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18.12.2004 Regional News

Disputes weaken Chieftaincy and affect development - Omanhene

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Accra, Dec. 18, GNA - The Omanhene of the Wassa Fiase Traditional Area in the Western Region, Osagyefo Kwabena Enimil, on Saturday said that even though chieftaincy is a focal point for mobilising the people for development, the institution could be weakened by "divisive disputes".

He noted that development was affected when the wrong people are proposed and promoted to certain privileged positions for the selfish interest of some factions.

Osagyefo Enimil stated these in a telephone interview with Ghana News Agency in Accra from Tarkwa on a petition by the Youth of Awoduah for his intervention in the protracted dispute between the Queen mother and the Apintohene.

The Omanhene noted that in some cases lack of development projects in certain areas could not be blamed on government inaction but "lack of unity and common purpose" among the people.

"It is only a spirit of common endeavour in which jealousies, rivalries and disputes are put aside so that all men and women of goodwill can work purposefully together that can rekindle the vibrancy of Awoduah".

He commended the Youth for their foresight and commitment in finding a lasting peace in the area and promised that the traditional council would initiate moves to solve the problem.

The Youth in a four-point resolution appealed to the Omanhene to settle the protracted dispute, which had retarded progress. They pledged their commitment to peace and dissociated themselves from the feuding factions, stating that "We would not allow ourselves to be use as agents of anarchy and intimidation. The future of Awoduah belongs to us and we would not destroy it but protect it".

The youth appealed to the Chief of Awoduah, Nana Kwabena Angu II and the Queen mother, Nana Afua Yaadwo, "to end their hostilities" and join hands for the development of the community.

Mr Sam Keedya, Mr Brihene Keedya, Mr Isaac Asare, Mr Kojo Masaba and Mr Kwesi Gambo, all Youth Leaders signed the resolution on behalf of about 80 young people after a peaceful demonstration through the principal streets of Tarkwa before presenting it to the Omanhene. The Resolution was also copied to the Western Regional Minister, the District Security Committee, the District Police Commander and the MPs for Tarkwa-Nsuem and Prestia Huni-Valley.

Nana Angu, also in a telephone interview with the GNA stressed his commitment to peace, saying, "my people are suffering for lack of development, some have become internally displaced and destitute". He commended the Youth for their call for peace and dissociating themselves from violence, saying, "Since the youth form a greater majority in any given community, we have no other option but to accept their position and give way to peace".

Nana Angu promised to co-operate with the youth in finding a solution to the dispute and advised them to cultivate teak and food crops to improve their income.

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