General News of Tuesday, 18 July 2017
In what has been described as reenactment of Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo’s statement that only Ghanaians from five Akan resource-rich regions should lead the country, Majority Leader, Hon Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu is also questioning why roads in Asawase constituency have been asphalted with cocoa funds when inhabitants of the area do not cultivate cocoa.
An obviously peeved Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu could not fathom why the John Mahama government used proceeds from cocoa to fix roads in the Asawase constituency at the expense of cocoa growing areas whose roads are in deplorable conditions.
In a no hold bar attack on former Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Dr Stephen Opuni, the Majority Leader who doubles as Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and MP for Suame, said Asawase, a Muslim dominated community in Ashanti region, should not have benefitted from cocoa proceeds.
He alleged that the money that was used to construct roads in the Asawase constituency were meant for the construction of roads in cocoa growing areas to enable the purchase and carting of cocoa beans from the farm gates to the various depots.
He said all major roads in the Asawasi Constituency were constructed with cocoa funds, saying roads in Sawaba, Asokore Mampong, Pankroso and other towns in the constituency asphalted ahead of the 2016 General Elections were constructed with proceeds from cocoa.
Speaking on Angel Fm in Kumasi, Hon Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu said, the Mahama government must be blamed for the bad roads in his constituency and other constituencies in the Ashanti region.
The Majority Leader explained that had Dr Opuni not diverted cocoa funds meant for fixing roads in cocoa growing areas to asphalting roads in Asawase constituency, roads in his constituency and other cocoa growing areas would not have been in a sordid state.
Hon Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu’s comment dovetails a similar comment by Yaw Osafo Marfo, now Senior Minister, who was caught on tape saying only persons from resource rich Akan regions should be given opportunity to hold positions in Ghana. In 2016, Mr Marfo, who spoke the Twi language punctuated with some English, was heard bemoaning why Akan-speaking people, whose regions are rich with natural resources, were not the ones at the helm of managing those resources.
“…You have all the resources, but you have no say in the management of your resources and that is what is happening. Your development depends on the one who has no resources,” he said, cautioning: “You can’t say this openly,” except among Asantes. “We should protect ourselves, we should protect our income. No one who is the source of income, the source of revenue, the source of resources allows another person without those resources the chance [to rule over them]. It’s never done anywhere in the world. In the world over, it is the group with the most resources that rules and not the other way around,” he added.
In his estimation, as reported at the time, “86.5 per cent of resources in Ghana come from five regions: Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, Eastern, Western, and Central. This is where 86 per cent of the resources of Ghana come from. … And the oil was also discovered in the West. It will change the formula to about 90 per cent. We cannot ignore these five regions. We should not.”
Though he was roundly condemned for the explosive ethnocentric comment, he did not retract and apologize, but said part of his voice was doctored.
To rollout Mr Marfo’s idea, the NPP after winning power has formed an Akan dominated government, and now the Majority Leader is also questioning why non-cocoa growing areas benefited from proceeds from cocoa.