The Concerned Youth of Axim in the Nzema East Municipality (NEMA) in the Western Region have intimated that the former Member of Parliament (MP) and Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC), Madam Catherine Abelema Afeku has done nothing untoward with regards to the recent Auditor General’s findings as purported by the Chairman of the Axim Kundum Planning Committee, Nana Osei Nkwantabisa.
They pointed out that the Chairman has falsely twisted the report that has not mentioned any chief nor any palace into a shouting contest ostensibly to vilify the former Minister and MP for which they stand to clear her of wrongful accusations.
“For the records, once again, we are witnesses to the fact that the 2018 Kundum celebrations had celebrities whom some of us in our life could only dream of watching them perform live in Nzemaland. Indeed, the adverts and flyers that went round mentioned the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture as the main sponsor”, they recounted.
The Group who made their statement at a press conference in Axim also issued a 7-day ultimatum to the Chairman of the Axim Kundum Planning Committee who is also the Nkosohene of the Area to retract and apologise for dragging the name of the former MP and the highly recognised Kundum festival into disrepute.
They therefore called on all residents of Axim, both home and abroad to join hands in restoring sanity and dignity in the Kundum festival and the enviable heritage of Axim and Nzema as a whole.
It would be recalled that Auditor General’s Report (2018) cited the former Minister for spending GHc 200,000.00 on the Kundum festival while the Chairman of the Axim Kundum Planning Committee, Nana Nkwantabisa having media engagements and insisting that the said money was not spent on the Kundum festival as stated in the Report.
Mr Theophilus Musah, Spokesperson for the Group recalled that the presence of Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, MP for Ellembelle and that of Madam Catherine Abelema Afeku spiced up the Nkroful Kundum festival celebration with sterling performances from Agya Koo, Patapaa, Kaakyire Kwame Appiah and Lilwin among other hosts of artists and actors.
“The question we ask our chiefs is, did any of these artists ask them for payments after their performances? The answer is NO; all the costs were borne by the Ministry of Tourism. It is important to note that the Auditor General’s Report did not accuse any chief of taking money, nor did it accuse any Kundum Committee Chairman of receiving money from the Ministry”, he queried.
He clarified the twisted explanation by the Axim Kundum Planning Committee because the Report mentioned 1st-9th September, so automatically the report was talking about a particular Kundum festival, and set on record that the 2018 Axim Kundum activities did not begin on the 1st but rather 3rd-9th according to the words of the Chairman which were published in the media.
Mr Musah further expressed shock at the assertions of the Chairman and said, “In any case, is the Axim Kundum Committee Chairman saying that monies released within a particular date cannot be used to finance activities on a different date?”
He opined that they will not allow the Chairman to denigrate the former MP who through her efforts, projected the Kundum festival to the extent of winning the prestigious Western Event of the Year Award at the Western Regional Entertainment Awards.
According to him, what is more painful but amazing, was that a theatre block which has been renovated with donations from the Kundum festival has now become a personal project for Nana Nkwantabisa.
The Group therefore petitioned the office of the Paramount Chief of the Lower Axim Traditional Council and the office of the Acting President of the Upper Axim Traditional Council to destool Nana Nkwantabisa as the Nkosohene of the Area and to remove him as the Chairman of the Kundum Planning Committee respectively.
Source: Seth Ameyaw