Drama unfolded at Agona Swedru in the Agona West Municipality of the Central Region on Wednesday when the Chiefs and the Elders and people of the town, led by Swedruhene Nana Kobina Asiedu Botwe II, staged a massive demonstration against the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the area, Samuel Oppong, for allegedly disrespecting them.
The demonstrators, who started the protest around 10:00 am at the Public Works Department (PWD), went through the principal streets of Agona Swedru and converged at the Agona West Municipal Assembly.
The chiefs held placards, some of which read, “The MCE must be changed,” “More bridges to be built at Swedru,” “Who awarded the contract to an unknown contractor to dredge the Akora River?” “We want the contractor to build Nana Botwe’s house for him,” and “President Mahama should investigate the construction of bridge across Akora River at Otabilkrom”.
In a petition presented by the Sanaahene of the area, Nana Badu Ehuren, to the Municipal Coordinating Director, it was stated that the chiefs had waited for far too long and that their patience had run out hence, the need to take to the streets to protest against the MCE and other government officials over their show of “disrespect” towards them.
According to the chiefs, since a steel bridge which was built across the Akora River was blasted by a contractor who was dredging the river on February 9, 2014, no government official or any appointee had made an effort to inform them (chiefs) about measures they were putting in place to repair the bridge and how long such a repair work was going to take, and accused Mr. Oppong and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of disrespecting them.
Nana Badu Ehuren disclosed that the Swedru Council of Chiefs, at a meeting held on February 27, 2014, resolved that President John Dramani Mahama should sack the MCE for the area.
He demanded that whoever awarded the contract to do the dredging in the Akora River must be made to pay for the full cost of reconstructing the bridge and the adjoining houses, including the Swedruhene’s, which had actually been destroyed as a result of the blast.
Nana Badu Ehuren further emphasized the need for President Mahama to take personal interest in their request and abrogate the Akora River Dredging contract with immediate effect.
The demonstration became more dramatic when the chiefs, after presenting their petition, proceeded to the river with a bottle of Schnapps and prayed to the ‘77 gods’ of the land to punish the MCE and his cronies for collapsing the bridge, which they claimed was constructed many years ago.