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Opinions of Sunday, 13 May 2018

Columnist: Rockson Adofo

Evidence to fault the infliction of Police, Military brutalities on mourners in Kumawu-Bodomase

On that fateful day, Thursday 16th February 2017, some heavily armed police and military personnel descended on Kumawu-Bodomase. The mortal remains of the late Kumawu Akyempemhene Nana Okyere Krapa Yiadom II had been laid in state with many people come from various places in Ghana to mourn him. Some curious relatives of the deceased and the townsmen approached the security personnel to enquire about their mission to the town since their huge number and presence was very unusual hence raising some concerns and suspicion among the public.

The security personnel did assure them that they had heard of an important funeral taking place and had come to protect the mourners. The relatives did tell the security personnel that they had not invited them since they needed no such protection hence had not factored them into the food prepared in advance for their expected guests. However, they did give about GHS300 to the Kumawu District Police Commander to purchase some drinks for the security personnel come to offer them protection, although uninvited as they were.

Little did the relatives, the Chief mourners, the townsmen, the invited guests and all the sympathisers come to mourn the late Kumawu Akyempemhene Nana Okyere Krapa Yiadom II, know that the security personnel had come with their own undisclosed malicious intent bordering on calculated assault to maim or murder certain designated personalities attending the funeral.

When the most famous and popular, as well as the publicly-accepted Kumawuhene Barima Tweneboa Kodua V, a Chief mourner and a son of the late Akyempemhene and his supporting sub-chiefs, Nana Kwasi Baffoe (Kumawu Akwamuhene), Nana Sarfo Agyekum (Kumawu Aduanahene), Nana Okyere Darko Fordjour (Kumawu Sumankwahene) and his cortege were proceeding to the funeral ground to pay their last requisite traditional homage to the deceased before his burial, the real mission of the police cum military personnel at the funeral became more apparent. The police and the soldiers formed a human barricade with the aim of forcefully preventing the retinue from accessing the funeral ground. As the security personnel’s resistance to the funeral procession of Barima Tweneboa Kodua V was countered by the mourners by trying to break through the formed security human barrier, the police and the military started to fire both warning shots, tear gas and near- possibly live ammunitions into the crowd of mourners. The security personnel destroyed the traditional kingly umbrellas of the chiefs. Watch the YouTube video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZS3llwJl9gk


According to the then Ashanti Regional Police Relations Officer (PRO) ASP Yusuf Mohammed Tanko, the police had gathered intelligence that there was going to be a clash between the supporters of the two rival chiefs in Kumawu (Barima Tweneboa Kodua V and Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua) at the funeral. Therefore, the police and the military were tasked to go and stop one of the chiefs from attending the funeral in which case it was Barima Tweneboa Kodua the V. However, Barima Tweneboa Kodua V was not only a principal Chief mourner in whose name the funeral announcement was aired and appeared on the funeral posters but also, he was the son of the deceased by virtue of our Akan custom and tradition as by our extended family system. Readers will find a true copy of the funeral announcement poster at the bottom of this publication for their perusal.

Please read the underlying newspaper reportage on the incident from the underneath web links.

http://www.ghanaiantimes.com.gh/kumawu-chieftaincy-dispute-chief-others-arrested/

http://citifmonline.com/2017/02/17/5-policemen-2-soldiers-wounded-in-kumawu-chieftaincy-clashes/

As it is my usual style of writing, I always make attempts to reason with the public readers to determine for themselves the veracity or falsity of my arguments by posing some questions.

1. How did the police gather the intelligence that there was going to be a clash between the supporters of the two rival publicly-known paramount chiefs in Kumawu at the Akyempemhene’s funeral hence dispatching a heavily armed police cum military personnel to proceed to stop one of the chiefs from attending the funeral?

2. If there was truly going to be a clash as alleged, which of the two chiefs and their supporters were the security personnel supposed by law and common sense to stop from attending the funeral? Is it the one whose family member has passed with the funeral announcements aired and made in his name as the Chief mourner and a son, or the other one who has not been invited in any capacity by the bereaved family or whoever to attend the funeral?

3. PRO ASP Yusuf Mohammed Tanko claimed that according to their police records, there is only one known paramount chief in Kumawu who has been gazetted and sworn an oath of allegiance to Asantehene at Manhyia Palace hence they were obliged to go and stop the other publicly-recognised and accepted chief from attending his own father’s funeral in the capacity of Kumawu Omanhene. When were the Ghana police mandated by law to interfere in chieftaincy affairs to tell who is the rightful chief/king and who is not, hence having the absolute right to stop the one they deem not to be the rightful chief from exercising their duties being conducted in a peaceful manner?

4. I may have been out of Ghana for so long to be very conversant with the prevailing laws as entrenched in the 1992 Ghana Republican Constitution, Ghana Chieftaincy Act (Act 759) and the Criminal Code 1960 (Act 29). Subsequently, could the following more knowledgeable personalities who are abreast with the changing laws in Ghana, as contained in the Constitution and the usual daily fabricated ones code-named in the Ghanaian Akan parlance as “Ghana dee Saa”, educate me on any law empowering the police and the military to decide who is a genuine chief and who is not, to consequently attack those who are deemed by them not to be genuine chiefs? The persons are His Excellency the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Speaker of Parliament Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye and the Chief Justice Ms Sophia Akufo.

5. Who ordered the security personnel to proceed to Kumawu-Bodomase on the false intelligence/information that Dr Yaw Sarfo, the alleged, but knowingly dubiously enstooled Kumawuhene, was going to attend the funeral hence would need the police cum military protection to guarantee his safety? Did those who detailed the security personnel to Kumawu-Bodomase on that fateful day confirm with Kumawuhene Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua (Dr Yaw Sarfo) that he was going to attend the funeral and if yes, in what capacity and at whose invitation?

6. There was a rife rumour that the security personnel were sent there by the National Security Minister Albert Kan Dapaah (Hon), the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Mensah-Bonsu (Hon) and then outgoing Ashanti Regional Commander of Police Nathan Kofi Boakye at the behest of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to cow Barima Tweneboa Kodua V and his sub-chiefs and supporters into going underground so as to recognise and accept Dr Yaw Sarfo as the only legitimate Kumawuhene. Was the rumour true and if yes, have the named persons any mandate to enforce the criminal wishes of the supposed “Asante Overlord”? Have they had the opportunity to read my numerous research publications to the fact that no Asantehene has the constitutional or conventional mandate to meddle in Kumawu chieftaincy affairs let alone, do so in the most deplorable manner that Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has been conducting himself?

7. The police and the military personnel were not invited by the organisers of the Akyempemhene’s funeral; they lied to the organisers and the townsmen about their real intention to attend the funeral when approached and questioned about their presence. They finally tried to obstruct Kumawuhene Barima Tweneboa Kodua V and his cortege as could be seen from the enclosed video recording. Did they have the right to disturb a peaceful procession in the way they did? Did they conduct themselves professionally or they were simply there as zombies to aid Asantehene perpetuate his criminal wishes?

8. Are the police and the soldiers employed by Asantehene or the government? Are the Government Ministers there to do the dirty bidding of Asantehene or they are there to ensure the safety, protection and prosperity of the entire citizenry? If indeed the Government Ministers dispatched the security forces to Kumawu Bodomase with intent to support the evil intents by Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II through the assault on the innocent mourners as seen in the video, then they had erred greatly and deserved to be stripped of their posts.

9. The current policemen are not the “Ahenfie” (palace) police as used to pertain in Ghana in the 1950s and early 1960s. During that time, policemen wearing red hat, khaki shorts and red band around their waist were assigned to the paramount chiefs and were called the “Ahenfie” police. Even in those days, one would not see them go out to molest people as seen to have happened in Kumawu Bodomase during the late Kumawu Akyempemhene Nana Okyere Krapa Yiadom II’s funeral on Thursday, 16 February 2017.

10. Finally, how dare the police and whoever, to say that Kumawuhene Barima Tweneboa Kodua V, a true royal of same matrilineal lineage (from Sene Fontom) with Barima Tweneboa Kodua I, the originator of the Kumawu Kodua Stool, and his cortege had caused public disturbance hence can subsequently be arraigned for that? Tell me, in Ghana, do people not make noise through the music and drums played at funerals. How then can any rational being have it cross their mind that innocent people going about their normal traditional and customary rites in relation to funerals can be charged with causing noise? Is it not the police and the soldiers that rather attacked the mourners? I am waiting for that day and when the directional spirit of God descends upon me, I shall pour my venom on whoever brings up such a charge against them. With the nonsensical “Ghana dee saa” attitudes boding on negativity, the police and the military think they can assault innocent persons and still turn around to level a charge of causing public commotion against the victims to have them arraigned.


I shall permit the people of my fatherland and motherland to profit from the courageous and discerning spirit God has bestowed on me. I shall not sit down nonchalant while Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and his accomplices rob Kumawuman of their wealth and stool lands in a broad daylight. His attitude amounts to corruption and being my fellow London burger, I shall resist him. His advisors had better convey my strongest message to him to steer clear of the ongoing Kumawu chieftaincy dispute since he has no traditional right to dictate to Kumawuman who becomes their paramount chief all for dodgy reasons.

Please, public readers, find below the Funeral Announcement poster on the funeral of the late Nana Okyere Krapa Yiadom II, Kumawu Akyempemhene.
Nana, damirifa due; due, due ne amanehunu.