Aburi Chief Flays Government
The chief of Aburi and Akwapem Anafohene, Otoobuor Djan Kwasi II, has accused the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the government of trying to sow seeds of tribalism in the body-politic of the country by changing the name of Ohene Djan Sports stadium. He emphasized that the change of Ohene Djan to Accra Sports Stadium was not only ingratitude to the man who tremendously helped in the development of sports in the country but also a disgrace to the people of Akwapim area, where Ohene Djan came from. “Ohene Djan was the first director of Sports and Advisor to first President, Dr Nkrumah on sports. He became the President of Confederation of African Football (CAF) and was the one who helped in introducing the African Cup of Nations to bring Africans together,” he said, adding it was a big dishonour, after legislation was passed for Accra Sports Stadium to be named after him, for the present government to reverse that decision. The chief was expressing his disappointment at the reversal of the name during the grand durbar of the Odwira festival of the chiefs and people of Aburi over the weekend, with Minister of Roads and Transport, Joe Gidisu, Deputy Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Dr Mustapha Ahmed and Eastern Regional Deputy Minister, Baba Jamal, all in attendance. He stated the situation was like 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' , adding that he knew the government, through the AMA, reversed the name to satisfy the Gas whom they believed voted massively for them in the 2008 elections. Otoobuor Djan Kwasi II emphasized that Accra lands, in reality, belonged to the Akwapims and that it was Nana Ansah Sasraku I of blessed memory who released the land to the Gas when they arrived from Nigeria, adding that Ohene Djan, who was an Akwapem, could be classified as ‘landlord’ and not an ordinary person to be treated this way. He said if the name of the Ohene Djan Accra Sports Stadium had been changed because Ohene Djan was not a Ga, then the government ought to change the name of the Kotoka International Airport since Kotoka too was not a Ga but an Ewe. He noted it was also strange for Gas to start clamouring for “Ga” lands which had been earmarked for state use by the previous government when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) came to power in 2009. He said the biggest hospital in the whole of Akwapem had been named after Tetteh Quarshie who was a Ga because he was seen as a ‘national hero’ who ingeniously brought cocoa to Ghana from Fernando Po in the Equatorial Guinea but the Akwapems had to provide land for him to grow the first cocoa in Ghana for cocoa to become an important cash crop for the country. He said the Akwapems were very hurt about the decision to change the name of the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium. “We want the government to quickly step in and correct things otherwise the government will be digging its own grave,” he stated, adding that the people of Akuapem South would also advise themselves if no action was taken on that. “We are peace-loving Ghanaians and don’t want to be pushed hard to the wall for us also to react in a bad way,” he indicated. According to the chief, it was important for the government to do things that would unite Ghanaians and not divide them. He called on the government to, as matter of urgency, construct the Aburi-Nsawam road because it was one of the major roads in the country which was in very deplorable state. He also called on the government to come to their aid to finance the construction of a modern market for the town. The deputy regional Minister, Baba Jamal who responded to the chief's concern, noted that the decision by the AMA could not be that of the government, adding that he would send the message to the right quarters for the matter to be properly addressed. He gave the assurance that the government, which was social democratic, would always have the well-being of the people in mind and not discriminate against any group of people or tribe for social cohesion.
Source: Daily Guide - Ghana