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‘Accept Supreme Court decision on Atwima Kwanwoma District capital’

BY: Getrude Ankah Nyavi
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II

The Kumasi Traditional Council (KTC) has asked the chiefs and people of Foase in the Ashanti Region to accept and respect the decision of the Supreme Court, which takes away the capital of the Atwima Kwanwoma District from Foase to Twedie.

It, however, described as unfortunate the actions of the police to quell the riotous behaviour of the people of Foase, which led to the death of three persons and injury to more than 12 others.

The Bantamahene, Baffuor Owusu Amankwatia VI, gave the advice when the KTC invited the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Simon Osei-Mensah; the Atwima Kwanwoma District Chief Executive (DCE), Nana Okyere Tawiah Antwi; the District Police Commander and the Foasehene, Nana Bosiako Appiah Ampam Frimpong II, to a meeting in Kumasi yesterday.

Addressing the meeting after issues leading to the death of the three persons had been examined, the Bantamahene, who represented the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, said it was unfortunate that such a simple issue could escalate, leading to the loss of lives and more than 12 others injured.

Background

Three persons were killed at Foase following a misunderstanding between the people and the staff of the Atwima Kwanwoma District Assembly.

The people had held the DCE and his staff hostage for hours at the assembly offices for allegedly trying to move the district from Foase.

In their bid to free the DCE and his staff, a team of policemen fired warning shots, some of which allegedly hit more than 20 people.

Court ruling

Foase was made the Atwima Kwanwoma District capital in 2007 as a compromise location following a fierce controversy between the chiefs and the people of Twedie and Trede over which town should be made the capital.

The matter was taken to the Supreme Court, which ruled in 2012 that the capital must be moved from Foase to Twedie.

Excessive force

Baffuor Amankwatia said whatever might have happened did not warrant the use of such excessive force, culminating in the killing of the people.

He recounted how another person who was going to attend to the first victim was allegedly shot by the police.

He said the council was following with keen interest the investigations into the loss of lives and gave an assurance that the chiefs would ensure that the perpetrators were brought to book, adding that the police were there to protect the populace, not to kill them.

Regional minister

Mr Osei-Mensah, who was commended by the chiefs for his excellent leadership role, even before the incident, stated that Otumfuo had advised that in respecting the Supreme Court decision, the district capital should be cited in Twedie, but not far away from Foase, so that the people of Foase would not be abandoned.