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24.04.2008 General News

Protest against Cosmos donation to Otumfuo Fund

By Alfred Adams, Takoradi - Ghanaian Chronicle

A FORMER defeated parliamentary candidate for the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), in the Ahanta West Constituency, Mr. Paa Duku-Quarshie, has conceded to The Chronicle that the activities of Cosmos Energy, an oil exploring company operating in the Off Shore Cape Three Points, had the tendency of sparking and forming rebellion groups in the region.

This is because the unfair manner in which the company had started neglecting the region, and handing financial assistance to other regions, raises suspicion that if chiefs and people of the Western Region did not sit up, “the company will take us for a ride, and we will not benefit from the oil find.”

Paa Duku Quashie told The Chronicle, in Takoradi on Tuesday, this week, that Cosmos Energy travelled to the Ashanti Region, and donated GH¢10,000 to the Otumfuo Education Fund, as published in the dailies recently, without due regard to other educational funds set up in the region, which needed dire financial assistance. “To me this is an indication that the chiefs, and people of the region, need to sit up.”

He noted that the Western Educational Fund, and that of Nzema, needed dire financial assistance for survival, and for Cosmos Energy to desert these two educational funds, in their own backyard, and donate to the Otumfuo Educational Fund, all the way in the Ashanti Region, was enough grounds to complain of unfairness against the chiefs and people of the region.

Mr. Quarshie, who walked to the office of The Chronicle, to pour his sentiments in an interview, noted that he was shocked to have read from the dailies, about the said donation coming from Cosmos to the Otumfuo Education Fund, on the blindside of other educational funds in the region.

“This unfair treatment is what has led to the forming of rebellion groups in Niger Delta, because they think other states were benefiting immensely from their own booty, at their own expense, and we are not saying this should happen in the Western Region.”

So what are you suggesting asked this reporter? “What I am saying is that, Cosmos and other energy giants should not take the leniency of the people, and chiefs of the Western Region to be our weakness,” he replied.

According to Paa Quarshie, he did not understand why Cosmos Energy should desert the region it is operating in, and travel all the way to the Ashanti Region, to donate to the Otumfuo Education Fund, whilst the region is being neglected by the company.

“If we are not careful, we will not derive anything positive from the discovery of oil on our own soil.”

Though Mr. Quarshie conceded that Ghana, in the long run, was the beneficiary of the oil exercise, he believes no other region should benefit first, at the expense of the region where the exercise is taking place.

'We don't want the Niger Delta incident to happen in the Western Region, so we are saying Cosmos and other Energy companies, should be fair in sharing the resources, accruing from the oil find.”

Quarshie called on the Regional House of Chiefs, particularly chiefs in the Ahanta and Nzema areas, where the oil has been found, to act proactively, in order to enjoy the fruits of their land.

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