The Struggle over who to manage the government supplied premix fuel to Akateng, one of the 10 Landing Beach Committees (LBCs) in the Upper Manya Krobo District, is creating tension in the area.
The Ghana News Agency gathered that the tussle started a little over a month ago and it has been heightening each passing day.
A faction, led by Nene Narh Adjaotor, supposed Chief Fisherman, has threatened to set ablaze any premix fuel that the National Association of Inland Fisheries would supply to Mr. George Gbedam Agotue, the Akateng Assemblyman, who was hitherto managing the fuel.
Members of the boat owners association, the main users of the premix fuel, who work on the River Afram, have also threatened to stop landing at Akateng shores if the fuel continues to sell at an unapproved price.
Should the members of the boat owners association carry out their threat, fishing business in Akateng, the main job in the area would end, and revenue base of the district would dwindle.
They, therefore, advocated that the assemblyman for Akateng should be allowed to continue to manage the fuel sales, since with him they can get the fuel at the approved price of GH¢ 5.50 rather than the alleged GH¢ 7.50 and GH¢ 8.00 per a gallon is being sold by the Adjaotor faction.
The GNA gathered that, the Akateng Landing Beach Committee was headed by one late Nene Lomotey, then Chief Fisherman, whose duty it was to manage the premix fuel supplied by the government to the area.
He managed it effectively with his committee members which included the Assemblyman until he died two years ago.
When Nene Lomotey died, the Assemblyman was made to act in managing the fuel till a substantive Chief Fisherman was selected from among the fishermen.
The GNA found out that, the profit accrued from the sale of the premix fuel had been used to put up a community school, police station and an on-going police staff accommodation.
According to the assemblyman, who spoke with the GNA in an interview, the Akateng LBC was made up of several ethnic groups, including the Adas, Krobos, Ewes and Fantes among others.
"All of a sudden, the Ada group emerged saying they were those who have been occupying the Chair of the LBC of Akateng," he said.
"So we said the Adas are not the only ethnic group in Akateng and that all the various groups have to come together to elect one person to become Chief Fisherman," he said.
Mr. Agotue said the Ada group however did not understand and went to bring Adjaotor saying he was the right person to become Chief Fisherman.
He said he was there when the National Inland Fisheries Committee in Accra came to Akateng to meet him and the fishermen and disclosed that they had received a petition from one Nene Adjaotor, claiming ownership of the LBC and hence told them to stop supplying the fuel to him (Agotue).
"The National Committee also disclosed that, Adjaotor and his people threatened to set ablaze the fuel if it was supplied to me," he added
According to Agotue, the National Committee implored them to resolve the issue before they could receive the premix fuel supply from Accra. He said the District Security Committee (DISEC) met with the LBC and Nene Adjaotor and advised them to work together to start receiving the supply of the fuel to serve their people to stop the tension.
"We all agreed, met and elected one James Ayittah to head the Akateng LBC but still Adjaotor and his group said they did not like him.
"Now because of the impending confusion, the National Committee is also not supplying us the fuel as a result of which other LBCs sell the fuel to this area at exorbitant prices," he said.
In an interview with Nene Adjaotor, he said the assemblyman wanted to entrench himself as the Chief Fisherman and hence did not want to hand over to him (Adjaotor), the rightful successor.
"So far, as we are fishermen, we have the right to install a chief and we have done that. The Paramount Chief, Nene Sakite II, Konor of Manya Krobo, has endorsed my installation as the Chief Fisherman," he said.
He said he was liaising with the DCE to give a covering letter to allow them (the Ada Group) to form a new Committee, saying "When that is done by next week, fuel will start coming."
Nene Adjaotor however, denied the allegation that they were selling any premix fuel above the approved price since they had not yet been supplied with some.
Togbui Abu Fianu, a Chief of Livakope on the Dwarf Island and a porter of the Boat Owners Association, told the GNA that they preferred the assemblyman to be selling the fuel.
He, therefore, appealed to the government to intervene and ensure that Mr. Agotue is made to manage the fuel.
Mr. Joseph Tetteh Angmor, DCE for Upper Manya krobo, said per the guideline of the fishermen, when a substantive chief dies, they are to elect and not to appoint another person to take the position.
He said he did not know what happened, but Adjaotor went to see the Konor to tell him he was the Chief Fisherman which he also issued a letter endorsing him.
Mr. Angmor said, Adjaotor wrote a letter to the National Inland Fisheries Committee that he was the Chief Fisherman and ordered them to stop supplying the fuel to the Assemblyman.
"Now because of the embargo, there is shortage of premix fuel at Akateng for which the boat owners and the fishermen are not getting fuel to buy and it is creating unnecessary tension and panic in the area," he said.
He said he had advised them to get the committee running in the interim for the fuel to be supplied until the problem is resolved but to no avail, adding that, "the DISEC will still meet with them.
"I have asked the other LBCs not to take undue advantage to hike the prices and I have also told the National Committee not to let the issue affect supply of the fuel to Akateng," he added.