The Omanhene of Edina Traditional Area, Nana Kojo Conduah VI, has threatened to close down the Elmina Castle if authorities at the Museums and Monuments Board refuse to pay royalties due them by the close of this week.
He revealed that the traditional council yesterday sent its last warning to the board, waiting for a favourable response.
The vociferous Omanhene made this known on Asafo FM, a local radio station in Elmina, yesterday.
According to him, royalties due the traditional council stopped coming with the assumption of power by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in 2009 without any apparent reason.
“We can boast of the first castle in our town and the history of Ghana can never be written without the mentioning of Elmina but what have we got to show as an ancient historic town?” he asked.
“Look at how appalling and dirty the castle looks now. What do the authorities use the proceeds derived from tourists’ patronage for,?” he further quizzed.
He stressed that the traditional council will soon take full charge of the castle.
“We don’t have a single representative on the monument board. We don’t know anything about this great asset on our own soil because they always go and sit there and make decisions for us. I have personally been complaining about this for far too long and this time we are taking the bull by the horn,” he added.
In the estimation of Nana Conduah VI, the decision to lock up the castle was supposed to have been carried out July last year, but the Omanhene of Oguaa Traditional Area, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, intervened.
He said the Oguaamanhene promised them that government will take half of the cost the council will incur in the celebration of Bakatue annually with an additional payment of GH₵1,000 to the council every month.
But, he said, government failed to honour its promise.
According to him, the traditional council only started receiving from government in 2002 after he personally appealed to then President John Agyekum Kufuor.
He stated that President Kufuor subsequently directed that the traditional council be given 20% of the proceeds with 30% going to the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) Municipal Assembly with the remaining 50% to government.
Unfortunately, the NDC government upon assumption of office in 2009 stopped that arrangement.
“I personally invited the then minister of tourism on several occasions to discuss the issue but all to no avail,” he disclosed.
“I know they will call in the police if I embark on my intended action so I have already reported my intention to the police,” they are cheating us and we will not allow this to continue any longer,” he warned added.
The chief speaking on Adom FM’s Morning Show, ‘Dwaso Nsem’ on Tuesday confirmed that he has indeed threatened to close down the heritage site.
According to him, the closure would take effect from Friday, 27th January, 2017 if the managers of the castle fail to pay the 10% revenue due the Elmina stool.