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Nzema Chiefs Blast Gov’t   
 
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22-Sep-2009  
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Veep John Dramani Mahama
 
 
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For refusing to grant them audience at the seat of government, coupled with the naming of the oil fields after people, symbols and elements that do not exist or come from the Western Region, the chiefs of Nzema, led by Awulae Annor Adjaye (III), Paramount Chief of the Western Nzema Traditional Area, on Saturday registered their protest, expressing displeasure and anger about the way and manner the government was handling them and the oil affairs.

At durbar organised in honour of Mr John Dramani Mahama, the Vice President, at Nkroful recently, they fumed over a series of correspondences they sent to the seat of government to grant them audience to meet President Mills to discuss matters of interest, but which had fallen on deaf ears.

Awulae Annor Adjaye (III), President of the Western Nzema Traditional Council (WNTC), and Awulae Adjefi Kwame, Paramount Chief of the Nsein Traditional Area, spoke on behalf of the angry chiefs.

Awulae Adjefi Kwame told the Vice President that they had wanted to meet him in camera, to discuss these pertinent issues with him, but after a cursory look at the time for the durbar, they decided to pour out their concerns in public.

He then passed on the baton to Awulae Annor Adjaye.
After registering their protest over the aforementioned issues, the chiefs swiftly called on the government to grant them unconditional audience at the seat of government.

They would also want the government to reverse the decision that led to the naming of the oilfields, because they believe, and have been told, that the oil was closer to their area than Cape Three Points.
The chiefs were wondering why an oilfield had been name “Tweneboa,” an Ashanti name, when they also had illustrious sons. Another name which is in contention, according to the chiefs, is “Mahogany”, which is not an Nzema name. That, to them, is the reason why they would want government to immediately change the names, to paint the true picture of where the oil has been found, because as traditional rulers, their subjects were worrying them over the matter, which to them, was a source of worry and concern.

With the Jubilee Field, they believe it was in the right direction, because it signifies 50 years of Ghana’s independence. Awulae also rejected the perception that oil was a curse. “The principle of oil being a curse is incorrect, let’s remove the curse from our minds,” he concluded.

In response, the Vice President, who is noted for his humble behaviour, told the chiefs, “As for the Castle, you put us there. No one can deliberately prevent you from coming there.”

He told them that because the Regional House of Chiefs had made in earlier request, the seat of government would want to grant that request first, before the individual paramountcy. He also promised to discuss that with the President on his return from a United Nations UN Assembly meeting in New York.

Regarding the naming of the oilfields he said “When I go back I will raise your concerns.”

Nonetheless, he explained to the chiefs that most of the decisions about Ghana’s oil were taken by the previous New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, through the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

Touching on the prospects of the oil find, he assured the country that, it would not be a problem. “I don’t think it will be a curse to Ghana,” he said.

His explanation was that since Ghana, as a country, was able to excel in her democratic practices, whilst other African countries could not, it was the same thing that was going to happen with the oil industry.

According to him, what was causing the problem in the other countries was agreed, because a few people were enjoying the oil revenue at the expense of the majority of the people, which if translated into the case of Ghana, would be different, because the ruling National Democratic Congress had promised Ghanaians prosperity for all while in opposition, which they were still committed to fulfilling.

“Oil will never be a curse in Ghana, I assure you”, Mr. Mahama concluded with optimism.
 
 
Source: The Chronicle
 
 

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