Manya Krobo protest: Local Government Minister calls for restraint
The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Akwasi Opong-Fosu, has asked the chiefs and people of Manya Krobo to exercise restraint and allow due process and state institutions to address their concerns.
According to him, the government had notified the Electoral Commission (EC) to organise district level elections to elect assembly members for the area.
Mr Opong-Fosu made the appeal in an interview in response to threats by the chiefs and people of the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality to take over all assets in the area, including the Kpong Water Works and the Kpong Hydro Generation Unit.
He described as unfortunate attempts by some people in the area to create the impression that the government was deliberately leaving them out of the decentralisation process.
He explained that since the issue was sent to court after the creation of the electoral areas, the government had followed due process till date.
When reached, the Director of Public Affairs of the EC, Mr Owusu Parry, corroborated the minister’s assertion, and added that the commission had requested for resources from the Ministry of Finance to hold the elections as soon as possible.
Last week, the chiefs and people of the Manya Krobo Traditional Area threatened to declare ‘self-governance’ and also boycott the payment of tolls, taxes and levies which constitute the internally generated funds (IGFs) on which the assembly runs.
They also gave a seven-day ultimatum to the EC to announce a date for the district assembly elections in the area.
The area has not had assembly members and a district chief executive due to a dispute over the alignment of seven electoral areas in the municipality in the Eastern Region with the Dangme West District in the Greater Accra Region.
In 2010 when the EC wanted to organise district level elections, the chiefs and people vehemently kicked against it and locked out the commission’s offices in the area.
Currently, an interim management team is managing the affairs of the assembly which has been without elected members since 2010.
By Donald Ato Dapatem/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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