Gov't asked to site district capital on boundary of two disputing towns

Gov't asked to site district capital on boundary of two disputing towns
Source: Ghana | | Ohemeng Tawiah | Nhyira FM
Date: 25-09-2018 Time: 04:09:26:pm
It is unclear when the Implementation Committee will end its mandate. 

A 7-member Committee has been set up to implement recommendations of a committee set up to investigate a shooting incident which left four people dead in February this year at Foase in the Ashanti Region.

Police shot at the residents who were protesting over the relocation of the Atwima Kwanwoma District capital from Foase to nearby Twedie.

The government responded by setting up a committee to investigate the shootings after residents accused police of targeting them.

This has since led to festering tension and discontent among the people of Foase.

A 3-member committee submitted its report for onward submission to the National Security Ministry and the Attorney-General.

Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah who inaugurated the committee chaired Deputy Minister of Local Government,  Kwasi Boateng Adjei, outlined six reference points of the committee.

Among the term of reference is to in consultation with the Attorney-General, determine compensation for affected victims including deceased.

 "The Terms of Reference of the committee are as follows:

(1) Consult with the Office of the Attorney-General to determine the appropriate amount to be paid as compensation in respect of the dead and injured persons. Confirm and forward to the Ministry of National Security for reimbursement, the sum of  One Hundred Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty-Eight  Ghana Cedis (GH₡100,858.00),  being the cost of medical bills of the victims.

(2) Ensure the relocation of the District Capital to Twedie. Adequate security arrangements should be made.

(3) The Health, Education and Agriculture departments are to be maintained at Foase.

(4) The new assembly building for Atwima Kwanwoma Assembly is to be sited between Twedie and Foase.

(5) Identify and recommend a compensatory project to be implemented by the government at Foase

(6) Follow up on the work of Technical Team that has been constituted by the Ministry of National Security, to deal with outstanding issues relating to the shooting incident."

Other members of the committee are Ashanti Regional BNI Commander, David Osei as National Security representative, Kofi Owusu and Agyemang Duodu, Regional Registrar of Ministry of Chieftaincy and Chief State Attorney respectively.

The rest are; Nana Antwi Agyei Brempong, Atwimahene and Nkwantakesehene Nana Boakye Yam Ababio representing the Kumasi Traditional Council, Bismark Amankwah and Edward Amankwatia from Foase and Twedie respectively.

The committee was constituted by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development on the instructions of the Office of the President.  

It is unclear when the Implementation Committee will end its mandate. 

Not even the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah could tell.

"It's not specifically stated in the communication that came to me. But they have a very short period to deliver. Some of the issues are such that you cannot strictly put a timeline to it when it comes to the implementation of projects for the people of  Foase," he said.

Nonetheless, he is optimistic measures being put in place will bring lasting peace to the area.

" I'm very optimistic that the Terms of Reference if well implemented, will bring lasting peace to the place. Already, several stakeholders have intervened; Otumfuo has intervened even after the crisis. Otumfuo has invited the chief of Foase and spoken to them. I know now tempers are down and if they get what they want in terms of compensation, this should  bring a lasting solution to the problem."

Meanwhile, the National Peace Council is asking residents in the two communities to be patient as the committee begin its work.              

The council played mediation roles in finding a solution to the impasse.

Rev Emmanuel Badu Amoah is the Regional Executive Secretary of the Peace Council.

"I will urge the communities to be patient. I will tell every stakeholder to be part of the process of the implementation. They shouldn't leave the committee because that is their work. Every member has a role to play," he said.