General News of Tuesday, 21 February 2017
It is unfortunate that chiefs of Nzemaland in the Western Region are creating the impression the gas resources of the country are their personal property, Dr Steve Manteaw, Chair of the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, has said.
The chiefs have strongly opposed the decision of President Nana Akufo-Addo to appoint Dr Ben Asante as Acting Chief Executive officer of the Ghana National Gas Company Limited.
The chiefs, numbering seven, from various traditional areas argued that one Professor Sagary Nokoe, who is a member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), is an indigene “who understands the socio-cultural, economic, security, political and environmental dynamics of the terrain” hence “more fit” to occupy that position.
They presented their arguments at a press conference held at the palace of the Nsein Traditional Area, adding that a refusal by the president to grant them their wish “will, in a long way, sever the ties that bind us the people of Nzemaland to your party and leadership”.
Dr Ben K. D Asante was appointed as the caretaker Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas) on January 30.
Dr Manteaw, speaking on the matter, said: “I think that it is rather unfortunate that chiefs of Nzemaland think and behave in a manner that suggests that the gas resources of this country belong to them.”
He told Accra-based Citi FM on Monday, 20 February: “I think the NDC set a very bad precedent when it succumbed to pressure from Nzema chiefs and appointed an indigene of the Nzema land as Minster for Petroleum. It makes the Nzema chiefs think that the gas belongs to them and they have to determine who manages the resources.
“It is important for the current government not to continue with this bad precedent otherwise you have other ethnic groups who play host to other vital national resources demanding that their own is appointed to manage the resource.”