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Opinions of Friday, 27 April 2018

Columnist: Katakyie Amoa Aturu Nkonkonkyia II, President, Japekrom Traditional Council

RE: Intended burial, funeral celebration of late Drobohene;a recipe for violence

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media, the Japekrom Stool and the Japekrom Traditional Council have taken serious notice of an announcement going round and followed by invitation of people to a burial, funeral celebration and installation of a new paramount chief (Drobo Omanhene) at Japekrom and on Mpuasu Japekrom Stool Land.

1. The truthful fact is that Mpuasu-Japekrom Traditional Area and Drobo Traditional Area are two different entities located at different geographical locations within the Brong-Ahafo Region of the Republic of Ghana. Japekrom is the traditional seat of the Paramount Chief of Mpuasu-Japekrom Traditional Area and Drobo/Old Drobo is the traditional seat of the Paramount Chief of Drobo Traditional Area.

Drobo is in the Jaman North District and is located approximately 32km north of Japekrom along the Japekrom - Sampa road while Japekrom is in the Jaman South Municipality. (Please, refer to the attached Political map below).

2. Since the first week of April, 2018, the Queen Mother of Drobo Traditional Area, and the Chiefs and elders of the Drobo Traditional Council, have announced the death of their Paramount Chief and have proceeded to lay out an elaborate funeral programme in which they have stated that they are going to perform the burial and funeral rites of their said late chief on Japekrom soil as well as install the next Paramount Chief also on Japekrom soil, precisely at a suburb of Japekrom which they have named “Drobo”.

3. It is an undeniable fact that it has been decreed through Judgments of the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court (the highest court in Ghana) unanimously at both courts that the said suburb of Japekrom which has been arbitrary named “Drobo” belongs to the Japekrom Stool.

4. It is also a truthful fact that, never in the history of Drobo as a people have they ever buried any of their dead Chiefs or Paramount Queenmothers at Japekrom; neither have they ever observed the funeral of any of their dead Chiefs or Paramount Queenmothers at Japekrom; and never have they ever enstooled or installed any of their Paramount Chiefs or Queenmothers at Japekrom.

5. We wish to clearly notify the Ghanaian public that, the Chiefs and people of Drobo have their Royal Mausoleum where they bury their dead Chiefs at Drobo in the Jaman North District. They enstool and install their Paramount Chiefs at Drobo in the Jaman North District. They celebrate and observe their dead Paramount Chiefs and Queen mothers at Drobo in the Jaman North District.

6. We the Chiefs and people of Mpuasu-Japekrom Traditional Area view this intended act as a willful violation of the unanimous Order of the Court of Appeal as affirmed by the Supreme Court of Ghana.

7. We equally are of the view that such act if not stopped, will have the effect of rendering nugatory the unanimous Judgments of the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court and make nonsense of the Judgments of the highest Court of the land.

8. We also view this as intent to defile our Traditional Land; an attempt to continue to lay claim to the Mpuasu-Japekrom Stool Land, a case they have lost as per the Supreme Court Judgments of 19th November 2015 and an unnecessary provocation which has the potential to disturb the peace we enjoy on our stool land.

9. The Japekrom Traditional Council is aware of plans by the Drobo Traditional council to misrepresent a suburb of Japekrom as Drobo and use deceit to lure state officials to endorse the illegal acts and sanction the use of government machinery through the provision of Military and Police force as a cover to facilitate their intended illegal activities.

10. We wish to unequivocally state that, the Chiefs and people of Japekrom Traditional Area, shall use all within our power, even in the face of what seems like state support for the illegal acts, lawlessness, unwarranted provocations and blatant disregard for the Orders of the Highest Courts the Land by the Chiefs and people of Drobo Traditional Area, to stop anyone from defiling our Stool Land.

11. We respectfully request all invited persons, state officials and any other groups to take the side of Justice and the Rule of Law and to desist from expressing or showing support for such people who are clearly showing disregard for Traditional Law, their own traditions, the Orders of the Highest Court of Ghana.

12. We expect the Government of Ghana to support us in upholding the principles of the rule of law and the protection of our traditional customs as a people.

13. Supporting these acts of lawlessness by the Drobo Stool and elders of the Drobo Traditional Council have become and will continue to become a source of perpetual threat to the peace and security in Japekrom and the Jaman South Municipal. Hence, it must cease.

14. We intend to defend our land, custom and heritage with all that we have at our disposal to stop the elders of the Drobo Traditional Council from the performance of burial, funeral and installation rites at Japekrom and on Mpuasu-Japekrom Stool Land.

15. The Chiefs and People of Mpuasu-Japekrom Traditional Area chose the path of the Rule of Law and Justice and have avoided resorting to any form of violence and misdemeanor in addressing the issue. We believe in upholding the laws of Ghana in all aspects of national development and are thus hopeful thatthis request will be considered in high esteem from the position of the law and the Court rulings.

16. We urge all well meaning and peace loving Ghanaians to rise up and speak up against this act of lawlessness and unnecessary provocations which has potential to disturb the peace we enjoy.

17. Shall we also urge the media or any other interested parties to challenge any person, entity, or groups of persons who seek to contradict our facts as presented here to prove same with hard evidence as we have demonstrated in this release.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press and the general public, Thank you.