TENSION IS heightening at Gomoa Potsin in the Central Region as the chiefs and people of that community are marshalling forces to stage a demonstration against government's decision to site the district capital at Afransi.
The chiefs and people of Gomoa Potsin felt slighted by the decision of government to make Afransi the district capital of the newly created Gomoa East District as against an earlier Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by all the chiefs in the area to have it at Potsin.
The MOU, as shown to DAILY GUIDE, indicated that the Amanhene (Paramount Chiefs) of Gomoa Ajumako and Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Areas had agreed that Gomoa Potsin should be made the capital of the newly created Gomoa District.
“We, the Amanhene of Gomoa Ajumako and Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Areas, at a meeting held at the Assembly Hall of the Gomoa District Assembly on Friday 12th January, 2007, to determine the location of the district capital of the proposed new district, resolved and it is hereby resolved as follows:
“That the existing Gomoa District Assembly should become known as Gomoa West District and that the proposed district should be known and called Gomoa East District,” it said.
Moreover, Potsin was chosen by all at the said meeting to be the district capital for the proposed Gomoa East District and that the first District Chief Executive (DCE) of the proposed district assembly should be nominated from the Gomoa Ajumako Traditional Area since Potsin, the proposed district capital, is in the Akyempim Traditional Area.
The MOU was signed by Obirifo Ahor Ahunako Ankobea II, Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Area; Okatakyie Nyanfo Krampah, Gomoa Ajumako Traditional Area; Apagyahen of the Gomoa Ajumako Traditional Area; Nana Ato Dadzie I, Gomoa Akyempim Omankrado (Gomoa Potsin); Nana Kwa Dofrakye IV, Guantuahene; Nana Otsew Adebreku II, Gomoa Akyempim Oshehene (Gomoa Nyanyano); Nana Obeng Wiabo V, Nana Obuabeng Tawiah XVI and Nguabasuon, Nana Ayebaw Mbir IV.
The rest were Hon. Richard Sam Quarm, Member of Parliament for Gomoa East; Hon. Joe Kingsley Hackman, MP for Gomoa West; Hon. Joyce Aidoo and Hon. Fred Oscar Abban, the Presiding Member.
Speaking to this paper at Potsin, Obirifo Ankobea II said apart from the MOU, there had been official pronouncements and promises that Potsin would eventually become the district capital, noting that they were therefore surprised to hear that Afransi had been chosen over Potsin.
He said when President Kufuor, then NPP presidential aspirant and later as President, visited the town, the chiefs told him that he was going to be the President of Ghana and that he should not forget them.
On a second visit as President, President Kufuor was reminded by the chiefs that the district capital should be moved to Potsin, after he was given a history about the town which once hosted a district capital before the 1966 coup.
“But after waiting for almost eight years, we have now realized that he (President Kufuor) was not going to honour his promises,” thus the need for the demonstration to drum home their displeasure.
Obirifo Ankobea II promised to work and accommodate anybody that government would choose to be the DCE even if the said person does not come from the town.
He said upon hearing the news that Afransi had been made the district capital, the chiefs and people of Gomoa Potsin petitioned government, but nothing concrete had come out of that petition.
To buttress why Potsin should be the capital, Obirifo Ankobea II contended that Afransi was nearer Swedru district and therefore could not be the capital for Gomoa district.
The people accused the Central Regional Minister, Nana Ato Arthur of being the brain behind the decision to move the district capital to Afransi as they alleged that the Afransihene was a crony of the Regional Minister.
Obirifo Ankobea II promised to offer government 200 acres of land and free communal labour for the construction of infrastructure to host the district capital.
When DAILY GUIDE contacted the sector Minister, Kwadwo Adjei Darko, he said he had tasked a team to study the situation and give him feedback for the necessary action to be taken.
He also stated that he had directed the Electoral Commission (EC) to investigate the situation and report for immediate action.
Mr. Adjei Darko, however, stated that the Ministry was not bound by any submission from the EC, and that “it does not mean that we are not listening or are not ready to compromise”.
He appealed to the chiefs and people of Potsin to exercise patience as the necessary actions are being taken to settle the issue.
The Regional Minister, Nana Ato Arthur maintained that he was not responsible for the creation of district capitals, and therefore did not have a hand in the situation.By Wisdom Peter Awuku