General News of Saturday, 3 November 2018
A group calling itself the Volta Youth Forum, has asked a former Deputy Minister of Education under the Kufuor administration, Elizabeth Ohene, to use her influence to push the government to develop the Volta Region instead of attacking Togbe Afede XIV, the Paramount Chief of the Asogli State.
According to the group, Madam Ohene’s attack on the chief is needless, and shows her attempt to frustrate traditional rulers keen on developing the region.
President of the National House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede XIV had said the ongoing processes towards the creation of new regions poses a threat to peace and unity because the chiefs of Lolobi and Akpafu in the Volta Region have sworn never to join the new Oti Region.
Madam Ohene in an article title ‘Who speaks for the Ewes‘, however questioned the authority by which Togbe Afede cast aspersions on the committee of inquiry for the creation of the new regions, adding that he had no locus to speak on behalf of all the people of the Volta Region.
But in a statement issued by executives of the group, they said “We wish to urge people such as the 73- year- old Madam Elizabeth Ohene to either get involved in pushing for the region’s development or desist from frustrating the efforts of the genuine chiefs and altruistic citizens who are concerned about the unity, peace, and development of the region.
The group also mentioned that it was high time Madam Ohene stopped doing the bidding of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) at the expense of national development.
“We understand that Madam Elizabeth Ohene ought to project herself to maybe ‘catch the eye’ of her government for some juicy appointment, we do not think that she must use the identity and stature of Togbe Afede to achieve her parochial and ‘neutral’ agenda to earn recognition by her government.”
“Whereas many people only look at the attack on Togbe Afede XIV as the crux of Madam Ohene’s feature article, we of this Forum think the issue goes beyond that. The article reveals her mindset. It reveals her lack of responsibility towards the region and its people; it reveals her neglect of the region during her time in government, the statement added.
Meanwhile, the group has backed claims by Togbe Afede that the commission of inquiry into the creation of the new regions did a shoddy job by failing to provide stakeholders with some essential details.
“The suggestion that the process was fair and exhaustive is far from the truth.
We are aware of the fact that the Commission could not provide answers to the many pertinent questions asked by our revered chiefs when the Commission met them at the Secretariat of the Volta Region House of Chiefs in Ho, and at the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi. Questions such as boundary determination, name of the new regions and qualifications for voting in the referendum were asked, but characteristic of the posture of the Commission, no answers were provided to our distinguished Kings.”
I’m not against creation of new regions – Togbe Afede clarifies
The President of the National House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede XIV, has indicated that he is not against the creation of new regions despite his public criticism of some of the government’s processes leading to the creation of the new regions out of some existing ones.
According to him, his major concerns have been about how to ensure that that process is smooth and does not spark protests and conflicts in the end.
Speaking to Citi News’ Vivian Kai Lokko, he said some have sought to misinterpret his interest in the development as being against the government’s plan to create new regions.
“For the avoidance of doubt, let me state it categorically, Togbe is not against the creation of new regions. People should not divert attention from the truth of what I am looking at and claim I’m against the creation of new regions, no I am not against it, otherwise, I wouldn’t have invited Dan Botwe myself to let him know the issues involved and how to carry all of Volta Along.
Questions about the name, the boundary, the capital and the message that will go with it. I’ve tried to support a smooth process for the realization of the government’s objective,” he said.