General News of Monday, 29 October 2012
The head of Communications at the Ghana National Gas Company Guri Brown Guri has justified the expenditure made on rituals performed at the project site before the gas infrastructure development programme began.
An amount of 22,500 cedis was spent by the gas company on relocating the "hoho" god and her children as part of a social and environmental impact assessment programme.
Seven cattle, 10 sheep, a number of goats, bags of rice, Castle Bridge and local drink "akpeteshi" were bought for the pacification.
A new pond was also constructed as new home for the kids of the god, Brown Guri confirmed in an interview to Joy FM’s Super Morning Show sit-in host Bernard Saibu.
Critics have raised eyebrows as to why such an amount of money would go into rituals and relocation of gods.
But the head of Communications of the Gas Company, said the investment made on the relocation of the god was a necessity, adding it was imperative to perform the ritual in order not to hurt the sensibilities of the locals in the area.
He explained the gas company had to spend about three weeks to negotiate with the chiefs and opinion leaders before arriving at the 25,000 cedis.
He conceded the gas company could have spent a lot more time bargaining, with the hope of reducing the cost involved in the pacification but he was quick to add, that would mean a delay in the implementation of the project.
Guri Brown explained further that the current Atuabo location, even with the cost on pacification, was cheaper and best suited for the project, adding if any other location had been selected, extra cost would have gone into geo-technical study, consultation and diversion of the gas pipeline that is connected from the Atuabo processing plant to the Aboadze thermal plant.
“All that was probably going to change if we had not done this project,” he stated.
Guri Brown said the significance of the expenditure on the ritual can be seen manifesting in the smooth implementation of the gas infrastructure implementation project so far.
Meanwhile, Joy FM’s Western Region correspondent Kweku Owusu Peprah said the expenditure on ritual is not uncommon in the area.
He said the locals have a strong belief in their gods and any project initiated without satisfying the religious and traditional interests of the locals will be resisted.