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03.09.2004 Regional News

Akosombo Cries to JAK

By Ghanaian Chronicle

Citizens say they have more than fair share of problems And call for establishment of Chieftaincy Training College

The chiefs and people of Akwamufie, Anum and Boso in the Asougyaman district of the Eastern Region, have appealed to the President, John Agyekum Kufuor, to personally intervene and help solve the series of problems facing them, to at least measure up to the sacrifice they made to the good people of this country concerning the Volta Lake and hydro-electric project.

They have also called for the establishment of a training college for all chiefs and traditional rulers in order to reduce the ever-rising tide of chieftaincy conflicts in the country.

The humble appeal was made at a durbar last Sunday, when the President stopped over at Akosombo, as part of his eastern regional tour.

Counting the catalogue of problems facing the people, Nana Osae Nyampong, representative of Akwamu Traditional Council, on behalf of Asuogyaman District, appealed for compensation for lands and towns that went under the lake, resettlement compensations and that of plantations and crops, calls which for several years have virtually gone unheeded to.

"In other districts and towns, compensation is paid for snakes and monkeys to grow fat in the forests, while we are left without compensation for our submerged lands," he lamented.

Nana Nyampong also said the people have had more than a fair share of chieftaincy disputes, some of which he claimed are 25 years old, with no end in sight. He said he was optimistic that, with a presidential intervention, many of them could be solved overnight.

He suggested to government that looking at the spate of chieftaincy disputes that had rocked every traditional council in the country, a training college for fresh and senior chiefs alike would go a long way to tone the trend down.

The Akwamu chief's representative also spoke about the poor state of their schools and the virtual collapse of the water system at Anum. "Mr. President, the level of education in our district has fallen so low that, we are unable to get 20 students to qualify to the universities each year. And as I speak to you now, the people of Anum sometimes go without good drinking water for two weeks, even though we are surrounded by abundant water," he said.

The people, however, commended government for bringing peace and security to the country within a matter of three years, and pledged their support for its policies and programmes.

Responding, President Kufuor said it was a pity that, after so much sacrifice to the country, Asuogyaman should be in its present state, and promised to look into their grievances appropriately.

He said he would charge the Attorney General's Department to find out why the people had not been compensated for all these years, and also whether some compensations had been paid and fallen into the wrong hands so that the culprits could be brought to book.

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