A Board member of the Cocoa Marketing Board (CMB) was on Thursday July 20, 2017 heckled by cocoa farmers for attempting to slander the immediate past Chief Executive of COCOBOD Dr. Stephen Opuni.
The Board Member, Nana Obeng Akrofi, alleged in a speech at the 1st anniversary of Saviour Cocoa Farmers Association at Akyem Osiem, in the Eastern region, that Dr. Opuni had looted COCOBOD and distributed government fertilizers to his political cronies.
He said, as a result, COCOBOD is now broke and has had to sell the fertilizers to farmers.
“The world price has been reduced by 1/3rd. Recently, Ivory Coast officials came here to impress on Ghana government to reduce the Cocoa price because they have reduced producer price at Ivory Coast, but the government just took over power so it is very difficult to reduce the price. Someone may ask where the cocoa stabilization fund which was set aside is. When we came Opuni had embezzled all the funds.
“Honestly, there is nothing in that fund.When he realized that his government had lost power, he rushed to sign a cheque to withdraw $400 Million from Cocoa Marketing Board account, so there is nothing in the coffers, so Cocoa farmers must bear with us. On the free fertilizer issues, someone will ask why was it free but now being sold to farmers, the fact of the matter is that Opuni gave out the free fertilizers to his cronies “.
The comments by the CMB board member, who is also the Eastern Regional President of Cocoa and Cashew Nuts Farmers Association, did not go down well with some of the cocoa farmers who immediately stopped him from continuing his address.
The organizers argued that the association is apolitical and therefore could not entertain any kind of political commentary.