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Politics of Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Source: The Chronicle

NPP gurus accused of smuggling fertiliser

Some constituency executives of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Chiana/Paga Constituency of the Upper East Region have accused Mr. Clement Dandori, District Chief Executive (DCE) for Kassena-Nankana West, of aiding some activists of the party in the area to smuggle fertilisers meant for the government’s ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ policy.

It will be recalled that the Municipal Chief Executive of Kassena-Nankana, Mr. Williams Aduum, during the NPP Regional Delegates Conference in Bolgatanga last month, lamented about the involvement of some NPP activists in the smuggling of fertiliser to neighbouring Burkina Faso.

According to him: “Anytime our taskforce is through with them, you see the party people actually coming to plead.”

Weeks after the MCE’s revelation, some NPP executives in the area told the media at Sirigu, during a press conference led by the Deputy Youth Organiser, Mr. Thomas Akwalase, that,

Mr. Dandori was assisting his Personal Secretary, Daniel Namoo, and two others, Francis Zuadam and Peter Adeyire, to smuggle fertiliser, a claim that has flatly been denied by Dandori.

“I went to the district Director of Agriculture with the Constituency Chairman, where they have stored the fertilisers.

“They stored it there without his notice. We went to ask the Director, but the time we got there, Daniel Namoo, who is the Secretary to the DCE, was sighted inside the woman’s care, and he was leading the taskforce that he, the DCE, has set up.

“And it was this same taskforce which led those (DCE’s) boys to smuggle fertiliser. So, if you want culprits, they were the very people who led the chat. So, we are at a loss that the DCE could send his boys there to go and be looting and smuggling fertiliser that the President has brought to our district to help the farmers,” Mr. Akwalase claimed.

Mr. Akwalase predicted doom for the policy in the district, stating that they were at a loss and praying that things would change.

Asked why they couldn’t report the alleged smuggling to the Police Service, the Constituency Deputy Youth Organiser alleged that the police were aiding in the smuggling of the fertiliser.

When contacted, the DCE strongly dismissed ever aiding anyone to smuggle fertiliser. Rather, he rhetorically asked how he could have set up a taskforce to curb the menace of fertiliser smuggling in the district, and would still be aiding people to smuggle same.

“I am on record to have set up a committee, with the advice of DISEC [District Security Council], to check fertiliser smuggling. I only dissolved that committee when the District Agric Officer said the period for planting for food and jobs was over, and that she was no longer going to entertain the supply of fertilisers to farmers.”

“And so, I informed DISEC, and then told DISEC that the committee has since dissolved, and so we are withdrawing the committee with the exercise that we enjoined them to do.

“So, I don’t see how I can set up a committee to support the Agric Department to prevent the smuggling of fertiliser; go the security agencies to check smuggling of fertiliser, and [turn] round to be the person supporting the smuggling of fertiliser,” the DCE stated.

In a related development, Mr. Peter Ayinbisa, DCE for Bongo, was not enthused about a court decision over the release of a truck that was impounded by the Bongo police fully loaded with fertilisers in an attempt to smuggle it into Burkina Faso.

The truck, which had loaded from Bolgatanga, was originally assigned to deliver its contents at Kunlungungu, near Bawku, but strangely found its way to Bongo. When the police stopped the truck, the driver jumped out and absconded.

The police then notified the court, and later the owner was identified. After about two months in court, the State Attorney in the region advised the court to release the truck for the police to escort it to its original destination.

Though Mr. Ayinbisa said the State Attorney’s advice was adhered to, he was not happy with the release of the truck, because it was a setback to the planting for food and jobs policy, since those in the business of fertiliser smuggling would not be deterre

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