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Regional News of Friday, 8 February 2008

Source: GNA

Chief calls for mutual respect

Forikrom (B/A), Feb. 8, GNA- Okogyeaman Kese Basahyia 11, Chief of Forikrom in the Techiman Traditional Area of Brong Ahafo, at the weekend stressed the importance for mutual respect and trust between chiefs or community leaders and the people to accelerate the development of communities.

"Today's leadership in the chieftaincy institution is based on mutual respect between the ruled and the ruler, making it extremely important for chiefs or community leaders to respect the ruled", he said Addressing a grand durbar of chiefs and people to mark his out-dooring ceremony at Forikrom, Okogyeaman Kese noted that the air of freedom Ghanaians are enjoying was enough for community leaders "to realize that the crude and stringent laws of the past are over, allowing the subjects to have their basic rights and freedoms as human beings". Okogyeaman Kese, who is also the Benkumhene of the Techiman Traditional Area, is known in private life as Mr Osei Bonsu and a journalist by profession, currently Printing Manager of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.

He noted that the chiefs of today were confronted with the problems of poverty, disease, squalor, illiteracy, crime injustice, environmental degradation, depletion of resources, among others. The chief stated that the mutual trust and respect between chiefs, other community leaders and the people would allow the latter to assist and support in the solution of such problems by initiating and executing development projects for an improvement in their living standards.

Okogyeaman Kese noted with regret the dismal performance of Junior High School students in the area in the Basic Education Certificate Examinations, stating that as a first step to address the problem a committee had been set up to investigate the causes. "Every effort will be made to encourage parents to get involved in the adult literacy programme and to enroll their children, especially the girl child, in schools", he added.

The chief expressed his dissatisfaction with the wanton destruction of farms, houses and loss of lives through bushfires, as well as the ecology through indiscriminate felling of trees, especially around water bodies and bad agricultural practices. Okogyeaman Kese advised the people to adhere to acceptable agricultural practices that would make life more meaningful to all and to make use of agricultural extension officers. He urged them to register and be part of the National Health Insurance Scheme and to avoid practices that would make them contract HIV/AIDS.

The chief advised his people to forget about past misunderstandings and differences and forge ahead in unity so that with their support and assistance his administration would be able to help accelerate the development of the area.

Oseadeeyo Akumfi Ameyaw 1V, Omanhene of Techiman traditional Area, called on the people to unite and bury all past differences and support the new chief to lead them to progress.

Mr Addai Simons, MP for Techiman South urged the people to rally behind the chief in development and gave assurance that he would do his best to collaborate with community leaders in his constituency for a marked improvement in living standards. He advised the new chief to be transparent in his administration and to avoid tendencies that would sow seeds of discord among the people.

In a welcoming address, Nana Kwaw Adams, Twafohene of Forikrom, noted the bitter experience that the town went through in selecting someone from the royal family to succeed the late Nana Kwaku Adjapong, which he said severely affected the development of the town. He appealed to all to rally behind Okogyeaman Kese Basahyia, "for there can be no meaningful development in Forikrom without peace". The Twafohene expressed the hope that the people would renew their support and dedication to the new chief so that there would be no serious disruption in the development process in the town.

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