Members of Fishermen and Boat Owners Association in Biakoye District of the Volta Region have threatened to go on strike for the removal of their District Chief Executive (DCE) over shortage of premix fuel in the area for more than two months.
The fishermen from about 60 riverine communities around Abotoase and Kwamekrom alleged that, the DCE, Comfort Attah is responsible for diverting and hijacking of premix fuel that they (fisher folks numbering about 60,000) depend on to power their boats to work saying, the shortage affected their work.
Chairman of the Association, Vincent Aboagye explained to voltaonlinegh.com that there are three fisher groups in all the sixty communities and each group is headed by a coordinator appointed by the DCE to chair the selling of the premix to them (Fishermen).
He said the DCE promised three tanks of the fuel per week for the communities to be fairly distributed by the coordinators but this has never been the case since the coordinators assumed office.
Mr. Aboagye added that for the past two and half months, no premix was received causing them to struggleto purchase premix from private dealers at higher prices.
“The original price is Ghc7.50p per a local gallon but we are now buying it from private individuals at Ghc8.00. We don’t know why private dealers are selling to us but not from the coordinators.”
One fisherman lamented, “she promised us three tanks per week but has never fulfilled that after she was sworn into office as DCE. She has never come to see us; we’ve not even set our eyes on her before.”
Another, Afatsawo Nyaledzigbor noted, “anytime we have shortage of fuel on the lake, we have to struggle to get fuel from private firms meanwhile, it’s dangerous leaving the passengers on the lake while in search of premix.”
The Coordinator for Abotoase Landing Site, Nash Batali, complained, the DCE is not fair to her people. He disclosed that although the government provides the premix fuel to the area, the DCE rather claims ownership.
“What we are experiencing now is that anytime load comes, when you go closer to the load they will tell, DCE said we should give it to someone, if not the chairman then the vice.”
The Patahene of Tapa Abotoase Traditional Area, Okoforobour Baffour Kwame Asante II speaking on the development noted that, he made efforts to meet the DCE on three occasions but yielded no results.
Meanwhile, Madam Comfort Attah has debunked the allegations saying, she is not in charge of premix fuel in the area but George Dzeble, the Deputy Volta Regional Coordinator of Premix Fuel.
Mr. George in his response noted that there were some challenges from the bulk supplier over the period and that has hindered the delivery of three tanks per week as they have promised the folks. He emphasized that efforts are in place to tackle the development this month.
However the group is demanding the removal of the DCE if what Mr. George said is not seen within the scheduled time.
By: Albert Kuzor/voltaonlinegh.com