The Burma Camp, a pro-NPP group in the Northern regional capital Tamale has locked up the office of the School Feeding programme Monday.
The grouping is accusing Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Otiko Afisa Djaba of sidestepping the authority of the programme’s regional coordinator, Madam Felicia.
They also claim the minister has taking up the responsibility of the regional coordinator and appointing only Gonjas as Zonal Coordinators of the programme.
According to them, out of the seven zonal coordinators in the region, the minister has appointed five people who are Gonjas and are at the same time caterers. In their view, all those holding the double positions are uneducated and cannot construct simple grammar which is in shape contrast with the terms laid down for the appointment of a zonal coordinator.
They lamented the power play between the regional minister on one hand, and the regional chairman and the regional coordinator on the other, saying the intent of the minister was to collapse the programme in the region which they vow to resist.
Rancour over the local leadership of the program has been heating up in the region and intensified after the regional chairman, Bugri Naabu led a women group to disrupt activities of the Gender minister accusing her of disrespecting his authority by coming into the region without notifying him.
The group after a conference earlier today marched to the Regional Coordinating Council where the office is located, and in the full glare of security guards launched a violent attack on workers of the programme before forcing them out of the office.
No arrest has yet been made.
In August 2015 the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection became the oversight ministry for the GSFP through a presidential directive to deepen the focus of the program in ensuring that the core objectives of the GSFP are achieved and to better align it to the national social protection strategy.
The Ministry since the transfer of the GSFP has initiated interventions to transform the program. These include the establishment of an electronic payment system for caterers to curtail the delays of transfers of funds, revision of caterer contracting and procurement guideline for caterer engagement. An independent operational assessment has been undertaken with the support from UNICEF, WFP and the World Bank to guide and further reforms to be undertaken by the ministry.