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Regional News | May 9, 2004

Veep commends Techiman kingmakers

GNA
Techiman (B/A), May 9, GNA -Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Vice-President on Saturday commended the Kingmakers and people of the Techiman traditional area for the peaceful and responsible approach to the nomination, election and installation of Oseadeayo Nana Akumfi-Ameyaw IV as the new Omanhene of Techiman traditional area.
Alhaji Mahama made the commendation at a grand durbar to outdoor the new Omanhene held at the Methodist School Park at Techiman in Brong-Ahafo.
The vice-president noted: "The greatest challenge to the chieftaincy institution in Ghana, today, is that the search for a successor to a stool is oftentimes characterized by litigation over the nomination, election and installation of the new chief".
Such litigations, he said, had been the cause of the sharp divisions, bitterness and rancour in many traditional areas in the country, adding that, the Techiman traditional area had had its share of unresolved chieftaincy disputes, mentioning Tuobodom, Offuman, Forikrom and Aworowa as some of the disputed areas that were undermining peace, unity and orderly development of Techiman traditional area.
The vice-president urged Oseadeayo Akumfi-Ameyaw to apply patience and wisdom in resolving all chieftaincy and land disputes to enhance the speedy development in the Techiman traditional area.
Alhaji Mahama noted the massive participation of people of all walks of life in all the activities marking the installation of the new Omanhene coupled with the expression of joy and said they were confirmation to the fact that "as people we cherish and respect our chiefs".
He pointed out that the out-dooring durbar was yet another move by the chiefs to strengthen the unity of Techiman citizens. "It is my hope and prayer that this show of unity and togetherness will be reflected in all your future activities, be they traditional festivals or planning for the development of the traditional area", Alhaji Mahama emphasised.
He said the Government would continue to pursue with determination the five priority areas of intervention in the medium-term infrastructure development, modernised Agriculture and Rural Development, enhanced social services, particularly in the areas of health and education, good governance and private sector development.
The Government, in the last three years of assumption of office, had worked very hard to spread development activities to almost every community of our country.
These, he mentioned, include building the major arterial roads from Accra and construction of feeder roads to places that hitherto had no roads at all, building of schools, health centres, sanitation and water facilities, electricity among others to many communities.
Alhaji Mahama said farmers, fishermen and rural women had also been assisted with funds under various projects in the Government's efforts to reduce poverty through income generating activities, Alhaji Mahama said, adding that, "The various Presidential Special Initiatives (PSIs) are helping to generate employment and improve government revenue and thus increasing our local capacity to cater for our needs."
The vice-president expressed dissatisfaction about the waning communal spirit which used to prevail in the country sometime back, stressing that, self-help projects, clean-up campaigns, tree planting and many more were common place activities in our communities but these positive attributes had waned while the people now looked to the Government to provide all their basic needs.
He said the task of national development was huge and government alone could not achieve all the goals, stressing that, the development of the nation could only be achieved through our own efforts and this, he added, called for hard work, discipline and all hands-on-deck approach to development.
The Vice-President urged the chiefs and the people of Techiman, especially the youth to rally solidly behind the new Omanhene to reactivate the self-help spirit and increase contributions towards community-initiated projects to uplift their standard of living.
Alhaji Mahama noted that Techiman traditional had tremendous agricultural potentials, however, the adoption of certain adverse practices and indiscipline had combined to lower farm production. The extensive destruction of trees through bush burning, the illegal activities of chain saw operators and charcoal burning, he listed, were among the adverse and indiscipline practices, which are degrading the environment and diminishing farm produce.
He said government had already launched a major re-forestation programme and assured people of the traditional area that government would assist them with funds for any re-forestation programme they would embark upon to ensure its successful end.
VEEP noted as disturbing the situation when some teachers and pupils in the traditional area on their own declared Fridays and Thursdays which are the active market days in Techiman as public holidays resulting in the poor educational performance in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and charged chiefs and the people of the area to support the new Omanhene to change the situation in the shortest possible time.
Alhaji Mahama assured that the government would do everything to make the forthcoming December presidential and parliamentary elections "the most peaceful, free and fair elections".
He appealed to all Ghanaians to maintain a very high level of political tolerance before, during and after the elections. Alhaji Mahama said: "We the members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are confident and convinced that the good people of Ghana will acknowledge our performance and achievements and return us to office, come December 2004".
Nana Kwadwo Nyarko, President of Brong-Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs who is also the Omanhene of Prang traditional area expressed satisfaction about the peaceful manner the Kingmakers and people of Techiman conducted themselves in the nomination, installation and outdooring of the new Omanhene and expressed the hope that it would be maintained to pave the way for the development of the traditional area.
The Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Nana Kwadwo Seinti said the laws of the land did not permit the government or any of its political representatives to involve in chieftaincy matters, adding that politicians became worried whenever chieftaincy problem arose in their areas.
Nana Seinti expressed the hope that the experience of Techiman with regards to the nomination of Mr. Kwaku Osei Mensah, 42-year-old branch Manager of the Ghana Commercial Bank at Twifo Praso in the Central Region by the Queenmother of the Techiman Traditional Area, Nana Afia Abrafi, the acceptance by the three royal gates and the kingmakers as the successor of the late, Osabarima Dotobibi Takyia-Ameyaw II who died in September last year and the eventual outdooring ceremony would go a long way to bring about peace in the institution of chieftaincy in the region.
In a fraternal message read on behalf of Mr Michael Jean-Berrit, French Ambassador in Ghana, he said his relationship with the late Omanhene, Osabarima Takyia-Ameyaw was a special one and that the late chief was development-oriented to the extent that he was obsessed to improve the fate of his people.
Mr. Jean-Berrit said a fruitful collaboration between the Techiman traditional council; the Ghana Museum and Monument Board and the French Embassy during the days of the late chief had led to the designing of the museum for the area.
He promised that his outfit was willing to carry on the good work started together provided the implementation committee for the project would continue to show the same commitment and professionalism towards it.
"To highlight one's culture and use it to build one's future is a useful idea we are still ready to support", Mr. Jean-Berrit promised. In a welcoming address, Nana Asa Akompanin, Kyidomhene of Techiman traditional council said, he first contested the position in 1989 but lost to the late Osabarima Takyia Ameyaw III.
Nana Akompanin expressed the hope that chiefs and people in the area would pledge to assist the new Omanhene at all times so that his reign could bring peace, stability and improved living conditions to the people.
Modern chieftaincy has shifted focus from tradition to development, he noted, and stressed the need for his colleagues and people of the traditional area to help Oseadeayo Akumfi-Ameyaw to fight against such problems as illiteracy, ill health, malnutrition, unemployment and environmental degradation.
The new Omanhene would also need the support of the government, corporate bodies, foreign missions and private individuals to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the people, he added.
Oseadeayo Akumfi-Ameyaw, who is the 40th occupant of the Ohene Ameyaw Stool appealed for peace and unity stressing that, without a peaceful atmosphere, there would be no outside help from the Government, NGOs or any development partners.


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