General News of Wednesday, 11 March 2015
The demands by some youths for quicker pace of development in Kpone Katamanso in the Greater Accra Region have received the backing of the Regional House of Chiefs.
“Yes, [we sympathise with] their concerns…but the process which they are presenting it is not the best”, Registrar of the Regional House of Chiefs, Harry Attipoe told Joy News.
The youths are angry that there has allegedly not been any real benefit accrued from the lands given out by traditional authorities to the Sunon-Asogli Power Plant at Tema in the Greater Accra region.
But the demonstration to press home demands turned violent after the protesters tried to defy police instructions to stick to the designated route.
The police had to fire rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd. Seven officers were reported injured as the angry youths hurled stones at the police.
Bringing some perspective to the demands of the youths, Registrar of the House of Chiefs, Harry Attipoe, backed the demonstrators but regretted the ensuing violence that he believes mars the morality of their demands.
He explained the lands were given to Sunon-Asogli Power Plant under certain conditions.
Although they drafted a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Asogli seven years ago, the power company has been delaying its consent to the MoU.
“This thing is keeping too long. Let us sign it once and for all,” Harry Attipoe lamented.
The traditional authorities have rejected a counter MoU drafted by Asogli, creating a stalemate.
According to Attipoe, the terms of the MoU he drafted required Asogli to pay $5million every year to a fund to facilitate development in the area.
Asogli is also to provide five scholarships to indigenes in the area every year.
They were also asked to complete a multi-purpose community center and some roads.
Sunon-Asogli Power Plant was set up to contribute 200megawatts to help improve power supply in the country.