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13.06.2004 General News

Aliu urges Osudoku to remain calm ¨

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Osuwem (GAR), June 13, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama, on Saturday, urged the people of Osudoku to continue to exercise restraint while the Government determined their petitions on the status of Akuse and their request to place it under the Greater Accra Region. "As you may be aware, the creation or alteration of boundaries of a region has to be done in accordance with the 1992 Constitution," he reminded them.

"As a first step, The President has referred this matter to the National Commission on Chieftaincy and the Council of State for advice." Vice President Mahama was addressing a grand durbar at Osuwem in the Dangme West District to climax the annual Dzehayem Festival of the chiefs and people.

Nene Klagbordjor Animle V, Paramount Chief of Osudoku Traditional Area, reiterated in his welcoming address, his petition to the Government expedite action on their long-standing request to determine whether the people of Osudoku or Manya Krobo were the original settlers of Akuse.

Additionally, they have requested that a Presidential Commission be set up to determine "a just and definitive boundary between the two traditional areas with regard to ethnic, cultural, traditional, contiguity and other considerations of affinity."

On the people's caution that they would not tolerate any more attack on them from Manya Krobo as those that happened on the 1st and 3rd of May, Vice President Mahama advised them to resist violence as it never solved problems.

"You should endeavour to co-exist peacefully with your neighbours and work towards advancing the progress and development of this traditional area," he advised. "The bitter lesson of conflicts in other areas should remind us that nothing good could be achieved through violence."

He, however, assured them that the Regional Security Council had put in place adequate measures to forestall the recurrence of the Akuse disturbances, adding, "we shall not compromise protecting our people and the security agencies have been instructed to keep the peace in this area."

Vice President Mahama told them that in line with the Government's policy to push the private sector to transform the economy, strategic investors were being sought for divestiture of the Asutsuare Sugar Factory and expressed the hope that the factory would be revamped soon to provide job opportunities and create wealth for the people. He said the request for investigations into the sale of the assets of the factory, which they described as 'looting' would also be taken up.

The Vice President, who later cut the sod for work to begin on the 25-kilometre Osuwem-Agortor-Nyigbenya Road at the cost of 2.8 billion cedis, assured the people that the Government would continue to implement projects to better their standard of living.

Nene Klagbordjor Animle praised the Government for its keen interest in the area as had been demonstrated in the execution of numerous development projects and the two visits of the President as well as that of the Vice President and pledged their support to the Government. He said the construction of the road was very significant because it provided accessibility to large tracts of arable land suitable for all types of agricultural activity, constituted a vital link between Osudoku and Ningo and would open up the areas for vibrant economic activity.

The District Chief Executive of Dangme West District, Mr K.T.K. Agban, mentioned 25 projects in the areas of education, health, infrastructure and other areas provided under the Government. He said through the ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, credit schemes had been provided to generate employment, while fishermen had also been supported with fishing gear.

Mr Agban assured the people that the Government was determined to complete projects it inherited, including the construction of the Asutsuare D/A Primary B Block, Asutsuare Estate Primary School Block, electricity would be extended to Osuwem, Lanor, Volivo and Kajanya. Different cultural groups entertained the guests at the durbar to round off the festival, which began in the last week of February. The people of Osudoku, which literally means "the scar" left by the migration of their people to present day Osu in Accra, celebrate the Dzehayem Festival to physically replace the fence walls of their Ablao shrine and to bring families together to settle disputes and plan the progress of the area. 13 June 04

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