Krobo youth demand apology from Atta Akyea over Eastern university comment

Some youths at Krobo in the Eastern Region have condemned comments by Abuakwa South MP Samuel Atta Akyea, that Akyem instead of Somanya was the best place to build the region’s first public university.

Spokesperson for the group Emmanuel Okrah expressed disappointment with the suggestion that the Krobo area does not deserve a university.

Atta Ayea while speaking on an Accra-based radio station, argued that by the sheer number of residents in the Akyem area, the university should have been in Akyem.

“We are talking about majority rule” he said, stressing that by the principle of representation, it is fair for numbers to influence decisions.

“If you measure the population strength of Somanya as against Akyem Abuakwa and the biggest paramountcy in the Eastern Region, logic alone should inform everybody that the best place to site a university for the Eastern Region should be in Abuakwa South, my constituency, and probably you partner with the Okyehene and have the university.”

Photo: Somanya has a population of more than 20,596 according to a 2013 Data while the Akim Oda in the Akyem traditional area has more than 60,000.

He stretched the argument to the appointments within the NDC government and argued that large populations need larger representation in the executive to influence development to the area.

Once again, per the population of Eastern region, there should have been more eastern representation in the Cabinet, the Abuakwa MP noted.

He discounted the appointment of the Attorney-General Marrietta Oppong Brew-Appiah and the Chief of Staff Julius Debrah saying these positions do not have developmental budgets that can spur progress in the region.

Although of the Finance Minister Seth Terkper comes from Somanya, a town in the Eastern region, Atta Akyea questioned his influence there since his appointment in 2013.

But the Krobo Youths say they are disappointed with his particular analysis on the siting of the university.

They explained the benefits of having a university in the Krobo area are not exclusive to residents there.

Emmanuel Okrah explained economic activity is bound to increase because the location of the university will attract businesses in neighbouring regions to flow into Somanya.

The siting of the first public university in the Eastern region is part of a campaign promise by the NDC government to build one university in every region.

Photo: NDC has promised to build a public university in the Eastern region

There is already two private universities in the region – All Nations University College in Koforidua and the Presbyterian University College in Abetifi-Kwahu.

The NDC pledge sparked predictable and intense lobbying over the location of the university.

Nene Sakitey II, Konor of Manya Krobo Traditional Area, in August 2013 told the Eastern regional Minister to prevail on government to site the proposed Eastern Regional University at Krobo Odumase.

He said the NDC government ought to reward area for the years of loyalty and allegiance to the party.

Nene Sakitey said this when the Presidential Committee responsible for the implementation of the Public University in the Eastern Region called on him at his palace.

“The Committee must rethink its decision and locate the university here,” he said.

Nene Sakitey pledged to offer as much as a 1,000 acre-land if that much was needed for the project.

“If it is 200, 500 or 1,000 acres of land that you need, we can offer you that under my strong leadership.”

In the Akyem area, the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council had moved to establish University College of Agriculture and Environmental Studies (UCAES) in 2006 and was hoping to catch government’s eye to partner the traditional council.

Atta Akyea believes political consideration was the final decider for the university going to Somanya.

It is “because they [government] see us [Akyems] as electoral liability, they cited the university in Somanya and not in Okyehene’s kingdom.

The Minority in Parliament during the debate on the University of Environment and Sustainable Development Bill (2014) in June, registered their protest against government’s decision to site Somanya, capital of the Yilo Krobo District as the location of the university.

There will be satellite campuses at Donkorkrom, capital of Kwahu Afram Plains North District.

The deputy Minority leader, Dominic Nitiwul, said Somanya and Donkorkrom are strongholds of the NDC in the region held by the opposition NPP.

For the Bimbilla MP the Eastern regional capital, Koforidua should have been chosen for the location.

“With all the public universities that the previous government had started, they all started in the regional capitals and satellites campuses spread across the regions.”

Story by Ghana|

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