Two chiefs disagree over site for market

BY: Samuel K. Obour

Construction of a market complex at Dokrokyiwa, the second largest town in the newly-created Ayensuano District in the Eastern Region is in limbo following disagreement between two chiefs over its site.

The market complex comprises lockable stores, a crèche, a lorry park, police, fire service posts and a place of convenience.

While Baffuor Opoku Agyeman of the Larteh family insisted that the old market in a partially water-logged area in the middle of the town should be renovated, Baffuor Anom, who heads the Dawus, objected and had promised to give out land for the construction of the new market.

Although Dokrokyiwa is within Akyem Abuakwa, the town is being inhabited mainly by the people from Larteh and Dawu, both in Akuapem, who migrated to the area centuries ago for farming.

About 10 years ago, similar differences between the two tribal heads led to the establishment of a senior high school planned for Dokrokyiwa at Coaltar, the nearby town.

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At a marathon meeting organised at Dokrokyiwa on Thursday by the assembly to iron out their differences, both tribal heads vowed not to allow the market to be put up at a place other than where they had chosen.

Explaining his stand, Baffuor Agyeman said there was nothing wrong with the location of the current market, which was put up by his predecessors long ago, and that it could be renovated to better serve the public, adding that there was no way he would agree to move the market to a new location.

Baffuor Agyeman’s position was supported by the traders of the old market, who took turns to tell the gathering that they would not move to any new site should the present market be relocated.

Baffuor Anom, on the other hand, said the new site that would not be in the centre of the town would be more suitable for the complex market.

That, he pointed out, would also make it possible for the town to expand.

Earlier, the co-ordinating director of the assembly, Mr Samuel Badu Baiden, who deputised for the District Chief Executive, Mr Ofori Darko, had to spend about an hour to drum home the need to relocate the old market.

According to him, limited space at the old market,part of which was always flooded would not make it economically viable for it to be renovated.

But after a lot of persuasion, especially from the chairman of the meeting, Rev. Samuel Aboagye Apenteng, who is in charge of the local Presbyterian Church, the assembly member, Mr Alex Yeboa, as well as other assembly members and opinion leaders failed to change the stand taken by the two chiefs, the co-ordinating director gave the chiefs three days to agree on the issue.

That, he said, would make it possible for the funding of the new market to be covered by the assembly’s 2014 budget, otherwise the project would be sent to another town within the district.

By A. Kofoya-Tetteh/Daily Graphic/Ghana