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24.03.2009 Regional News

... Osu stool also joins fray

By Ivy Benson - Ghanaian Chronicle

... Osu stool also joins fray THE recent criticisms against former President John Agyekum Kufuor for the use of government bungalow as his office would not go away as the Osu Stool has also joined the fray.

The Stool, which comprises several divisions such as Kinkawe, Ashante, Alata and Anorhor has strongly protested against the use of the property by the former President.

In a letter written by the chiefs and people of the Osu Traditional Council (OTC) and addressed to the seat of government, the former expressed its disapproval for the use of the property by Mr. Kufuor. They accused him and his administration of showing disrespect, contempt, and insolence towards the OTC.

The people of Osu have vowed to make it uncomfortable for former President Kufuor and his working staff to use the said property as an office accommodation. “In his own interest and safety, former President Kufuor should immediately vacate the said property with all his staff and find a new office accommodation anywhere outside Osu. We are promising him that should he refuse to vacate the said property, we would make sure that working in the said office accommodation would be the most uncomfortable experience for him and his staff,” OTC warned.

According to the Osu Stool, former President Kufuor and the erstwhile New Patriotic Party (NPP) government denied the chief and elders of OTC a single property of their own to use as offices, despite several requests to his office as well as his Ministers.

The Stool is, therefore, appealing to President John Evans Atta Mills not to allow the former President to use the said property or any of the properties belonging to the people of Osu as his office.

“We are appealing passionately to His Excellency President J.E.A. Mills and the NDC government not to allow former President Kufuor to use the said property or any of Osu people's property as his official office accommodation. His eight years tax free salary alone is enough for him to put up an office or a mansion,” OTC intimated.

The Osu Stool further cited an instance, which to them was a regrettable period of the presidency of former President Kufuor for which he would never be forgiven by the people.

They indicated that one of their properties within the Osu Mantse layout extension, which was used as their Secretariat, located opposite the Ghana Immigration Offices was demolished under the watch of former President Kufuor on August 29, 2007, with support from personnel from the National Security Service (NSS), the Ghana Police Service and officials from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).

“It later emerged that top NPP government officials within the presidency, in collaboration with the Lands Commission had sold the said property for a fee of $1million,” the council noted.

The Osu Stool further noted that the leasing agreement on the Osu Manste properties, which includes the demolished Osu stool Secretariat as well as the premises being acquired by former President Kufuor, signed between the colonial government and the Osu Stool in 1920, expired over seven years ago.

“The NPP administration refused to renegotiate new agreement with OTC, yet they have the power to either acquire these properties for themselves or sell them with impunity,” they added.

The council is, therefore, drawing the attention of the NDC administration that the lease on the Osu stretch of properties occupied by government had expired over ten years ago.

It was the view of the chiefs and people of Osu that former President Kufuor had no moral right to use any of their properties as his personal office, after having denied them the use of their own property during his administration.

The council also called on the NDC to stop the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Hon. Ashitey Amarh from meddling in Osu chieftaincy affairs, noting that the Minister had started creating confusion in the Osu Traditional area as the Osu chiefs will soon provide government with all legal documentation indicating clearly that Nii Nortey Owuo III is not the Osu Mantse.