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30.11.2005 Regional News

Kumasi residents want ‘Okumkom’ back

By Ghanaian Chronicle
Kumasi residents want ‘Okumkom’ back
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Cross sections of residents in the Kumasi metropolis are rooting for the nomination of Nana Akwasi Agyeman as the Metro Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA).

The advocates, which include chiefs, business executives, artisans, traders, assembly members, KMA employees, doctors, security personnel, students and nurses and members of the Zongo community, say his nomination will be appropriate in the face of the vacuum created by the President's delay in nominating a person for the post.

So high are the hopes and expectations of the people that residents are openly calling for his comeback on local radio stations and public places like restaurants and drinking bars.

They have humbly appealed to the President to do them this favour in order to bring sanity to Kumasi.

The residents explained that Nana Akwasi Agyeman is "a special person" whose sense of political maturity and natural native wisdom should be fully exploited by the Kufuor-led NPP government to advance the developmental agenda of Kumasi.

They said as a veteran politician, philanthropist, statesman, Nana Agyeman is well cut for the job, having served as mayor for a record 23 years under various governments.

These include the SMC 1, SMC 2 under General Acheampong and General Akuffo respectively, AFRC under Flt. Lt. J. J. Rawlings and PNP under Dr. Hilla Limann.

He also served under the PNDC led by Flt. Lt. Rawlings and NDC. In all, he had been posted there as mayor eight times over the 23-year period.

KMA sources say while he was in office he had always made his earth moving equipment available to the KMA in case of emergency free of charge.

Nana Akwasi had also not taken any allowance from the KMA during his 23 years career as mayor of Kumasi.

Available records at the Manhyia Palace indicate that past and current occupants of the Golden Stool recognized his contribution to the socio-political development of Kumasi, Asanteman and Ghana in general.

The late Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II (KBE) Asantehene honoured Akwasi Agyeman for helping to preserve Kumasi lands.

The late Otumfuo Opoku Ware II also honored him for his meritorious services to Asanteman and selfless contribution to the development of Kumasi.

The Asante Congress as well conferred a special citation signed by the current occupant of the Golden Otumfuo Dr. Osei Tutu II on Nana Agyeman.

Meanwhile, artisans at the Suame magazine in Kumasi interviewed have described Nana Akwasi Agyeman as an astute and tactful politician whose nomination would be in the best interest of the people of Kumasi.

"The earlier the President nominates him the better because Nana would be able to win back the support of disillusioned supporters in the city at a time things are getting worse."

Most traders from the satellite markets in Kumasi also say the nomination of Nana Akwasi Agyeman would be the best thing to happen to Kumasi.

"We are all hoping and praying that Nana comes back to help prioritize sanitation programmes," they said.

Considering his track record at the KMA, they said Nana Akwasi Agyeman is a practical man who believed in leadership by example. " We believe Nana would perform better than any other aspirant." Characteristic of him he was always in his special helmet and Wellington boots ready to serve.

His style of supervision of evacuation of refuse dumps by labourers is one thing he is always remembered for.

According to them the effective implementation of KMA's developmental agenda requires a practical man like Nana Akwasi Agyeman who used to wake up between 2am and 3 am daily to ensure that the sanitation of Kumasi was on course.

Nana Akwasi Agyeman is also said to have dealt ruthlessly with criminals in the city. "With the assistance of security agencies, he chased criminals out of their hide outs. Once he catches up with them he handed them over to the police for prosecution.

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