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Regional News of Friday, 25 June 2021

Source: Michael Oberteye , Contributor

District Census Officers, Assemblymen resolve boundary dispute at Natriku

A picture of some District Census Officers A picture of some District Census Officers

District Census Officers (DSO) from four districts including Lower Manya Krobo and Yilo Krobo in the Eastern Region and the Shai Osudoku in the Greater Accra Region have met to resolve a boundary dispute that threatened the peaceful enumeration of the ongoing population and housing census at Natriku.

The meeting which also included Assemblymen for Natriku and Osukutu Electoral Areas was necessitated by the prevention of enumerators from Lower Manya Krobo to undertake the lawful exercise by residents of the community who insisted on being counted by officials from the Shai Osudoku District.

Natriku, one of the Electoral Areas which make up the Akuse Township was omitted in the local level election which was held in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality in December, 2013, sparking years of controversy over the right location of the area with leaders of the community insisting on being aligned with the Greater Accra Region and not the Eastern Region.

The confusion was recently reignited in the ongoing PHC when officials from Lower Manya Krobo who went to the area for listing and enumeration were allegedly sacked by members of the community who insisted on being counted as part of the Shai Osudoku.

To resolve the matter, officials of the three districts have met with the Akuse Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Winfred Asare Nyarko to amicably resolve the impasse and pave way for a peaceful exercise.

DSO for Shai Osudoku, Rev. Philip Avudoahor, Ing Eric Ayertey for Lower Manya, Harry Akwetey for Yilo, District Field Supervisor for Lower Manya, Akutey Richard, Assembly Man For Osukutu, Promise Asare, Ignatius Dodoe, Assemblyman for Natriku and the District Police Commander at the meeting agreed that the will of the people of Natriku to be counted as part of the Shai Osudoku District be respected.

DSO for Lower Manya, Ing Eric Ayertey said interview after the meeting that it reached a consensus to deploy officials from Shai Osudoku to the area for the enumeration.

“Before we came into the meeting, there had been high level agreements on the way forward and we came around and the Police Commander also provided leadership so we’ve arrived briefly on one thing, Natriku and the surrounding communities will be counted by Shai Osudoku. All the surrounding hamlets, those who belong to Shai Osudoku will be counted by Shai Osudoku, those who belong to Lower Manya will be counted by Lower Manya,” explained the Engineer.

“Anywhere we have boundary issue in Yilo and Lower Manya, we’ve agreed that those who belong in Yilo, Yilo people will come and count them and those who belong in lower manya will be counted by Lower Manya.”

Explaining earlier information that census officials from his jurisdiction were chased out from the area, the DSO said it was imperative to act timely to avert an escalation of the problem.

“We had information at what was happening at Natriku and we realized that we need not wait for it to escalate, there was no physical harm [to our officials] but we don’t need to wait to get there so we decided to prevent it,” he explained.

“Ideally, due to the initial map that was put out, the Manya team went to the field and they were prevented from carrying out the exercise.”

DSO for Shai Osudoku, Rev. Philip Avudoahor who described the meeting as fruitful agreed that Natriku should duly be counted by people from the Shai Osudoku District.

Assemblymen for Osukutu and Natriku both welcomed the decision and expressed their commitment to urge their people to corporate with officials from the PHC for a successful census.

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