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Regional News of Friday, 29 May 2015

Source: The Chronicle

Tension mounts in Gomoa Otwekrom

The peace and unity being enjoyed by residents of Gomoa Otwekrom, a farming community near Agona Kwanyako in the Central Region, was put to test when a misunderstanding broke out between supporters of the chief of the area, Nana Otwe Odartia X and the Abusuapanin of the Asona royal family, Nana Kwabena Abaka last Friday.

The misunderstanding, which degenerated into an open fight between the two factions led to two persons, Kofi Atta and his sister sustaining various degrees of injury.

Kofi Atta, who received a hefty blow on the face with blood oozing out of the nose, fell unconscious in the process and was later rushed to the Agona Swedru Government hospital for medical attention.

Speaking in an interview with the paper in the family house at Otwekrom on Friday shortly after the incident, Nana Abaka, head of the Asona family said it all started some years ago, when Kofi Kakraba, alias Dickson Kumi, a member of the family, was allegedly shot by Kofi Atta, through the window of his bathroom, while taking his bath. He sustained multiple gunshot wounds on his head.

He continued that the case was reported to the Agona Swedru police station and ten suspects were rounded-up, including the key architect, Kofi Atta, but nothing has so far been done about the case, even though there is enough evidence to put the suspect behind bars for the offence.

He explained that some supporters of the family claimed that justice delayed is justice denied and, therefore, they decided to take the law into their own hands and revenge, if the perpetuators in the shooting incidence have been left off the hook to roam the streets of the town freely.

Nana Abaka, who doubles as the kingmaker of the area said, he installed Nana Odartia X as the chief of the area, some five years ago, after the demise of the late chief Nana Kwaku Budu.

He alleged that barely five years down the line, the chief and one Inspector Felix Donkor of the Ghana Police Service (GPS), who is also a resident and royal from the area started selling the stool lands without accounting to the queen mother and elders of the family.

“Nana Otwe Odartia X went to the extent of selling the royal cemetery lands and when he was confronted by the elders of the royal family, he collaborated with Inspector Donkor and deployed land guards to the community to harass innocent peace loving farmers”, Nana Abaka indicated.

The Asona royal family abuasupanin asserted that, he reported the presence of the land guards in the area to the Agona Swedru police and also ordered that the stool regalia room be closed down to prevent any thievery.

He continued that, his actions led to the arrest of 16 members from the Asonal family following a false accusation leveled against them by the chief and Inspector Donkor, but the arrested people were later released.

The chief, according to the Asona family head, went on Brepong FM, local private radio station to make dissenting and provocative remarks describing members of the Asona family as illiterates, slaves and uncultured.

He averred that the statement of the chief provoked members of the family, which compelled them to call on the authorities to intervene immediately to ensure there was peace and justice in the town before it was too late.

“A growing grief is never bad to bear than when the wound is continually irritated and never healed”, he emphasized.

He said the family members have indicated that anything short of justice coupled with the unjustifiable arrest of some of them by the police and the verbal attacks by relatives of the chief could lead to confusion and mayhem on the farming community in the coming days.

He stressed that the Agona Swedru police has shown little or no interest in their numerous complaints of intimidation, threats of murder among others, which they have made at the station to call those involve to order.

Responding to the allegations leveled against him, Inspector Donkor denied any involvement in the sale of lands in the area, causing the arrest of members of the family and using his position as a police officer to short-chain the security process of the area.

According to him, he is a nephew to the chief and per his position as a police officer and royal, he would not sit down for any person to breach the law and order in the area, a mission he said he would execute professionally.

The chief on the other hand has also denied selling any piece of land and also using provocative language on the head of the Asona family.

He said, the head of the family reported the matter to the Assin Akyempim Traditional Council where judgment was delivered on March 25, 2015, which exonerated him (Nana Odartia X), but the head of the family objected to the ruling.

He has, therefore, called on members of the head of the Asona family to give peace and unity a chance to prevail in the area, to help inject economic urgency into activities of the farming community, which could led to socio-economic liberation of its people.