Mills Arrives in Ashanti, visits Sokoban Wood Village

President John Evans Atta Mills on Thursday arrived in Kumasi for a three-day official visit to Ashanti Region. He is scheduled to call on Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II; visit Ejura-Sekyedumasi, Mampong and Obuasi. His first assignment was a visit to the state-of-the-art Wood Village at Sokoban in Kumasi to interact with the Carpenters. Addressing the Wood Workers, President Mills promised to ensure that the needed amenities were provided to facilitate their operations. He said the Government was aware of the absence of sufficient space, water, electricity and access roads in the Village and would do everything to make sure that these were provided. The Wood Village was constructed with support from the French International Development Agency to resettle Wood Workers of Anloga in Kumasi and to pave the way for the construction of the Oforikrom-Asokwa By-pass. The village has an administration block; facilities for banking; clinic; Police post; washrooms and considerable number of good access roads. The relocation of the Carpenters from Anloga to the Village has been characterised by controversies for more than two years. The Carpenters claimed that the place was too small for the more than 4,000 Wood Workers and that there were no basic amenities to support their operations. Threats of forcible ejection by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly and agitations by residents in the Metropolis compelled them to finally accept to move to the Village. President Mills thanked the Carpenters for their support during the 2008 Elections but asked that they exercised restraint as the Government put in place the necessary interventions to fulfil all the electoral promises it made to the people. Togbe Mawufeame Fugah, Patron of the Wood Workers, appealed to the Government to help to develop an additional site acquired for those who could not be accommodated at the present site. The Government should also assist them to get access to credit facilities, improved technology and re-training to become more efficient in their operations.