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10.07.2004 Regional News

New Omanhene for Berekum outdoored

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Berekum (B/A) July 10, GNA - Daasebre Dr. Amankona Diawuo 11, the new Omanhene of Berekum Traditional Area was on Friday out-doored at a colourful but solemn ceremony at Berekum in Brong-Ahafo. Among the dignitaries present were Nana Kwadwo Seinti, Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr. Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, Beyeeman Bosea Gyinantwi, Omanhene of Drobo Traditional Area, DCP Douglas Akrofi Asiedu Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander and his Ashanti Regional counterpart, DCP Ofosu Gyeabour.

The peaceful programme was livened with music provided by the Brong-Ahafo Police Band, Tanokrom Agroma Cultural Troupe of the Centre for National Culture in Sunyani, Berekum "Ateabisa Nwomro" group and others.

The new Omanhene, 65, known in private life as Dr. Leo Ofori, a German-trained Surgical Specialist currently stationed at the Regional Hospital in Sunyani succeeded the late Omanhene, Nana Owusu Boakye 11. He was installed on February 19, 2001 but was restrained from exercising his functions as the Paramount Chief on September 17, 2002, following a petition to the Judicial Committee of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs.

The Krontihene of the traditional area, Nana Ofori Appiah 11, brought the petition against Daasebre Diawuo's installation. The traditional council, however, announced at a press conference at the Berekumhene's palace on June 16, this year that, following the revocation by the Judicial Committee of the restraining order, Daasebre Diawuo was free to exercise his functions as Omanhene.

The revocation was made possible by an order issued on April 26, this year, by a Wenchi High Court, presided by Mr. Justice Frank Amoah, which declared "null and void and of no legal effect" all proceedings that had taken place before that date in which Mr. James Ben Kaba had acted as counsel to the Judicial Committee of the Regional House of Chiefs.

In a welcoming address, Nana Kwasi Gyau Gyan 111, chief of Akroforo and Atipimhene of Berekum Traditional Area briefly revisited the dispute that erupted after the peaceful burial of the late Omanhene, the nomination and installation of Dr. Ofori.

"Four long and arduous years have passed and the long awaited day is here. We thank the Almighty God, the just God, for this day. We rejoice in his Name. We are convinced that His will, shall prevail always in the same way that he has ordained this day", he said.

Nana Kwasi Gyau Gyan noted that people of Berekum were peace loving and industrious and the area endowed with rich agricultural, forest and untapped mineral resources, made many to wonder "why such a peaceful state should go through such needless pain for so long".

"Today marks the end of the long wait, the end of Berekum being without a chief. We now have a leader. We now have an Omanhene. Today marks the beginning of a new era in the history of Berekum and its people", he added.

Daasebre Amankona Diawuo in his address said education and health would top his immediate priorities and would ensure the establishment of an Educational Endowment Fund for school-going youth in the area. He said a committee of health educators would be formed and tasked To educate the people on the observance of environmental hygiene.

The Omanhene thanked the people for the honour done him and urged them to forget the past and support him in the development of the area. Nana Seinti pledged the support of the Regional Coordinating Council to enable Daasebre and the traditional council to achieve set goals and announced the RCC's offer of a scholarship to one brilliant student in the area.

Mr. Boafo also said he would personally assist in efforts to entice the youth in the area to be serious with their education.

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