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22.11.2005 Regional News

Omanhene denies planned demo by Wassa and Sefwi chiefs.

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Takoradi, Nov.22, GNA - Kasapreko Kwame Basanyin III, Omanhene of Wassa-Amenfi Traditional Area has denied that paramount and divisional chiefs in Wassa and Sefwi Traditional areas have planned to demonstrate against the mode of sharing revenue generated from natural resource from those areas.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Takoradi on Monday, he said even though there was a traditional council meeting on Thursday November 17, members did not plan to use demonstration to press home their demand for increased percentage of royalties.

The Omanhene was reacting to an interview granted by Nana Ntori Bonkye Akomiah I Chief of Amuni to the GNA at the weekend that chiefs from Wassa and Sefwi in the Western Region were planning to demonstrate against the present mode of sharing of revenue generated from natural resources from the traditional areas.

Nana Akomiah said the intended demonstration would also be against the "unnecessary long delays" in the payment of royalties to the chiefs. Kasapreko Basanyin said effective collaboration with stakeholders in education, health and general welfare of the people within the area were some of the issues discussed at the meeting. "At no time did the members raise the issue of royalties and planned demonstration with Nananom from Sefwi," He said.

Kasapreko Basanyin said Nana Akomiah, who is also the Gyaasehene of the Wassa-Amenfi Traditional area, had no authority whatsoever to publicise issues discussed at traditional council meetings without the prior concern of the Omanhene or other members of the council. He said as a respected institution, the traditional council would always use existing peaceful avenues to resolve misunderstandings and present concerns to the government or any other institutions instead of resorting to confrontations.

Last Saturday Nana Akomiah who described himself as the Spokesman of the chiefs in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Wassa-Akropong said fifty paramount and divisional chiefs within the Amenfi and Sefwi Traditional areas in the Western Region had decided to embark on peaceful demonstration to press home their demand for "fair share of revenue" generated from the management of natural resources in these areas.

He said their action would also be against what they called "unnecessary long delays" in the payment of royalties to chiefs. Nana Akomiah said the planned demonstration had been scheduled for Thursday November 24, 2005 at Wassa-Akropong.

He said the chiefs would resort to demonstration because the Forestry Commission and the government had "consistently refused to listen to our plight".

"If they continue to give deaf ears to our demand, we are prepared to march to the Castle to state our case because we have been cheated for far too long," he stated.

Nana Akomiah said chiefs had, for a long time stood against the modalities for the sharing of revenue generated form the management of resources of the various traditional areas.

"This had continued for decades simply because of disunity that had existed among some chiefs," he noted and said this time round the chiefs would join forces and fight against the "injustice".

Nana Akomiah was of the view that with the introduction of the District Assemblies Common Fund, the assemblies should be excluded from the sharing of revenue generated from the management of natural resources. Sixty per cent of all revenue generated from the management of natural resources of any traditional area is paid to the Forestry Commission and 10 per cent to the Stool Lands Administrator.

Fifty-five per cent of the remaining amount is paid to the District Assemblies, 20 per cent to the Traditional Councils, while the remaining 25 per cent is paid to chiefs or stool landowners. Nana Akomiah disclosed to the GNA on telephone that the paramount chiefs of the two traditional areas fully supported the intended demonstration by the chiefs. 22 Nov.05

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