There was drama at the Swedru Main Lorry Park during a grand durbar to climax this year’s Akwanbo festival of the chiefs and people of Agona Swedru last Saturday.
This was when the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) and the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area were compelled to smoke the peace pipe in public.
The Chief of the town, Ogidigram Okrupi Nana Kobina Asiedu Botwe II, in the presence of dignitaries and the general public, openly chastised the two for the disunity that had existed between them for sometime now.
Not even the presence of the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, who represented the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, could deter him from expressing his displeasure at the bad blood between the two political figures in the constituency.
It is an open secret within the corridors of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Agona West Constituency that there is hostility between Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, the MCE, and Mrs Cynthia Maamle Morrison, the MP, who has also been the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection since 2017.
According to information gathered from sources within the party, several attempts by party bigwigs, high-profile personalities and even some chiefs to reconcile the two politicians had been unsuccessful because both individuals had taken entrenched positions.
It appeared the chief’s submission came to them by surprise as it was visibly written on their faces, including other dignitaries seated on the dais, since they were not expecting him to speak about it in public
Nana Botwe’s submission was greeted with a thunderous applause and cheers from a section of the public at the event grounds whose response suggested that they were in agreement with him.
Nana Botwe, while delivering his welcome address, descended heavily on the MP and the MCE and called on them to immediately cease fire, since the current situation was negatively affecting the growth and development of the entire municipality.
He noted that the unending truce between them would not benefit the people of the area, since what the electorate expected was for them to come together to work towards addressing the myriad of challenges confronting the municipality.
Using the analogy of two elephants fighting with the grass ultimately suffering, he noted that as the MCE and the MP were at each other’s throat, it was the people whom they were to serve who were rather suffering.
He called on the party leadership to as quickly as possible take steps to settle the impasse between them, since their actions had slowed the progress of the town and the municipality as a whole, stressing that if the two of them did not put their heads together, Swedru and Agona West would not be able to achieve their desired development.
Politics of deceit
He called on politicians to desist from the politics of deceit, since the people of the town were fed up with the many promises made to them which were still yet to be fulfilled, saying that “Swedru is a major town in the country but lacks basic facilities that would give it a facelift”.
He said “in the absence of the Cape Coast-Accra highway during the Nkrumah regime, all people en route to Accra had to go through Agona Swedru before He decried the poor state of roads in the town which was a great source of worry to commuters and drivers, stressing that drivers in particular were spending so much money on spare parts due to the deplorable state of the Swedru town roads.
“We are living witnesses of the administration of both the NPP and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and that we are tired of them, since both parties have not done much to deal with the challenges of the town,” he lamented.
He warned that if the roads and the street lights in the town were not fixed, the people would not vote in the upcoming general election in 2020.
In response to Nana Botwe’s request, Mrs Assan and Mrs Morrison openly shook hands in the presence of the public signalling an end to their feud which received a wild applause from the gathering.
In their remark, they openly apologised to the chief and the people and pledged to chart a new path and forge ahead in unity to champion the growth of the entire municipality.