Since January 2011, PPEP has undertaken several projects in Buem traditional area including the renovations of school blocks, Girls’ Education Awareness, Girls Empowerment Education, Diabetes Prevention Education, drilling and renovation of boreholes, sports, school-feeding, and prevention of deforestation among many others.
All the projects have now grounded to a halt, a situation that is causing considerable pain and anguish among the youth.
According to a 24-year-old SHS graduate, Kwame Dompreh, he was devastated after being turned away when he went to solicit for a loan from the fund. Many others who spoke to The Ghanaian Times on conditions of anonymity said many of the youths in Buem-Baika, were now jobless as a result of the cessation of projects being undertaken by PPEP.
The Ghanaian Times also learned that the school-feeding programme for the community was halted much earlier after the Tree of Life NGO (a subsidiary of PPEP) which provided $900 for the programme, found out that the children were being under-fed. The said amount was paid into an account every month Nana Otibribri controlled – and administered by MP Ashiamah.
In 2011, Dr. Arnold was inducted into the Dangbea Royal Clan of Buem with the stool name Nana Bloti Omanboyo I (Chief Father Patriot), for his tremendous contributions to the development of the Buem area.
BUEM PARAMOUNT QUEENMOTHER
When contacted, the Paramount Queenmother of the Buem traditional area, Nana Appewbea II, confirmed the story but said a series of ‘conflict resolution’ meetings were ongoing to resolve the matter.
“For now, I would want you to wait for a while whilst we finish with our report and then I can get back to you,” she told The Ghanaian Times last Tuesday.
However, in a letter dated March 16, 2015, Nana Appewbea eulogised Dr. Arnold, describing him as “one of the most highly-respected individuals ever to come to the assistance of the Buem people,” adding that she was shocked and saddened by the failure of Ashiamah and Nana Otibribi to account for the Buem loan.
The Queen assured the board of directors of PPEP, his family and US that “no harm will come to Dr. Arnold”.
However, the MP Ashiamah refused to talk to The Ghanaian Times when reached. Several calls and messages to his phone lines also went unanswered.
But when The Ghanaian Times reached Nana Otibribi in his California base in the US (he has relocated from Arizona) on Saturday, he denied the allegations though he was silent on the missing vehicles.
“These are mere allegations. If the PPEP know what they are accusing me of is the truth, why didn’t they raise the issue here in the US, because I’m under their nose here,” he said.
He was particularly concerned about the land issue, insisting that he didn’t sign a fraudulent deed on the land. “The land is for me – not for Osekele. He should take the matter to court and prove it if he thinks otherwise,” he stressed.
Dr. Arnold is an American micro-finance advocate, philanthropist and educationist, whose works in micro-financing and virtual education and has been cited as national models 10 times in the US Congressional Records and honoured twice at the White House.
At the moment, there is a conflict resolution meeting taking place at Bododa, the paramount seat – which is the head of all Bueman communities, in a bid to resolve the issue, which could pave way for PPEP to continue its development of Buem.
However, the MP was reported to have ‘stormed’ out of the last meeting when he was being subjected to questions on the micro-finance fund among other issues of concern.