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Regional News of Thursday, 28 June 2018

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

You cannot intimidate us – Adum-Banso residents warns Mpohor District Assembly

The Adum-Banso Collaborative Development Action Network (ABDAN), a development-oriented and citizen’s advocacy group, has presented its petition to the Office of the President and condemned attempts by representatives of government and political actors in the Mpohor District to threaten them with arrests.

The petition, some of which was also presented to the Roads and Highways, and Local Government and Rural Development Ministries, follows a demonstration held against bad roads in Adum-Banso, Adum-Dominase, Trebuom, Ayiem, Bopp Estate, Manso, Amuzukrom, among others, in the Mpohor district of the Western region.

During the demonstration, trucks carrying crude palm oil from the Adum-Banso Estates of Benso Oil Palm Plantation, were denied access to the town and residents explained that President Akufo Addo on June 10 came to the district capital to cut sod for the construction of a 16 kilometer road from Kejebril to Mpohor, but are not too pleased with the action of the President by not extending the road to the Adum-Banso area. An intervention by the Mpohor District Police restored peace, and the road was opened to traffic. A 21-day ultimatum for a response and dialogue with the communities was also issued.

The Adum-Banso Action Network said it was, therefore, a surprise that people who are pretending to be unaware of problems facing people in the area have turned around to threaten them with arrests, and using the name of Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) to scare them.

The residents said it was preposterous, and an affront to democracy the attempt by government and political officials in the Mpohor district to break their front and coerce them into submission, instead of initiating a dialogue, they are being confrontational.

The Action Network said, "it takes people who are sleeping on the job, and working at the blindside of the Western regional minister and the President of Ghana, to threaten our people without recourse to the law".

"The era of militarism and using the BNI to bully our people is over as the President on January 7, 2017, admonished all Ghanaians to be citizens and not spectators. The culture of silence cannot be reintroduced in Ghana through the Mpohor district assembly", the Action Network explained.

The residents recounted how in 1995, the Kume Preko demonstrations led by our President Nana Akufo Addo, Charles Wereko Brobbey, Akoto Ampaw, Napoleon Abdulai, and Kwesi Pratt Jnr, were peaceful organized, out of which a book titled "Ghana: The Kume Preko demonstrations: Poverty, Corruption and the Rawlings Dictatorship" was written to highlight inherent problems in the Ghanaian political system.

The Action Network, therefore, stated that it was within the same spirit, and the exercise of their democratic rights to appeal to the government when representatives in the district are not doing their work, alleging that "instead of engaging the people in a respectful way through mutual understanding, they are using unorthodox ways such as bribing people with pittances in the community". "We are no longer interested in your 20 and 50 Ghana cedis which officials in the district use to bribe some of our people capitalizing on the level of poverty and income in the communities", they added.

"Our cause is legitimate and we will organize ourselves in a peaceful way. We vote in every election in this country, and we will not allow elected officials to intimidate us to look good in the eyes of the President. We are not afraid of threats", the Action Network stated.

The Petitioners thanked officials working at the Jubilee House in Accra, who received their petition to President Akufo Addo and advised leaders in the Mpohor district to learn from the proper way of dealing with people.

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