Cocoa farmers at Adabokrom, in the Western Region, have seized all the 14 spraying machines used for the mass cocoa spraying exercise in the area because of a disagreement with the local officials in charge of the exercise.
The seizure of the machines, which has created tension between the cocoa farmers and Essam district offices of the Cocoa Services Division, followed the termination of the appointment of the spraying gang leader Twum Barimah.
The farmers alleged that Mr. Twum's appointment was terminated by the Co-ordinator of the Mass spraying exercise, J. Owusu, because he is an activist of the National Democratic Congress.
Mr. Twum, according to the farmers, has since been replaced by Mr. Godfred Koah, alleged to be a New Patriotic Party member.
Since the spraying exercise started last June, the farmers claimed no cocoa farm in the area had been sprayed resulting in pest infestation.
In a statement signed by their two spokesmen, Kwame Dankwah and Nana Henne Adawiah, and copied to the Times office here, the farmers said that until Twum was reinstated, there would be no peace in the area. They condemned any attempt to introduce party politics into the spraying exercise.
According to the statement, copies of which have also been sent to the Adabokrom police, when Twum's sacking came to their knowledge they wrote to the Essam District office to verify the news and they were allegedly told by two senior supervisors, Kofi Amponsah and Ankama Badu that his dismissal was based on instructions by a higher authority.
The statement pointed out that prior to the termination of the appointment of Twum, there were rumours that all NDC supporters would be dismissed from the spraying exercise and said if Twum Barimah was not re-engaged “then it stands to reason that there is truth in the rumour that NDC supporters will be victimized.”