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16.01.2006 General News

Agbogbomefia of Ho blasts NPP/Govt

Agbogbomefia of Ho  blasts NPP/Govt
... Snubbed by Ghana's Ambassador in China ... Snubbed by Prez. Kufuor ... Says NPP big Whigs do not reflect interest of people Ho, Jan 16 -Togbe Afede XIV, the Agbogbomefia of Ho Asogli, has said New Patriotic Party (NPP) ''Big Shots'' from the Volta Region did not reflect and relayed the interests of their people enough in the corridors of power. He said as a result there was the perception that access to the government and consultations between chiefs and people from the region and government was not as fluid as with chiefs and people from other parts of the country. Togbe Afede said this on Sunday when Mr Peter Mac Manu, the new Chairman of the NPP, some party executives and some ministers paid a courtesy call on him in Ho. He said chiefs from the region seeking audience with the President found it difficult to get access, claiming that the same situation could not be said for chiefs from other regions. Togbe Afede said he had sought audience with the President when he returned from an investment drive in China to no avail and complained that while in China he was virtually sidelined by the Ghanaian Ambassador. He said to his surprise some African envoys turned up at a function in connection with his programme in China but not the Ambassador. Togbe Afede said it was disappointing for chiefs from the region wishing to formally announce the death of some important chiefs to the President and had to wait for months, making it very difficult to make funeral arrangements. He said the situation made chiefs and people from the region feel excluded and "wondered whether we are an important part of the government's programmes". Togbe Afede also complained that chiefs were not being consulted enough on issues concerning development making "nonsense of the decentralization policy".
"Ours is not just a share of the national cake but we want to be appreciated, consulted. We want more national trust and respect." On the apparent difficulty of the NPP to build on its thin support base in the region after more than a decade of multi-party rule in Ghana, Togbe Afede said the party's leaders in the region might have failed. "If you were a priest posted to a nominally idol worshipping area and you went and met a five-member congregation and left after five years keeping only that number then you have failed". He said it was time the NPP leadership in the region got away from hedging out others under their "the fewer the merrier" attitude and expand. ''They should not suggest by their actions that it is for selfish reasons that they seek positions in the party.'' Mr Manu said the under his leadership, the NPP would set up a team of experts to "unlock" whatever problems that prevent the party from gaining support in the region. He said the NPP abhors violence and gave the assurance that he and his new executives would maintain and build on peaceful transactions within the party. Mr Manu praised the growing clout of Togbe Afede as a development oriented chief and pledged that the NPP would support him to bring development to the people.