Bantamahene, Baffuor Owusu Amankwatia VI (left) & Asantehene Otumfuor Osei Tutu II
Kumasi Traditional Council has set up a development council to champion cause of development from the national kitty to Ashanti Region.
Members of over 70 suburban and divisional chiefs say the region has been stifled of development despite its huge contribution to national growth.
Divisional chiefs are the steering committee members of the council which has kicked-started its operations.
They have vowed to demand from government, specific development projects within the framework of a proposed 20-year blueprint.
Bantamahene, Baffuor Owusu Amakwatia VI, who has been speaking to the issue says they are appalled by poor road networks and general lawlessness in Kumasi.
“It’s not fair that when you go to Accra, what you see in Accra [and] you come to Kumasi and its different.
“Sometimes when somebody tells you that Kumasi is the second city after Accra, you don’t believe it.
“We had the chance to look at the road development for the whole of Ghana and in terms of ratings when you start from the bottom, Kumasi is the number three,” he disclosed.
According to him, the Chiefs are worried about what they say is the widening development gap between Kumasi and Accra.
Such sentiments prompted formation of the Kumasi Development Council whose membership is mainly made of chiefs to discuss development issues.
Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has designated two Thursdays in every month for council meetings.
Baffuor Amankwatia says Kumasi has suffered years of neglect despite playing a major role in national economic development agenda.
“Seriously when you look at the resources that come from Kumasi [Ashanti Region], I don’t think we deserve that.
“We produce cocoa, we produce timber; we produce gold and now we are going into bauxite so I believe that we deserve the fair share of the national cake.”
According to Baffuor Amakwatia VI, chiefs will, henceforth, demand and accept projects only if they meet expectation and requirement of Kumasi Development Council.
“Nananom [chiefs] are putting up a 20-year development plan; how we want Kumasi to look like in the next 20-years so that whatever development that we are going to do in Kumasi will follow that blueprint,” says Bantamahene.
“It’s not going to be like we are doing a fly over then the government will come [and say] we can’t do the flyover so we are doing a small street for you here. No. Nananom are not going to accept it anymore.
“If you can’t do the flyover, you stop it. That’s the only way that we can bring Kumasi to the level that it used to be,” he continued.