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13.04.2007 Health

No Health Care For Atronie Citizens

The Brong-Ahafo Regional Health Directorate has decided to suspend all its outreach programmes meant for the Atronie community in the region.

This is a result of mounting tension that has characterised the area following the gruesome murder of Mr Anthony Yeboah Boateng, the Administrator of the Goaso Government Hospital, last Easter Sunday.

A statement signed by Alhaji Dr M. B. Ibrahim, the Regional Director of Health Services, said, "We regret to inform the general public that owing to the fact that we cannot guarantee the safety of any health worker within the vicinity, all outreach activities to the community by health workers have been put on hold until further notice."

The directorate expressed grave concern about the high rate of mob action being experienced currently in the country, as well as a number of similar unresolved murders.

The statement indicated that such developments had brought uneasiness among Ghanaians and had left "a taste of disgust and displeasure" among the people.

While commending the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) for the initial steps taken to bring the perpetrators of the crime to book, the Health Directorate urged the REGSEC to expedite action on the measures to forestall any looming counter-reaction from any individuals or group of persons in the community.

"By their tacit acquiescence, elders and opinion leaders of the Atronie community condoned and connived with the irate mob to unleash this mayhem on innocent lives.

"A visit to the scene of the crime suggests that it happened less than 20 metres from the palace of the Atronie chief and a police post. A brutally and carefully vandalised vehicle, with all sorts of weapons, such as knives and stones, suggests a sinister motive behind the crime," it explained.

The statement further noted that "insensitivity of the community towards the plea of the two women, one of whom was a Catholic nun and dressed as such, on the night of the resurrection on that Easter Sunday raises questions and concerns about the level of civility in that community".

The late Mr Boateng was also the Vice-President of the St Anthony's Cathedral of the Catholic Diocese of Goaso and the Presiding Member (PM) of the Asunafo North District Assembly.

He was in the company of his wife, a Catholic nun and a nurse conveying the corpse of his mother-in-law in his private car from Sunyani to the Goaso Government Hospital.

At Atronie, the youth, who were said to have mounted a barrier in the middle of the road, asked Mr Boateng to stop and upon seeing the dead body in the vehicle, demanded an explanation.

The deceased's attempt to explain to the youth that he was an innocent person rather inflamed their passion.

Some of them, who apparently suspected the late Mr Boateng of carrying the body for rituals, attacked, stoned and clubbed him, killing him instantly in the presence of his wife, the Catholic nun and the nurse, who looked on helplessly.

A policeman who went to the scene and attempted to rescue the late Mr Boateng was assaulted by the youth.

He managed to escape with the deceased's wife, the Catholic nun and the nurse to safety at the local police station before going for treatment at a clinic. — GNA.

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