Victor Smith Begs Okyenhene


Photo Reporting: Victor Smith Begs OkyenheneVictor Smith Begs Okyenhene

21 Feb 2013

The outgoing Eastern Regional Minister, Victor Emmanuel Smith, has apologised to the Okyenhene, Osagyefou Amoatia Ofori Panin, on behalf of the regional executives of his party in the aftermath of the visit to the Flagstaff House by members of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs.



The apology comes days after the Eastern regional executives of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) poured venom on the Okyenhene and his colleagues for admonishing President John Dramani Mahama to accept the outcome of disputed election petition before the Supreme Court.

Some of the vituperations sought to castigate not only the Okyenhene, who led the chiefs as the President of the House to the Presidency, but the entire membership of the House made up of eminent chiefs in the Eastern Region.

In a statement issued yesterday, Mr Smith, Ghana’s former Ambassador to the Czech Republic said, “As Regional Minister, I wish to first of all appeal to all factions to control themselves and refrain from engaging in public discussion of what clearly was a misunderstanding of what actually happened during the visit to the President by the chiefs.”

Mr Smith noted in his statement, “The press release by the party’s Regional Executives unfortunately was based on an erroneous belief that I, as Regional Minister, had taken the Regional House of Chiefs to the Presidency for them to request His Excellency to retain me as Regional Minister in the Region. Nothing could be farther from the truth.”

He noted, “I wish therefore to use this platform to set the records straight and to apologize profusely on behalf of the party in the region to the Regional House of Chiefs, and Okyenhene in particular, who was cited in person in the altercations on the airwaves in rather disparaging language.”

Mr Smith sought to denounce claims by his party executives which suggested that he arranged the visit in order for the chiefs to lobby the President for him to be maintained as Minister.

He stated, “I was there as His Excellency’s representative in the region during the courtesy call”, insisting, “What the Okyenhene told the President on the day was not discussed with me ahead of that meeting.”

This, he said, was because “the Presidency had drawn up a schedule for all 10 Regional House of Chiefs to visit with the President” and “this was done to accommodate requests by individual chiefs requesting on their own to pay courtesy calls on the President on his assumption into office.”

He emphasized, “My presence at the Flagstaff House as Regional Minister and the President’s representative was, as part of my job, to brief His Excellency about potential areas of discussion ahead of the courtesy call by Nananom.”

By Charles Takyi-Boadu

Source: Daily Guide/Ghana



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