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Opinions of Saturday, 25 February 2017

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Open letter to the Inspector General of Police, David Asante-Apeatu

Dear IGP Mr David Asante-Apeatu,


I am moved by the recent police-cum-military brutalities inflicted on my fellow
Kumawuman citizens in Kumawu-Bodomase to publish this open letter for your attention.
I am Mr Rockson Adofo, a subject of the Kumawu Kodua Stool but for the past many
years residing in Europe.


On Thursday, 16 February 2017, the Ghana Police Force of which you are currently the
national head, in complicit with some armed military personnel, proceeded to
Kumawu-Bodomase with intent to assault Kumawuhene Barima Tweneboa Kodua V and his
elders.


From an interview granted to the media, I heard the then Ashanti Regional Police
Public Relations Officer ASP Mohammed Yusuf Tanko, say, on radio that the police
picked up intelligence that there was going to be a clash between the supporters of
the two rival Kumawu paramount chiefs at the late Kumawu Akyempemhene Nana Okyere
Krapa II’s funeral scheduled to take place from Wednesday, 15 February 2017 until
Saturday 18 February 2017. He went on to say that on the records of the police, there
is only one paramount chief in Kumawu and he is the person of Barima Sarfo Tweneboa
Kodua who has sworn an oath of allegiance to Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and has
subsequently been gazetted. Therefore, they had to go to Kumawu to stop the otherwise
most publicly recognised and accepted rival strolling around as Kumawuhene.


In carrying out their intention, they assaulted not only Barima Tweneboa Kodua V and
his elders but also, the entire retinue of mourners that were in procession with them
to the funeral ground. They destroyed the kingly umbrellas which were over him and
his sub-chiefs. They fired both plastic and live ammunitions as well as tear gas into
the crowd and into the air as warning shots.


A video clip of the incident has since gone viral on the social networks; WhatsApp,
YouTube and the Ghana internet news portals as well as being aired on the ABM
television network in the United Kingdom.


The late Kumawu Akyempemhene Nana Okyere Krapa II was not only one of the sub-chiefs
owing allegiance to Barima Tweneboa Kodua V but also, he was Barima’s father by the
Ashanti/Akan extended family tradition. Therefore, there was no way that Dr Yaw
Sarfo, the other Kumawuhene going by the name Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua, was going
to attend the funeral. He had not been invited to the funeral as either Kumawuhene or
a private citizen. He had not served notice to the bereaved family that he would be
attending the funeral. How then was a clash going to take place between the two
chiefs and their supporters at the funeral? How, when and where did the police pick
up their intelligence as asserted by ASP Tanko?


If there was going to be a clash, do the police have to take sides or stand
in-between to prevent the fight from taking place in the first place? Do the police
now act as kingmakers, deciding who is a chief and who is not? Did the police have
any orders issued to Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua from the courts indicating that he
is the sole Omanhene of Kumawu and that any other person conducting himself as Kumawu
Omanhene must be arrested or molested? Who ordered the police and the military
personnel to move to Kumawu-Bodomase to commit that heinous assault against Barima
Tweneboa Kodua V and his elders and the sympathising mourners come to pay their last
respect to the late Nana Okyere Krapa II, Kumawu Akyempemhene?


Although police brutalities do at times occur in the civilized Western world, when
they do happen, they get investigated and when the officers are found guilty, they
get punished with a sack or imprisonment.


Did your police officers have any court warrant to forcibly resist Barima Tweneboa
Kodua V from attending the funeral as a chief? In all the countries that I have lived
in or visited in Europe, the police cannot force entry into one’s apartment/house
without a court warrant unless the situation relates to murder, Class A drugs,
dealing in illegal weapons, and involvement in terrorism and acts of treason.


What dangers did he attending the funeral with umbrella over him pose to the
Kumawu-Bodomase community hence warranting the police and the soldiers to inflict
various degrees of injuries on the mourners and themselves (police) as a result of
their unprofessionalism?


I am sorry to say a court action could likely be brought against the police for
acting in bad faith.


Finally, the Divisional Police Commander in Effiduase Ashanti is alleged to have
instructed the assaulting police to shoot and kill Barima Tweneboa Kodua V claiming
it to be an order from above. Would you please investigate this claim to establish
who gave him that order?


The perpetration of police intimidation with intent to cow the citizens of Kumawu
traditional area from having the person of their choice as their paramount chief will
not wash no matter what power from above is behind it. We are not living in a
dictatorial regime but a democracy where the rights of citizens are respected.


I look forward to seeing what you could do to prevent the repeat of the unfortunate
near-fatal incident that took place in Kumawu-Bodomase on Thursday 16 February 2017,
as was masterminded and orchestrated by the police and the military.


Yours Faithfully,



Rockson Adofo