The chiefs and people of Atwima Akropong in the Ashanti Region have protested against the proposed sitting of the capital of the newly-created Atwima Nwabiagya North District Assembly at Barekese with a strong appeal to the government to rescind the decision.
As part of its policy to create new districts in the country, the Akufo-Addo government is said to have proposed Barekese as the capital of the new district, which is created from the Atwima Nwabiagya District.
But the elders of Atwima Akropong see the choice of Barekese as the administrative headquarters of the district as politically unfortunate and inappropriate, blaming it on the machinations of some officials of the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
Enraged at the development, hundreds of disgruntled residents in Akropong and other neighbouring communities took to the streets last Friday to register their displeasure and appealed to the government to move the district capital to Atwima Akropong, considering massive facilities in the area.
The demonstrators, who marched through the principal streets of the town under tight security, wielded placards with inscriptions some of which read, ‘President wohye yen bo, kae’, ‘Benito, Aden?’, ‘no Akropong, no district capital’, ‘Nana remember 2020’ and ‘restore the district’.
Atwima Akropong is said to be a historical town which used to be the district capital in 1952 when the Atwima Nwabiagya by-election was held which saw the opposition, National Liberation Movement (NLM), led by Baffour Akoto defeating the Convention People’s Party (CCP).
In a speech, Nana Ataani Amankwa-Pam, Akwamuehene at Akropong, stated that more than two thirds of the chiefs and people from other Atwima Nwabiagya towns support Akropong to be made the district capital instead of Barekese.
“Historically, it was the district capital of Atwima Nwabiagya after Kumasi West District was divided into two, namely Atwima Nwabiagya District with its capital at Akropong-Ashanti and Ahafo Ano North with its capital at Tepa-Ashanti,” the chief said.
The capital of Atwima Nwabiagya was reportedly moved to Nkawie through the machinations of a member of the Presidential Commission during Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s regime. The town was perceived to be against Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s Convention People’s Party (CPP).
Nana Ataani Amankwa-Pam said unlike Barekese, Akropong boasts of many infrastructural facilities like the Osei Tutu Senior High School, a magistrate court, police station, libraries, great basic schools, good sewage systems, road networks, water, play grounds and other necessary facilities that can be developed to befit a modern district capital.
In matters of revenue generation in 2017, the chief claimed Atwima Akropong collected GH¢3,958, while Barekese generated GH¢3,444.
These and several other businesses and institutions, according to the people, make Atwima Akropong a suitable town to be made the district capital for the Atwima Nwabiagya North Assembly for massive development.