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General News of Thursday, 25 March 2010

Source: Oseade?yo Akumfi Ameyaw IV

The Techiman-Tuobodom Stand Off: Setting The Records Straight

As a result of serious misrepresentations, misinformation lies and deliberate attempt by some people who have vested interest in the Techiman - Tuobodom issue and the Tano-Subin cases to mislead the good people of this country, it has become very necessary for me to set the records straight and leave the rest to posterity.

It is important for me to state even before I lay the facts bare that, war has never been the answer, it is not the answer and in fact will forever not be the answer to the type of crisis that we have all found ourselves in today. Gone were the days that kingdoms engaged in wars to settle disputes. In this modern era, we the Chiefs and people of Techiman believe in jaw jaw rather than war war. That is the more reason why we always resort to the law courts to seek redress in any matter that may crop up as a result of this Tuobodom issue. We are a peace-loving people and do believe that our people need peaceful co-existence to go about their duties to make a living.

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, to begin with, permit me to narrate an incident which occurred on 7th October 2008 and which has eventually led to this present quagmire. On that fateful day, as the Omanhene of Techiman Traditional Area, I was attending the Yam Festival of Nana Obeng Ameyaw Barima II the properly installed Tuobodomhene and the Akyempemhene of the Techiman Traditonal Area. The custodian of the Tuobodom Stool and the Twumpuduo Shrine, the symbol of authority of any proper Akan Chief, who controls the greater part of Tuobodom town with the exception of one family in the town staying in a suburb called Krotia who owes allegiance to the Asantehene.

When my convoy reached the outskirts of Tuobodom, we were attacked and many of my entourage sustained gunshot wounds. In fact one of the wounded, Kwaku Takyi had a bullet lodged in his head and he is now paralyzed to the extent that he has lost speech and has no control of himself as he urinates and defecates unknowingly. Others who were wounded were treated in various hospitals and herbal centers to remove bullets lodged in their bodies. As a law abiding citizen, a formal complaint was lodged with the police. Within that period Mr. Kwadwo Mfante who styles himself as Omanhene of Tuobodom by name Nana Baffour Asare who spoke on Space Fm a private radio station in Sunyani claiming that he ordered the assassination attempt on my convoy. Those comments set the stage for us to identify who really was behind the heinous crime.

After waiting a while and no action was taken, I petitioned the Inspector General of Police, the Brong Ahafo Regional Police Commander, the Regional Security Council and the Municipal Police Commander. Sadly, in all these efforts, nothing was done about the case until 2009 when we petitioned again to the same authorities but again nothing was done.

Somewhere this year, we heard that a lawyer had allegedly written to the police that the culprits should not be arrested because he would bring them to the police. That too did not materialize. It therefore dawned on us that, the case was being ‘killed’. Interestingly, the same lawyer who was doing everything to treat the case with ordinary contempt was a Minister of State when the unwarranted attack on my convoy took place.

Last month, four of the assailants were sighted at Fiapre and I reported to the Regional Police Commander who sent his men to apprehend them. They were taken to court and remanded into prison custody. As I am talking to you, the four are still in custody pending their trial in a court of competent jurisdiction.

Fellow Ghanaians, on the 5th of March this year, some of the boys who were shot at on 7th October 2008 sighted this Kojo Mfante in Wenchi, arrested him and took him to my palace in my absence. When I was informed, I quickly called the police to pick him up and further instructed Nananom to contact the Municipal police Commander and make sure the right thing was done. I also informed the Regional Police Commander of the unfolding scenario but before his team reached Techiman, the Municipal Commander had already put Mfante and his other colleague behind bars. Therefore, there was nothing like a rescue operation or kidnapping as being misrepresented by the media. Even though I am not a lawyer by profession, I am aware that according to the Criminal Code, citizens have the right to arrest any criminal like Kojo Mfante who organized an assassination attempt on me and my convoy and hand him or her to the police. This was exactly what those he conspired to murder did.

When this suspected criminal was locked behind bars, his lawyer allegedly went on radio stations to incite a section of the people of Tuobodom who took arms, attacked and killed Kwasi Takyi, a nephew of the Tuobodomhene. That unfortunate situation sparked the current conflict. All these confusion are tactics employed by the lawyer to cover up the actual crime by the self styled Paramount Chief in Tuobodom. To support this assertion, the lawyer made a publication in the Daily Guide and Chronicle News papers of 9th March, 2010 that the Buoyemhene and Tuobodomhene have sued the Omanhene of Techiman. He followed it with petition before the judicial committee of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs but it turned out that the Buoyemhene was not aware of the so called suit and he had to withdraw the suit when he was confronted by Nana Buoyemhene, after I have caused my lawyer to file a motion to dismiss the action fixed for 15/04/2010.

As for the statement of the Asantehene, the least said about it, the better. On second thought some of us would like to believe that the Asantehene has been misinformed about the whole issue and decided to swallow whatever he heard, hook line and sinker. That is why he has been insulting me. We have decided to watch him from the sideline with sadness because he has allowed himself to be misled. His action led to the unfortunate situation where macho men allegedly hired by the Manhyia Palace attacked buses going to Techiman and assaulted the occupants. Meanwhile these people were not all Techiman citizens but from all over the country including Ashantis and thus Ghanaians.

We believe leadership in whatever sphere of life must be used to uplift society to bring about progress, to help colleagues, peers, friends and indeed, everybody to achieve their life goals and objectives to ensure peaceful co-existence. What has transpired is reminiscent of what his great grandfathers displayed in the 18th century when Baffo Pim of Nkoranza” changed gold in a pot being sent to Kumasihene by the messengers of Techimanhene with gunpowder.

It is noteworthy to mention here that if the then Kumasihene had enquired at that time he would have known that the Techimanhene would never present gunpowder to him or any other person which signified an invitation to do battle in those days. Today, in the 21st century when means of communications are even much better, the Otumfour has ignored to utilize any of them and has chosen the path of confrontational discord.

To my brothers and sisters in the larger society, I want to state categorically that it is rather the Asantehene and the lawyer mentioned above who are planting conflict in the society. Ladies and gentlemen, my advice to the Asantehene is to cool down and allow the law to take its course. Our duty as citizens is to assist the police to enforce the law. If the Asantehene is stating that he will catch me and behead me, I leave everything to the security services to decide because I am a law abiding citizen and the last thing I will do is to threaten the life of an innocent citizen.

In conclusion, let me appeal to the media to be circumspect in any reportage about the Tuobodom stand off and allow reason and truth to prevail. I thank you very much for lending me your ear.

Oseade?yo Akumfi Ameyaw IV Omanhene Techiman Traditional Area Techiman, B/A