Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, James Avedzi
The Asikuma Odoben Brakwa District Assembly in the Central Region says it used funds meant for the assembly to pay for ritual items to pacify the gods before a newly constructed market for the area could be used by traders.
According to the District Chief Executive (DCE) of the area, Isaac Odoom, the Assembly had to oblige to calls from residents for the rituals to be performed before traders could occupy the market.
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This came to light at Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee sitting on Tuesday.
Mr Odoom, who could not disclose the amount of money that was spent on the rituals, told the Chairman of the Committee, James Avedzi, that the items included a lamb and schnapp.
“In the Breman Benin market, after the handing over was done, the people said they are not going to use the place simply because they are afraid to use it so the assembly had to pacify the gods. I don’t know why they refused to sell at the place but I heard that they said if they went there to sell, they may die and so as a result of that, they actually informed the assembly to pacify the gods which we have done and prayer too was said.
“It has allowed them to enter the market to sell. They have a traditional person in the community and items were bought for him to pacify the gods. The items included a lamb and some Schnapp. I can’t give the prices now because it is a traditional thing,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Committee, Mr Avedzi was of the view that the assembly did nothing wrong in funding the rituals since it could benefit the assembly economically.
“It is the communities that demanded from the assembly to do that. But I think the assembly was looking at it from the economic point of view; ‘let’s give them this [pacification items] for them to perform the rituals then the market can be used which we can go and take our tolls for more revenue’,” he said.