Feature Article of Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Columnist: Tawiah, Francis
WHAT IS THE OTUMFUO SAYING ABOUT THE OYOKOHENE'S (KUSI) LAND GUARD AND MACHO MEN SHOOTING AND BUTCHERING THE NATIVE OF AKROFROM IN ATWIMA - KOFORIDUA OVER THEIR LAND WHICH OYOKOHENE WANTS TO SELL FOR FOR HIS PERSONAL INTEREST.
RESIDENTS OF AKROFROM in Atwima Koforidua, Atwima Nwabiagya district of Ashanti are living in constant fear, as they are afraid of being killed or maimed at the least provocation by a land guard. The land guard was hired by one of the parties in a local land dispute. The sordid situation is as a result of a bad blood between the Oyokohene, Nana Agyekum Kusi and the Odikro (caretaker chief) 42-year-old Nana Kwadwo Gyapong Adusa, alias Kwame Owusu, who was enstooled Odikro of Akrofuom on April 8, 1997, who claims his overlord (Oyokohene, who holds the lands in trust for the Asantehene) has suspended him from exercising his functions as Odikro.
The odikro complains that the Oyokohene has suspended him from exercising his functions as Odikro because he had dared to enquire about what percentage of proceeds generated from stool lands is due the Akrofuom stool, after the Golden Stool and the Oyokohene had had their share.
The Oyokohene, known in private life as David Kusi Collins, commonly known as DKC who ran the now defunct Doska Construction Company, is accused of hiring the "killer" (Land guard) in the person of one Kwaku Nkrumah, who has been armed to guard the stool lands and therefore terrorizing and meting out atrocities of different shades to the people.
Reports reaching The Chronicle indicate that Kwaku Nkrumah's duty is to 'shoot and kill' any body who comes near the said stool lands without the express approval of the Oyokohene. Since 2000, about 3,500 plots of land are said to have been sold arbitrarily by the Oyokohene without the involvement of the Odikro.
The atrocities by Kwaku Nkrumah is said to be masterminded by the Oyokohene from whom he derives his powers and has reportedly caused the arrest of about 57 inhabitants, including the Odikro, for one reason or the other using the Buffalo Unit of the Police Service in Kumasi . In the face of these developments, the Odikro conferred with his elders and consequently invoked the great of Oath of Asante (Ntamkese), on the Oyokohene to stop the wanton sale of stool lands for which he has already prepared site plan of the area for the Lands Commission at Nkawie, without recourse to the odikro and his elders. On February 2, 2008, a patrol team instituted by the Odikro chanced upon Kwaku Nkrumah, who was providing protection for workers who were developing a parcel of the land ostensibly allocated by the Oyokohene. The people managed to seize the gun with registration number R113837 from him, but he has managed to get another one.
So far, one ACHEAMPONG AND AKOTO have been killed and three others including; one Kwadwo Fosu and Baffour Dabanka have been shot and maimed in connection with the stool lands by Nkrumah, yet the Akropong and Abuakwa police have not taken any concrete action based on formal complaints lodged with them to this effect. The Abuakwa police are also keeping exhibits of human skeleton exhumed as a result of desecration of the royal cemetery by activities of the Oyokohene and his cohorts. Sergeant Ohene of the Abuakwa Police CID, who is handling the case and keeping the skeleton in police custody, has continuously told The Chronicle that investigations are still underway.
Fresh complaints have been lodged with the Central police in Kumasi, following the shooting of Dabanka on April 7, 2008, by Nkrumah. On April 9, 2008, the Chief Inspector of the Abuakwa police issued him (Dabanka) with a Police medical form for treatment. Dr. Collins Oteng of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), who diagnosed him and treated Dabanka, has since given Dabanka's medical statement to the Abuakwa police, which states that Dabanka had sustained injuries from being hit several times with the butt of a gun and assault.
Meanwhile, the Regional Crime Officer, ACP Bright Oduro, has called for three dockets relating to the atrocities on the Akrofuom stool lands from the Abuakwa police for study and necessary action. He has also ordered the arrest of the all suspects in the said cases following the apathy of the Abuakwa police in pursing the complaints. Kwaku Nkrumah is said to have drawn a hit list and has therefore targeted to "eliminate" seven more people suspected to be standing in the way of the Oyokohene in the sale of stool lands at Akrofrom.
Kwaku Nkrumah's murderous activities are in spite of a bond he signed with the Regional Crime Officer (CID) in September 19, 2006, after he had threatened the life of one Asare Bediako, currently on the hit list of Nkrumah. The case was later settled amicably and Nkrumah was bonded to be of good behaviour thereafter.
The residents of Akrofrom have blamed the situation on the police for not acting on complaints lodged with them regarding atrocities meted out to them by Nkrumah. They have also blamed a Judicial Committee headed by the Kokofuhene, Okotwasuo Barima Offe which is unable to report a purported Ntamkesie (Great Oath of Asante) invoked by the Odikro to the notice of the Asantehene, for determination and settlement. The Oyokohene, who holds himself as the "father," has reportedly caused the arrest of about 57 inhabitants including the Odikro for one reason or the other, using the Buffalo Unit of the Police Service in Kumasi, who are said to be at his beck and call for obvious reasons.
While waiting for the determination of the case before the Kumasi Traditional Council, the Odikro has lodged a complaint with the police in Kumasi and appealed to the Ashanti Police command to cause the arrest of Kwaku Nkrumah, to avert the killing and maiming of innocent people in the community and an imminent bloody clash. Meanwhile, The Chronicle has sighted site plans for the allocation of building plots 7 and 27, Block J at Oyoko Akrofuom and duly signed by the Oyokohene, Nana Agyekum Kusi for the attention and approval of the Regional Lands Secretary of the Lands Commission Secretariat in Kumasi.
Close sources to the committee, which membership include the Atutuehene, Nana Kwabena Abebrese, Oyoko Bremanhene and Awiemhene, Nana Gyebi Appau as well as the Ahenkrohene, Nana Ahenkro Osei, have disclosed that the Committee is yet to arbitrate the case.
Nana Agyekum Kusi in a terse reaction to the allegations denied that Kwaku Nkrumah is terrorizing the people. "It is Kwame Owusu (referring to the Odikro) who is terrorizing the people." According to him, the Odikro is frustrated because he travelled to Libye and returned with nothing, hence his uncompromising stand. He said the Odikro would soon be arraigned before the Kumasi Traditional Council. The Oyokohene has hinted of a possible destoolment of the Odikro.
He would not comment any further as to his relationship with Kwaku Nkrumah or whether he is working for him. Rather, he prefers to meet the reporter personally, which meeting has not been able to come on over two weeks now. At the scheduled time, he would feign being busy or attending a meeting at the Manhyia Palace. A scheduled meeting for last Wednesday did not come on because he had not returned from Accra as promised.
FRANCIS TAWIAH (Duisburg - Germany)