Residents in communities along the Akyem Apedwa-Nsawem road have called on President Nana Akufo Addo to speak to Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin whose alleged interference in chieftaincy and land issues they believe could lead to tribal conflict between the predominantly Akuapem area and the Akyems.
The Okyenhene who is claiming ownership of lands in these areas aside from being in land dispute with the people in the said communities also hold firm that he should have the final say on who leads them as chiefs in these communities.
At Akufokrom, the Akwamu Paramountcy destooled Nana Duodu Kwao over various breaches of the norms governing the stool and blatantly disregarding the process for pacification instituted by the Queen Mother after a High Court ruled and gave them the jurisdiction on the matter. Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin called the factions and publicly declared the decision by the Akwamu paramountcy null and void.
“Traditionally, every stool has its spiritual head and source, for the Okyenhene to think that he has any authority to decide who rules people who are not Akyems is a travesty and a complete disregard for traditional codes and we will resist it even at the peril of our lives”, the family spokesperson, Nene Specks fumed.
Despite calling for calm and demanding that the aggrieved party resort to due process in resolving the matter, deep throat source has revealed that the Akwamu Paramountcy has been gutted by the interference of the Okyenhene and feels undermining their decision is a complete disregard of the heritage, linage and history of the people of Akufokrom.
But for the intervention of some individuals who want their names unmentioned, the illegal decision of the Okyenhene could have erupted into violence. The community now sits on tenterhooks because the other faction intends to install a chief following instructions from the Akwamu Paramountcy.
The same issue of interference in chieftaincy issues arose in Kyekyere where after a decade of the Okyenhene imposing a chief on them, the people took the bold step to install one they wanted. This decision has led to several threats and intimidation aimed at the current chief who has vowed to resist any external interference in matters relating to their chieftaincy and lands.
Currently at the court with Okyenhene over the ownership of the land, Okunini Gyebi Kwame Ababio II who is on record to have declared war on land guards has suffered police intimidation in the Region, including the detention of his people in cases they report, while the accused parties, including land guards in a Task Force that claims to be operating in the name of the Okyenhene are made to go scot free.
At Teacher Mantey, the Akyem Abuakwa traditional Council led the appointment of Barima Okofo Kyekye II as chief of the area in May 2021 despite the fac,t that the people are not Akyem’s but Akuapems who resettled there and bought the land from the Chief of Apedwa.
The Chief who has since been rejected by majority of the people remains ineffective due to the divisive nature of his enstoolment and that has led to an uneasy calm in the area with the potential to escalate.
Investigations has revealed that this phenomenon cuts across almost all the Akuapem and Krobo Communties along the Apedwa Nsawem roads, it is either the chief is installed by the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council, led by the Okyenhene or he would know no peace.
When it is not about Chieftaincy issues, it is about land litigation and violent clashes with land guards branded as Task Force. Named Susubiribi Task Force, the group is made up of well-built and usually armed young men known to be land guards.
Kweku Ablodepe, a resident of Amanase, a Krobo community who recently clashed with the Task Force believes that the aggressive assault of lands that have judgments dating back to the 19th century in favor of the current occupants has everything to do with the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council taking undue advantage of Nana Addo’s presidency to not only expand their territories but also impose themselves on people who should be independent of them.
“I am firm that the impunity with which they are behaving has everything to do with Nana Addo in office, he may not be aware, he may not approve it, but it is glaring that they draw the boldness to flout the law from this connection.
“It is therefore important that our president acts swiftly because people have had enough and are ready to fight back”
Most of the communities have decided to fight back against the onslaught of the land guards because their livelihood depends on it.
“If our president meant everything he said at Kwehu during the Easter celebrations about tribal conflict, the we thent to draw his attention to one being instigated at his backyard so that he takes swift intervention”, he added
More to come…