Police officer shot and critically wounded, others treated in Kumawu chieftaincy clash

BY: Daniel Kenu, BODOMASE

A police officer is fighting for his life at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi after suffering gunshot wounds at Bodomase in the Kumawu traditional area of the Ashanti region following a chieftaincy clash last Thursday, according to the police.

Five other policemen and two soldiers who also suffered several degrees of injures were treated and discharged after a face-off with indigenes of Bodomase who allege the security men were interfering in the Kumawu protracted chieftaincy conflict.

The Public Relations Officer of the Ashanti regional police command, ASP Yusif Tanko confirmed the number of injured persons but declined to give names.

The conflict recurred last Thursday after one of the claimants to the Kumawu paramount seat, Barima Tweneboah Koduah V and his supporters, were allegedly prevented from participating in the final burial rites of the late Akyeampemhene of Kumawu, Oheneba Krapa Yiadom.

The chief and his men were said to have insisted on making it to the funeral grounds, allegedly pelting the security personnel with all kinds of missiles. The security personnel responded with the firing of several canisters of teargas and warning shots.

On seeing danger, the chief and his supporters were said to have taken to their heels and escaped but the security men managed to destroy the umbrella of the chief, a symbol of his authority.

Indeed, Barima Tweneboah Koduah V who resides at Bodomase and who was installed by four of the kingmakers two years ago, has been warned by Manhyia not to parade himself as chief of Kumawu.

His attempt last Thursday to attend the funeral in his full regalia as the chief of Kumawu, therefore, was interpreted as flouting the orders of Manhyia, seat of the Ashanti kingdom.

Currently, Manhyia recognises Barima Sarfo Tweneboah, although he was installed by only one of the kingmakers as the legitimate chief of Kumawu.

Subsequently, Barima Tweneboah Koduah V who insists he is the rightful heir to the throne because he was elected by the majority of the kingmakers, has been battling the case in the law courts following similar clashes last year.