Mpuasuman in tears over total neglect

…as it celebrates Annual Munufie Yam festival

Michael Boateng

Okatakyie Amoa Aturu Nkonkonkyia, Omanhene of Japekrom

Though it was a very colourful an occasion during the celebration of the Annual Munufie Yam festival by the chiefs and people of Mpuasuman at Japekrom in the Jaman South District of Brong-Ahafo on Saturday November, 13 this year, and which was characterised by traditional drumming and dancing to depict the culture of the traditional area, the plight of the area could not be concealed by the Paramount Chief, Okatakyie Amoa Aturu Nkonkonkyia.

It was very touchy when Okatakyie Amoa Aturu Nkonkonkyia stated that Mpuasuman had many infrastructural challenges, continuing that Japekrom was slowly being turned into a ghost town, partly with the help of past governments.

“What have we done to deserve this? The past governments have turned deaf ears to our pleas, complaints and requests. We sometimes feel like a rejected child,” the Omanhene stated.

He emphasised that the relocation of government offices and officials to New Drobo, under the pretext of it being the district capital, had contributed to the collapse of the local economy.

According to him, the once-vibrant lorry park and market had turned desolate, partly with the support of past regional administrations, adding that the previous government was in office for eight years, and still, was unable to complete the building of a fire station for the district.
He said for eight years the area had begged consistently, but in vain, for the building of a permanent slaughter house.

Okatakyie Nkonkonkyia noted that currently, the site where animals are slaughtered, and sold to people for consumption, was not only deplorable, but shameful and a health hazard to the community, and equally so where the meat is sold – in the remains an old building with nothing like modern amenities for the hygienic handling of meat.

He continued that the new building to replace the dilapidated one was also started by the previous administration, but now remains an uncompleted building like several others.
The Paramount Chief called on the government to come to the aid of the people of Japekrom. “Today, on the celebration of the 2010 Munufie Yam Festival, the cry of Mpuasuman, to the able government of President Mills, is in reference to the quotation in the Bible “come over to Macedonia”. We equally cry loudly “come over to Japekrom and have mercy on us,” Okatakyie Nkonkonkyia appealed.

This year’s Munufie Yam Festival, under the theme, “Education – the bedrock for development,” was used to launch an Education Endowment Fund to support needy but brilliant students in the area.

The Paramount Chief acknowledged the need to build a solid foundation for the youth who are the future leaders, which he said, was the duty and responsibility of the state of Mpuasuman.
He pleaded with the President to help obtain at least one second cycle institution like a Technical/Vocational institute, a Health Training Centre, Fire Service Training Center, or a boys Senior High School that would bear the name of Japekrom.

Okatakyie Nkonkonkyia noted that there had being an uproar and discussions on the country’s justice system, emphasising that the very foundation and the guardian of the constitution was the justice system, therefore, one could not stress the importance of the institution.

He reminded that the government that Nananom could play a vital role in the administration of justice, if proper resources are given, and it is left with the government to tap the resources to help reduce the work load on the courts, in order to foster fast and effective administration of justice in the country.

According to the Chief, it was deplorable to hear that cases as old as ten, twenty and some thirty years were lingering in the high courts, to the burden of the citizens who are mainly seeking justice under the constitution.

He continued that the financial costs of such justice, sometimes become so unbearable that many citizens rather choose to stay silent while their rights are been trampled upon, adding many of the violent clashes and conflicts in societies is a result of this.

The Paramount Chief appealed to the government that chiefs of today understand what the rule of law and human rights was about, and that given the proper tools, they can would not only assist in the administration of justice, but also revive the best part of the country’s culture and family life.

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