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FSG in-fighting: "I never took a farthing from accounts" - Duke Tagoe

"The General Secretary of anti-GMO group Food Sovereignty Ghana – whom the group’s Chairperson"

Source: Duke Tagoe-Former Ge

Posted on : Tue 09 Dec 2014

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The General Secretary of anti-GMO group Food Sovereignty Ghana – whom the group’s Chairperson says has been sacked for failing to account for funds belonging to FSG – has rebuffed the allegation.

A statement issued by Ali-Masmadi Jehu-Appiah on Tuesday December 9, 2014 said the Executive Council for FSG decided at a meeting to sack Duke Tagoe over his “non-cooperation, negligence, and inability to properly account for project funds under his responsibility, and persistent rude behaviour towards the leadership of FSG and other organisations friendly to FSG.”

In a rejoinder, however, Tagoe said he never took “a farthing” of the funds in questions and also parried the litany of allegations levelled against him.

“…I did not keep even a farthing of the stated funds. It is therefore out of place and absolutely unfair to accuse me of inability to properly account for project funds.”

Below is the full rejoinder of Mr Duke Tagoe:

RE: SPECIAL ANNOUCEMENT: FSG REMOVES DUKE TAGOE FROM POST

Upon consultation with the active membership of the campaign for farmers’ rights in Ghana, I am compelled to officially bring to your attention some very important developments in the wake of the recent wrangling within the administrative set up of Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG).

THE PROBLEM:

The meeting held by five (5) people on 25th October 2014 christened “Executive Council Meeting” that passed the resolution to remove me from post was not attended by any of the registered directors of the FSG as there was misinformation of the date on which that meeting was to be held.

From the proceedings of that meeting as reflected in the minutes of that meeting, it was Ali Masmadi Jehu Appiah who called into the meeting from his base in Belgium and threatened that unless I am removed as General Secretary he was going to resign.

The minutes of that meeting was written by him with the resolutions he termed as “unanimous” and circulated it himself to the media.

Five (5) people namely; Nana Ama Amamoo, Ras Nkrabea a.ka Melvin Palmer, Ras Zewu, Lawrence Lamptey and Elvis Adjei held that meeting. Nana Ama Amamoo only recently returned from her base in the UK and her presence at that meeting was her first since the campaign started.

Mr John Yaw Opoku, the legal representative of the FSG had an ear problem and was at the ENT hospital on that day.

The issues raised against me:

1. Non-cooperation:
After they had “voted” me out of office, Ali Masmadi Jehu Appiah instructed Elvis from his base in Belgium to come to me for my resignation letter and a resignation letter of Isaac Kweku Dadzie, from the FSG.

The fact of the matter is this. On the documents at the office of the Registrar General in Ghana; I am a Director of the FSG, and so is Kweku Dadzie. The third Director who is Ara Oforiwa, no more communicates with the organization due to unsavoury language used against her by Mr. Jehu Appiah. I thought it very strange for an appointed Chairman of an organization to unilaterally demand the resignation of two Directors who had registered an organization.

Negligence:

Ali Masmadi throws in negligence. His explanation stems from my inability to participate in an event hosted by the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD).

I had circulated the invitation to CIKOD to every member of the organisation and had made phone calls asking members to turn out for that brainstorming session organized by CIKOD. Many of the FSG members could not attend; because some were in school and others had work engagements. I was equally held at work.

I had also explained my circumstances to Mr Ben Guri Executive Director of CIKOD. In the middle of the accusation, Mr Guri wrote a correspondence to the FSG affirming my active participation in all events held by his outfit.

Inability to Properly Account For Project Funds

In February 2o14, Bread for the World assisted the FSG to hold a workshop on farmers’ rights and food sovereignty in Ghana. I signed as the project officer on behalf of the FSG. However, the disbursement of the funds to the media and the participants at the event was undertaken by the Ara Oforiwa, Treasurer of the FSG.

Following that event, it was realised that although names and signatures were taken from journalists and participants on the attendance sheet, the treasurer failed to collect same for the actual recipients of stipends. I raised objections to this unfortunate development. I organised members to resolve the problem by moving round to get signatures from the participants they could reach from their different locations.

CIKOD:

The Centre for Indegenous Knowledge and Organisational Development had given Food Sovereignty Ghana 16,000 Ghana Cedis to organise events around the International Solidarity Day with farmers held on April 17, 2014. The FSG had decided at its steering committee meeting that Ras Aswad Nkrabea, a.k.a Melvin Palmer, be the point person to organise the event and a portion of this funding was handed over to him. Aswad Nkrabea had completely refused to account for the money given him to organise the event in spite of calls on him to do so at several meetings of the steering committee.

As stated above, I did not keep even a farthing of the stated funds. It is therefore out of place and absolutely unfair to accuse me of inability to properly account for project funds, in a meeting facilitated by Aswad Nkrabea, who is the man failing to make available accounts on how the money was disbursed.

Persistent Rude Behaviour towards the Leadership of FSG and Other Organisations Friendly to FSG.

The leadership of the FSG was made up of me as Deputy Chairperson. Ali Masmadi Jehu Appiah as chairman, Mr John Yaw Opoku was our legal representative, Isaac Kweku Dadzie was our Secretary and Jason Tutu served as Communications Director. Aswad Nkrabea was the Director of Mobilization.

Mr Kweku Dadzie – Secretary; Mr. John Yaw Opoku - the legal representative; and Mr Jason Tutu have all resigned on account of Mr. Jehu_Appiah’s unwarranted attacks on me. His protracted bellicose attitude towards myself and, this immediate action of circulating untruths about me to the media and our partners has again led to the immediate resignation of Mr. Sela Buame today from his position as substantive secretary.

The allies of the FSG included the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, The Centre for Indigenous Knowledge in Organisational Development and the Convention Peoples Party CPP and several others. I have and continue to enjoyed the most unflinching support and very cordial relationships with these organisations.

As stated above, there was no legitimate reason for Mr. Jehu Appiah to go around on a smear campaign against my personality. I therefore entreat all persons and organizations involve in the struggle to go beyond the façade of accusations being peddled by him.

This over reaching posture of the Belgium based Chairman; peppered with what seems a clear totalitarian attitude has achieved no end but sheer disenchantment and dismemberment of this noble front that we toiled to build in Ghana.

Duke Tagoe
Former General Secretary
Food Sovereignty Ghana.

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