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Regional News of Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Source: GNA

Monkey sanctuary communities threaten to boycott elections

Residents of nine fringe communities of the Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary in the District have threatened not to participate in the December general election claiming they had been neglected by successive governments.

The people also cautioned the leadership of political parties not to venture to campaign in the communities because they were fed up with vague promises in terms of development.

Mr. Emmanuel Amofa Asafo-Adjei, Assembly member for Boabeng-Fiema Electoral Area, said this at a meeting of the chiefs and elders of the communities, as well as the Management Committee of the Monkey Sanctuary at Boabeng.

The communities include Busunya, Senya, Bonte, Bomini, Konkronpe, Akrudwa Numbers One and 2, as well as Boabeng and Fiema.

Mr. Asafo-Adjei said it was unfortunate that successive governments had made several promises towards the development of the Sanctuary, yet none of such promises had been honored, leaving the people to face challenges.

He cited the deplorable state of the road from Nkoranza to the Sanctuary Centre, saying, “vehicles of visitors to the sanctuary sometimes get stuck on the road after rainfall”.

Mr. Asafo-Adjei said the NPP government initiated an Information and Communication Technology Centre (ICT) and clinic to serve visitors to the Sanctuary Centre “but the two projects have become white elephants as they have remained uncompleted”.

“The communities therefore feel they are not being treated fairly considering the benefits that accrue from the sanctuary”, Mr. Asafo-Adjei added.

Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary has for years gained international recognition yet the communities cannot boast of the needed benefits from government, he stressed.

Mr. Kwadwo Boahen, Chairman of the Management Committee of the Sanctuary Centre, said the Committee planned to send a delegation to President John Evans Atta Mills to air their grievances for redress.

But for the poor roads, more visitors would be visiting the centre to promote the development of the Sanctuary and the catchment communities, he added.

Mr. Boahen called on the MP for Nkoranza North, Major Derek Oduro (rtd) and the District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr. Kwadwo Agyei-Dwomor, to collaborate and liaise with the central government to initiate plans to promote the development of the Sanctuary.

Mr. Robert Kwateng, treasurer of the Committee, complained the attendance of visitors to the Sanctuary had decreased due to the poor nature of the roads in the area.

He said in 2009, a total number of 18,158 visitors comprising 14,734 Ghanaians and 3,421 non-Ghanaians visited the Sanctuary Centre.

In 2010 the centre received 15,572 visitors, with 12,693 being Ghanaians and 2,879 foreigners, he added.

The meeting was attended by traditional rulers including Nana Kobea Asante Sarpong, Bontehene, Nana Atta Panin of Akrudwa Number Two and Nana Sarfo Kantanka of Fiema.

Also present were Nana Amoa-Awua Ampong and Nana Amponsah Boateng, both fetish priests' of Boabeng Daworo and Fiema Abadwo shrines, respectively.

There is the traditional belief that the monkeys are the offsprings of two gods of Boabeng and Fiema.**

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