Good morning ladies and gentlemen from the Press and thank you for honouring our invitation for this morning’s press encounter ostensibly to correct some erroneous impressions being peddled by some unscrupulous people for reasons best known to them about the people of Sefwi or Sefwi speaking people in the Western North Region of this country.
Our attention has been drawn to comments being made by some people purportedly claiming to be Sefwis and hails from Sefwi Wiaso in an attempt to request and declare that the people of Sefwi and by extension the Sefwis in the Western North Region cannot work with the Honourable Western North Regional Minister. The background to this clarion call from these unscrupulous people is purportedly emanating from a letter written on 11th June, 2019 by Hon. Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu, the Western North Regional Minister to the Honourable Minister for Local Government and Rural Development allegedly reporting about “the undermining activities and behaviour of the Deputy Regional Minister for Western North Region”. In the said letter which we have seen and read copies from social media, it has been alleged among others in paragraph 2 that Hon. Deputy Western North Regional Minister is
“ 2. Conniving with the Omahene of Sefwi Wiawso to change the agreed upon site for the RCC without my knowledge”.
Following the said allegation quoted above, we have seen a letter written by Katakyie Kwasi Bumangama II with reference SWTC/OPS/WNR/V.1/2 to the Minister of Local Government to refute the said allegations attributed to him and his Palace and clarified that there is no such ‘conniving’ with the Deputy Regional Minister.
Thereafter, on the 17th of June 2019, one Mr. Kwame Nkuah Okumdom held a press conference (prior to Katakyie Bumangama’s letter referenced above) whereupon he demanded an unconditional apology from the Regional Minister (who is also the MP for the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Constituency) to the Overlord of the Sefwi Wiawso Traditional Area concluding that the use of the word ‘conniving’ is derogatory and disrespectful on the part of the Regional Minister.
Additionally, we are aware and have consequently seen videos on social media showing a session of people pouring libation and about to slaughter sheep to invoke curses and deities on the Regional Minister for the allegation made in his said letter.
STATEMENT TO THE PRESS
First and foremost, as chiefs, we vehemently condemn the said attribution to the Overlord of Sefwi Wiaso Traditional Area, Katakyie Bumangah II and his Palace in no uncertain terms. We would like to put on record that when this matter was brought to the attention of Ogyehoho Yaw Gyebi, Paramount chief of Sefwi Anhwiaso Tradional Area and President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, he sent a delegation of chiefs from Anhwaiso, where the Regional Minister is a native (and a principal member of the Stool) to Katakyie Bumanga II to immediately render an unqualified apology to him on the said use of the word ‘conniving’ attributed to him and his palace because Ogyehoho was away on official government duties so that upon his return he would come to him for the proper customary exercise to be performed. Without prejudice, we have information that Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi called katakyie Bumangamah on phone for a discussion to the same effect.
Discernible from the aforesaid, Nananom of the following Traditional Areas; Sefwi Anhwiaso, Sefwi Bekwai, Suaman, Enchi and Chirano would like to state unequivocally that the people of Sefwi from their respective Traditional Areas and under their respective Overlords are peace loving people and all contributed very hard in diverse ways to getting the Western North Region as a gift from His Excellency Nana Akufo Addo, the President of our Republic, to accelerate development of our areas. We believe this vision of the President which we all gathered at Sefwi Wiaso, the Regional capital, upon his first visit to thank him for walking the talk in awarding this Region to us. Let me take this platform to thank His Excellency the President once again and reiterate our heartfelt position that we jealously cherish the Region and we will not do anything to jeopardize his vision and our legacy.
We therefore state the following;
That Mr. Kwame Nkuah Okundom, from all indications is a self-styled political propagandist who wants to inject baseless ideologies into the citizenry in the Region to cause fear, hatred and division, and further instigate party politics in the Chieftaincy administration in our newly created Region. That Hon. Kingsley Aboagy-Gyedu (MP), the Regional Minister has barely 4 months in office and needs the support of all and sundry especially the chieftaincy institution in order to set up the Region to develop and attract investments.
That Mr. Kwame Nkuah Okundom and his group should forthwith cease igniting the political chess in the chieftaincy institution, and galvanize the youth, in our interest in assisting to support the development framework of this new Region. To us, and even from the said letter written by the Regional Minister in explaining the paragraph in contention, it appears clearly that Katakyie Bumangamah II and the Regional Minister have no problem and have been in constant discussions towards championing development issues in the Region.
That we are working towards the approach already taken by Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi in settling the ‘slip’ by the Regional Minister in the said letter and so we entreat all our followers to treat anybody who would want to take political advantage of this incident with the contempt he or she deserves. We should believe in our development because that alone will safeguard our wellbeing. Without prejudice, as chiefs (and under our respective Overlords), we have enjoyed peace amongst ourselves in Sefwi and so nobody should, in any motive unknown, suggest that all ‘Sefwis’ have one and only Overlord. Such a Statement is not only erroneous but destructive. Okundom and his group are therefore advised not to venture into areas that are potentially distasteful.
In conclusion, we call on all, especially the people of the Western North Region to remain calm whilst the Honourable Local Government Minister who is the Addressee of the letter written by the Minister does her work thereto. We are happy that Katakyie has written to the Minister to explain his side of the issue. We are working and will continuously work with the Regional Minister and his Deputy to champion the development of our Region because we are far behind development in Roads and Educational Infrastructures, Water and Sanitation, Health, Factories and Industries, Agriculture, Women Empowerment etc.
Once again thank you for your attention.
Reported by: Daniel Akwasi Nuako.