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28.12.2006 Crime & Punishment

DCE Accused Of Forming 'Terrorist' Group

By Kingsley E. Hope, Sunyani
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THE activities of a group called the 'Talibans', in Atebubu in the Brong-Ahafo Region, are creating anxiety in the district.

The group, alleged to have been formed by the District Chief Executive, Cassius Osei Poku, as his bodyguards, is said to be attacking and harassing people opposed to him. He however denies having formed any such group.

On November 3, Haruna Yusif, described as a kingpin of the 'Talibans,' was stabbed to death in a mob action when he was allegedly effecting the DCE's order of preventing a newly elected assembly member for the Zongo Number One electoral area from taking over a KVIP toilet in his area.
The case is being investigated by the Atebubu Police who have reportedly arrested some suspects after the Talibans threatened to visit mayhem on the residents of the town.
Following these developments, the Atebubu Youth Association, in a petition to President J.A. Kufuor, has called for the removal of the DCE.

The petition, signed by the General Secretary, Amofahene Quifi Atta, was copied to the Ministry of Local Government, Environment and Rural Development, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, the Regional and the Atebubu District Police Commanders.
On July 8, 2005, the Talibans allegedly attacked and beat up some members of the Atebubu Students and Scholars Union at the assembly's premises where they had gone to discuss some issues with the district coordinating director.

The petition accused the DCE of using force and violence in his administration for which reason the district had been labeled as a 'terrorist zone', a tag that has been scaring away development partners.
DCE Osei-Poku was also accused of flouting article 462 of the Local Government Act of 1993 by appointing more appointees than the Act allows.

The petition recalled that the DCE's nomination and re-nomination in 2001 and 2005, respectively was received with protests and demonstrations by the people of the district, and consequently called for his removal.

When contacted, Mr Osei-Poku denied all the allegations and hinted that he would take legal action against the General Secretary of the Atebubu Youth Association for what he described as his deliberate acts to taint his lies hard won reputation.

He denied forming any organisation to serve as his bodyguards.

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