Paramount Chief Calls For EC Neutrality

AWULAE AGYEFI Kwame II, Paramount Chief of Nsein Traditional Area in the Western region has called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to be neutral in its conduct of the 2012 elections. “The 2012 general elections is a big test case for Ghana’s democracy because the entire international community, Africa and Ghana are all looking forward to neutral, fair and transparent elections followed by an honest verdict from the Electoral Commission,” he stressed. He added that the standard and enviable record set by the EC since 1992 must be maintained so that Ghana could remain a beacon of democracy, peace and unity in Africa. Addressing a durbar of chiefs and people in the area to round off this year’s week-long annual Kundum Festival at Nsein on Saturday, Awulae Kwame remarked that Ghanaians and the EC should learn a useful lesson from the 2010 elections in neighboring Cote d’Ivoire. The festival is used to perform rituals to appease the gods of the land to help attain a good harvest and prosperity. It also serves to reconcile and unify the people and raise funds for development. “People should go to Ampain and look at doctors, lawyers, accountants, chiefs as well as babies and people over 80 years who have become refugees. We love our country and want to live here so political parties and their members as well as the EC should all be disciplined in the upcoming general elections,” he warned. The paramount chief cautioned that the EC should not repeat the numerous pitfalls which happened during the recent metropolitan, municipal and district assembly elections adding “some of us do not want to believe those mistakes to be signals awaiting the nation in 2012.” He commended government for re-gravelling the Kegyina-Krobokrom feeder road but asked that a bridge be constructed over River Yangbunli which overflows its banks during rainy seasons. He said he hoped the $1.8 billion Chinese loan facility recently approved by parliament to develop the Takoradi Harbour, railways, road construction, industrial infrastructure, gas processing and other development would not be empty promise. Joe Ghartey, Member of Parliament for Essikado-Ketan noted that just as former President Agyekum Kufuor handed over peacefully to President Mills, Nana Akufo-Addo did not let his presidential ambition override the interests of the country, when he lost the 2008 elections. “Now President Mills has made it clear at the UN Assembly that the 2012 elections will be free, fair and peaceful. I also hope that the EC will play its mandate as an expert referee,” he added. Michael Kpingbi, Acting Western Regional Manager of the Ghana Tourism Authority called on Ghanaians not to adulterate the country’s rich cultural heritage adding “one of the effective strategies for maintaining our culture is through the celebration of festivals like Kundum.” He called for the repackaging of Kundum to attract a lot of people through tourism so that the communities could generate some income during such events. He asked the people to avoid social vices such as rape, armed robbery and the use of illicit drugs as enshrined in Ghanaian culture. Meanwhile, the Nsein Traditional Council has conferred the title Nkusuohene or Development Chief on Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, the MP for Ellembelle for his good work in the Nzema area and for being non-partisan towards all communities in the distribution of projects.