He appealed to farmers to avail themselves to agricultural extension officers to be educated on modern trends in farming.
Mr Baffour-Awuah promised to ensure the speedy construction of the principal road leading to Awua-Domase into a double carriageway.
The traditional council installed the Regional Minister as development chief (Nkosuohene) of Awua-Domase under the stool name, Nana Baffour-Awuah I.
At Nsoatre, the Regional Minister and his entourage were received with a tumultuous welcome by school children, who had lined up the streets.
Nana Kusi Appiah, who presided, pledged the traditional council's support to the government and commended the government for a number of development projects in the area.
Mr Baffour-Awuah called for the promotion of peace among the people and urged the traditional council to hold frequent meetings aimed at fostering unity to help sustain the development of the town, irrespective of one's political affiliation. He appealed to the people to register with the National Health Insurance Scheme and send their children to school.
He is expected to undertake similar visits to other parts of the region.