A DELEGATION of members of the Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Area in the Central region on Wednesday came to Parliament House to protest against the siting of Gomoa East District capital at Afransi instead of Potsin-Dominase.
Led by the Omanhene of the area, Nana Obirifo Ehunakor Ahor Ankobea II, the delegation cautioned Kwadwo Adjei-Darko, Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and the Environment from driving a wedge between the two traditional areas as they were one people.
Nana Ankobea, together with the chief of Gomoa Nyanyanu, Nana Obeng Wiabu V, accused the Minister of taking an interest in the issue by siding with “his friend, the Afransi chief” and locating the proposed capital at Afransi.
That position of the Minister, the Omanhene said, contravened an earlier memorandum of understanding between the two groups as well as the usual criteria used since 1988 to determine the suitability of a town as district capital.
“The Electoral Commission toured the area extensively for months and carried out an extensive survey and came out with a report in which Potsin was recommended to be the district capital, having satisfied almost all the criteria, especially the centrality criterion.
“The two paramount chiefs for the two traditional councils on January 12, 2007, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which it was resolved that the capital of the new Gomoa East District should be Potsin as recommended by the Electoral Commission. As Potsin is in the Akyempim Traditional Area, it was agreed that the District Chief Executive for the new district should hail from the Gomoa Ajumako Traditional Area”, the Omanhene explained.
He said Mr Adjei-Darko was behaving as if there had never been any agreement between the parties.
He argued that “Afransi is at the edge of the District”, and “this puts people at Nyanyanu, Fete and the surrounding towns and villages at a disadvantage in accessing their district capital.”
The Chief alleged that the Minister chose Afransi because the New Patriotic Party, according to the Minister, “won more votes at Afransi than at any other place in the constituency during the last general elections.”
Nana Ankobea said, “Several attempts have been made by the Minister to throw dust into the eyes of the President with a view to getting the President to endorse Afransi as the capital of the district regardless of the fact that injustice shall be done to the greater majority of the people in the district.
A classic example, he said, was the Minister personally leading a delegation of traditional rulers from the Afransi area, on Monday, to present their grievances on the same issue to President J. A. Kufuor at the Castle.
“Justice shall be seen to be done to the people of Gomoa East if the centrality criterion is religiously applied to site the district capital. In the circumstance, the Electoral Commission's recommendation should be implemented without let or hindrance”.
The chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on subsidiary legislation, Mr Francis Agbotse, assured the delegation that the committee members would do their best to ensure that justice was done.
By Sylvanus Nana Kumi