Scores of residents of Atwima Aburaso near Kumasi in the Ashanti Region have appealed to the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to install a chief in the town to help halt the increasing deterioration of the community.
They said since the demise of their last chief over two decades ago and the inability of the royals to amicably select a successor, criminals, drug lords and lawbreakers have taken over the area, hence stalling development and jeopardizing the future of the young people in the area.
Wearing red arm and headbands as well as red dresses, the residents carried placards some which read: “Obiara Wo Ne Master, Atwima Aburaso So Hia Ne Master”, “Over 20 Years No Chief”, “Please, We Need Chief, Otumfuo”, “Anarchy in Atwima Aburaso Because No Chief” and “Aburaso Hia Ohene”.
Addressing the media after a three-hour demonstration through the town, a youth leader and the Unit Committee Chairman, Mr Emmanuel Nyanteng expressed worry that due to lack of a traditional ruler, the ancient community’s name had become synonymous with crime, indiscipline, drug abuse and violence, a situation they wanted a change.
“The stigma of violence attached to Atwima Aburaso community is hunting all concerned individuals. Everywhere you mention Atwima Aburaso, what comes to mind is violence—all because for almost 20 years we have not gotten a substantive chief and his sub-chiefs to steer the affairs of this great community,” Mr Nyanteng added.
Comparing the development of Atwima Aburaso with other nearby communities such as Kromoase, Nzema, and Kokode, he said, Atwima Aburaso lagged behind in terms of development and infrastructure.
He explained that he had been providing some kind of leadership as a Unit Committee Chairman, but that had not been enough, adding that the situation had led many women and young ladies to be apprehensive while the children were also devastated not knowing what the future holds for them.
He added that 20 years after the Asantehene handed the care of the community into the hands of the Unit Committee, not much has been achieved because the unit committee system of leadership could not take major decisions on behalf of the community.
“We shall be very happy and excited if within the shortest possible time the chieftaincy dispute is resolved to facilitate the development of the youth, women, men and other citizens of this great community,” he added.