Members of the Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut farmers Association in the Brong-Ahafo Region have petitioned government against the continuous stay in office of Nana Peter E. Damoah, the incumbent Regional Chief Farmer.
According to them, Nana Damoah and his team of executive members had over-stayed their tenure of office to the detriment of members’ welfare and the general progress of the Association.
They stressed the Chairman had been in office for over two decades, hence, the need for him and his executives to leave the scene for a new team of executives to steer the affairs of the group in the region, the members added.
The members, on behalf of all farmers in the region therefore appealed to the government through Mr. Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, the Regional Minister to intervene for Nana Damoah to step down with immediate effect.
This was contained in a ten-point petition signed by 20 out of over 50 members who converged at the conference room of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to present it to Mr. Asomah-Cheremeh to ensure “Nana Damoah does not go alone” but the dissolution of the entire executives to pave way for the election of new officers.
According to the petition, several communications had been made “to this effect that their tenure of office is long overdue”, citing one of such communication that was written on the June 9, 2017, in addition to “the earlier notification”.
It said Nana Damoah had admitted that “his tenure of office expired for a long time, almost 16 years now but no such compliance or adherence”.
The petition implied the Regional Chief Farmer had conceded that he now had no legal basis to hold himself as the Chairman of the Association in Brong-Ahafo but had refused to step down.
“We wish to state that the Chairmanship position is not his bonafide property and therefore must give way for fresh elections to avert potential chaos in the region”, the petition demanded, and therefore announced the intention of the farmers “to embark on a massive demonstration in the region if he fails to step down”.
It indicated the refusal of Nana Damoah to bow out honourably “is a clear abuse of the Association’s constitutional provision which is potential recipe for chaos” and appealed to Mr. Asomah-Cheremeh to protect his hard earned reputation by redeeming himself “from the way Nana Damoah is trying to drag you to this picture”.
This is because “Our information is that Nana Damoah is purported to have said that he is in very good terms with you, the Regional Minister, hence this attitude of refusal to end his stewardship honourably”, the petition explained.
It stated that they would not allow individuals to disturb the peace and harmony that the region is enjoying due their personal interest and concluded that the Minister of Food and Agriculture, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board and all stakeholders had accordingly been notified about the matter.
Mr. Asomah-Cheremeh received the petition on behalf of the government and said as a politician and the Regional Minister, he could not meddle in a matter that was supposed to be an internal issue of an Association.
He however assured the farmers that their concerns had been noted and gave them two weeks from the Monday, March 19, 2018 to come for the appropriate response.
Meanwhile, in a telephone interview later with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Nana Damoah reacted that the petitioners were not members of the Association and therefore had no basis to call for either his stepping down or the dissolution of the executives and fresh election.
He argued the issue was not about over-staying his tenure of office and refusal to step down and pave way for fresh election.
But rather, Nana Damoah added it was the national Chief Farmer who must call for the election, and assured that he would leave the scene whenever the national Chief Farmer set the date and the stage for that (regional election).