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General News of Friday, 6 January 2012

Source: GNA

Kwame Danso sleeps under heavy military cum police presence

Kwame-Danso (B/A), Jan. 06, GNA – All appears to be calm in Kwame Danso, capital of

Sene district in Brong Ahafo, following the imposition of an indefinite dusk to dawn

curfew on the town which was necessitated by violent clashes which claimed two lives.

The Ministry of the Interior in consultation with the Brong-Ahafo Regional Security Council (REGSEC) on Thursday imposed the curfew, to restore law and order.

Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye Marfo, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, disclosed this

at a meeting with local tribal chiefs, elders, opinion leaders and the

Youth at Kwame-Danso, where he led members of the REGSEC on a fact finding mission.

A group of local young men took to the streets of the town on Wednesday, January 4,

demanding the immediate enstoolment of an Omanhene to succeed Nana Kofi Banka II,

who died some 13 years ago.

The youth, numbering several hundreds, in the process attempted

to besiege the local Police Station, where they had suspected that

Sanaahene of the area, Nana Prince Banka, perceived to be

behind the long delay in the installation of a new Omanhene, had sought refuge.

According to a security report recounted by Mr. Daniel Napare, District Chief

Executive, and corroborated by the Brong-Ahafo Regional Deputy Crime Officer, Assistant

Superintendent of Police Awadzi Saviour, after initial attempt by the few Police personnel at the

Station to stop them failed, one of the officers, Lance-Corporal Felix Danquah, sensing danger,

fired rounds of ammunition ostensibly to scare off the advancing group.

Unfortunately, the bullets hit three of the youth, killing two of

them, Kwasi Atta, 32, and Jackie, 22, both farmers, instantly.

The third person, Francis Lassi, 21, also a farmer who sustained

serious injuries, was rushed to the local hospital where he

was operated on by a team of medical personnel led by Dr. Robert

Arkoh, the Medical superintendent. The victim is still on admission.

The action of Lance-Corporal Danquah seemed to have incensed

the Youth as they charged and rushed on him to over-power him.

In the event of the scuffle, the policeman’s gun fell and in the

Melee, he managed to flee as his

colleagues had long left the scene.

He was hotly chased by the angry youth who caught up and beat

him up mercilessly.

They took him for dead as he lay flat on the ground

and left him to his fate but a good Samaritan sought the assistance

of some other persons and rushed him to the local hospital, where

he was referred to the Atebubu Hospital and eventually to

Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi where he is

receiving medical attention.

The charged youth later returned to the “abandoned” police

station and set it on fire. The worst

affected office was that of the station officer, Chief Inspector

Paul Agyare.

Mr. Nyamekye Marfo, who is chairman of the REGSEC, told the

meeting that the council would continue to investigate the incident and bring culprits to book.

Mallam Dauda Mohammed, head of the Gruma community in the

town on behalf of his colleagues, thanked the Regional Minister and

the REGSEC for the swift intervention to restore order.

At another meeting with the 93-member military-cum-police Team, Mr. Nyamekye Marfo reminded them of the need to let professionalism be their hall-mark.

The special security team is made up of 60 policemen, including

five senior officers and 33 soldiers from the

Sunyani Liberation Barracks.

He said information gathered indicated some of the youth had

fled for fear of being apprehended and urged such people to return

home and help the security in their investigations.

Earlier, briefing the Regional Minister and the REGSEC team,

which included Mr. Kwasi Oppong Ababio, Municipal Chief

Executive for Sunyani, Assistant Commissioner of Police Robert

Ayalingo, Regional Police Commander and Lieutenant-Colonel

Cornelius Lithur, Commanding officer of the Third Battalion, Mr.

Napare and ASP Saviour said so far 130 youth suspected to have

been involved in the incident had been rounded up by the

combined security team.

Eighty-eight of them were arrested in the afternoon of

Wednesday whilst 42 were apprehended on Thursday and are

being kept in different prison cells in the Region, pending


Nineteen of the arrested youth are reported to belong to the

local Dwan Youth Association.

They said even though members of the youth association wrote

to the traditional chiefs of the area giving them a fortnight

ultimatum to speed up arrangements for the enstoolment of a new

Omanhene, the youth for reasons known to themselves did not

wait for the two-week ultimatum and took the action.

Mr. Nyamekye Marfo advised the people, especially the youth,

to exercise restraint regarding the enstoolment of an

Omanhene for the area, stressing that the decision was “the

preserve of nananom”, who must be accorded the respect.

The Minister and his entourage later visited the wounded at the

hospital and inspected the burnt parts of the police station.

Meanwhile, as at Thursday, Kwame Danso

was found to be calm with police and soldiers patrolling in the

streets as traders and workers went about their activities without

any hindrance.