16 November 2012

Ghana: Brawl Over Siting of UENR Rages On

Information gathered by The Chronicle indicates that the official inauguration of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) could suffer a third time postponement, if the chiefs and people of Fiapre fail to rescind their decision to protest against the use of Sunyani as the location of the university, instead of Fiapre.

The inauguration of the UENR has suffered two postponements due to several factors, including an intended protest by a certain "Concerned Citizens of Sunyani", with excuses of inadequate preparation towards the function, and a convenient date that suits the President, who is billed to inaugurate the university.

The initial date of November 3, this year, was changed to November 10, and later to November 17, which coincided with the President's tour of the Brong-Ahafo Region.

Despite the intended protest by the Concerned Citizens of Sunyani, which also had its initial demonstration date postponed from November 6, 2012 to November 15, 2012, due to issues with the police, the chiefs and people of Fiapre have also expressed their discontent against the inauguration, according to pieces of information gathered by The Chronicle.

The chiefs and people of Fiapre earlier presented their petition to the Regional Minister, Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, immediately after the sod-cutting ceremony was done by the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills, contesting the eligibility of the linguist of the Sunyani Traditional Council to pour libation on the soil of the people of Fiapre, in the presence of the Fiapre Traditional Authority.

The submission by the Fiapre Traditional Council was apparently ignored, which led to a media war among four traditional Authorities - Sunyani Traditional Council, Awuah-Domase, Odomase No.2 and Fiapre. The last three traditional councils were on one side fighting the Sunyani Traditional Council.

Leaders of the three traditional councils admit that the Forestry School, which has now been converted to UENR, has long been on the land of Fiapre and not Sunyani, so the right thing must be done for peace and tranquility to prevail.

When contacted, the Chief of Fiapre, Nana Opoku Ababio, admitted that indeed, plans were far afoot to protest against the inauguration till the proper things were done, but disclosed that some well-meaning Ghanaians had suggested the demonstration or protest must be withheld due to certain reasons.

He, however, indicated that the Fiapre Traditional Council would pursue the agenda after the inauguration, for justice to prevail.

"We rescind the decision to protest for the sake of peace, but will pursue the agenda after the inauguration," Nana Opoku Ababio said.

However, The Chronicle can boldly state that adequate security arrangements have been instituted by the Regional Security Council to deal with any protestor or demonstrators.

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