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24.03.2004 Politics

Mim Council threatens to disrupt Registration Exercise

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Mim (B/A) March 24 GNA - Members of the Mim Traditional Council in Asunafo District Brong Ahafo have threatened to disrupt the ongoing Voters' Registration Exercise in 15 communities under the Asutifi District if the government does not take immediate steps to place the communities back under Asunafo District to serve the Council.
The Council vowed to use every fair or foul measures, including peaceful demonstrations, seizure of registration materials and the expulsion of registration officials from the communities should the Government fail to act in time to address their grievance.
The communities are Aboagyaa, Agravi, Apotoyowaa, Biaso and Kensere, Gambia Numbers One, Gambia Number Two, Koforidua, Krakyekrom and Nsuta.
Others are Kwadeekrom, Moseaso, Kwadwo-Nkrumah, Onyinase and Nkrankrom.
The Council's threat was contained in a petition endorsed by its President Okofrobour (Dr) Yaw Agyei II and 20 other members and addressed to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development. Presenting the petition to the press and a cross-section of the people at Mim, Okofrobour (Dr) Agyei said the Council was "very serious about the issue" and would do all within its power to withdraw the towns from the Asutifi District.
The Council would never allow the registration exercise to run smoothly in the towns unless the exercise was done under the jurisdiction of the Asunafo District Electoral Commission to enable the people to cast their votes in their original traditional area, the petition said.
The petition added that it was very important that government understood their situation in the light of the history of Mim and a ruling by an Appeals Court that the peculiar control of the Mimhene over those lands derived historically from the prowess of the people of Mim in abating threats to Ashanti from that area and the role of the Mimhene as a Scout at an Ashanti outpost.
Neither the alloidal owner; the Akwaboahene, nor the Asantehene can by-pass the Mim stool on the alienation of Mim Stool Lands, the petition said.
The Council maintained that the Asutifi District was scandalously created about a decade ago without consultation with the Traditional Authority and Kenyasi, the District Capital, which itself exists on Mim Akwaboa Stool Land, had emboldened itself to encroach and collect tributes and royalties on many of Mim's forest reserves including Asukese, Bia-Tano, Bia Shelter and Goa Shelter.
It, therefore, urged the Government to, as a matter of necessity, make the desirable changes immediately to let the registration exercise and subsequent electoral processes go on smoothly in the towns. The threat gave Monday, March 22 as an ultimatum beyond which the youth of Mim would resort to "necessary measures" to regain the "lost" towns for the Council.
Meanwhile the Asutifi District Electoral Commission has confirmed that an earlier order from the President of the Mim Traditional Council was having a toll on the registration exercise as the people were torn between bowing to their traditional leader and exercising their civic responsibility.