The Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa District Assembly in
the Central Region is said to have spent assembly money to perform rituals at a
newly refurbished market at Breman Benin in the district before it could be
That was due to superstitious beliefs by the residents
that some ‘spirits’ had occupied the market.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for
Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, Isaac Odoom, who made this known at the public sitting
of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament on Tuesday, said the
assembly under the previous administration used GH¢38,000 to refurbish the
market into a modern one but the traders said they could not occupy it because
if they did they would die one after the other.
He explained that the assembly then contacted
the chiefs of the area and were asked to perform the rituals to pacify the gods
using the assembly’s funds to buy sheep, bottles of schnapps and other things
for the rituals.
He indicated that after the rituals, the
assembly also engaged pastors to pray in the market to drive away the supposed
‘spirits’ so that the women could use the market.
The DCE, however, could not mention the exact
money the assembly spent on the pacification in the market, stressing that it
was important for that to be done to satisfy the residents so that the market
could be used and not left to rot again.
The committee wanted to know from the DCE why
the assembly used its funds for that purpose.
Besides, the DCE told the committee to write
off a debt of GH¢27,000 on the books of the assembly which was given to some
poor and needy people in the district to start up their own businesses but have
not been able to pay back.
According to the DCE, the money was given to a local micro finance company which disbursed it but that company had also collapsed as a result of the clean-up in the financial sector.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr