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General News of Monday, 25 January 1999

Source: --

Factions in Tema chieftaincy dispute clash at Manhean

Tema, (Greater Accra) 25 Jan. '99,

One person was slashed on the head with a machete and several others received lacerations from whips when two factions in the Tema chieftaincy dispute clashed at Tema Manhean on Friday. Fighting broke out when supporters of Nii Adjei Kraku the second, and his Asafoatsemen, armed with whips attempted to stop a press conference called by Nii Adjetey Kraku the third, claiming that Nii Adjetey was not the chief of Tema.

When journalists arrived for the press conference at 0900 hours about 12 Asafoatsemen from Nii Adjei's side had blocked the entrance to the venue and warned them not to listen to Nii Adjetey otherwise there will be be bloodshed. They were adamant to the journalists' explanation that they could not be stopped from performing their constitutional duty, since the other chief also has the right to be heard. In the midst of the dialogue, a supporter of Nii Adjetey was attacked with a whip by one of the Asafoatsemen which degenerated into a free for all fight between supporters of the two factions.

Nii Anang Pitinkrah, one of the Asafoatsemen was slashed with a cutlass in the head and this infuriated the Nii Adjei faction, who dropped their whips and went in for cutlasses. Mr Kofi Tay, a reporter of the Ghana News Agency received several lacerations from the whips of the Asafoatsemen. The fight came to a halt before about 80 Policemen sent to restore order arrived to disperse the crowd. Mr Mohammed Alhassan, Tema Regional Police commander told journalists that on receiving information about the press conference on Thursday night, the Police sensing danger, invited invited the two chiefs separately and cautioned Nii Adjei's faction against causing confusion.

He said the Police were holding discussions with Nii Adjetey to relocate the press conference when it received information that there was a fight going on. Mr Alhassan said under the circumstances he has directed that the press conference should not be held in any part of Tema until further notice. No arrests have been made.

Nii Armah Ashietey, Tema Municipal Chief Executive, who rushed to Manhean when he heard of the clash, said the two factions will be held responsible for any confusion caused at Tema Manhean since he has advised that all chieftaincy matters must be resolved in the courts or at the regional and national houses of chiefs. The Tema chieftaincy dispute has been protracted for about 20 years with both Nii Adjei the second, and Nii Adjetey the third, claiming to be the legitimate chief.