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09.10.2008 Regional News

Techiman chief survives assassination attempt

By Ghanaian Times
Techiman chief survives assassination attempt

The Omanhene of the Techiman Traditional Area in the Brong-Ahafo Region, Oseadeeyo Akumfi Ameyaw IV, narrowlyy escaped an assassination attempt during the celebration of the Fordjour Kese Yam Festival at Tuobodom on Tuesday.

Oseadeeyo Ameyaw was on his way from his palace at Techiman to Tuobodom about four kilometers away to join the chiefs and people of the area for the durbar when his convoy came under gun fire at the outskirts of the town.

Five people in his entourage were injured. Four of them are currently on admission at the Holy Family Hospital in Techiman while the one, said to be in critical condition, has been transferred to Accra for further treatment.

There has been a protracted chieftaincy dispute in Tuobodom spanning over three decades so the Tuesday incident came as no surprise as tension had risen in the town in the run-up to the celebration of the festival.

The town has two chiefs, each of whom owes allegiance to the Techimanhene and the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II respectively.

A visit to Tuobodom on Wednesday according to the Times newspaper indicates there was calm as armed soldiers, policemen and personnel of the Bureau of National Investigations patrolled the streets.

Residents could be seen in small groups discussing the issue but would not talk to any stranger.

A delegation from the Brong-Ahafo Regional Security Committee led by the Deputy Regional Minister, Nana Abraham Kwadwo Kwakye, was also in the town to assess the situation.

The Omanhene in an interview with the Times at his palace, said as custodian of the Techiman Traditional Area of which Tuobodom is part, he was to sit in state at the durbar to climax the yam festival at Tuobodom on Tuesday afternoon.

He said he suspected that those who fired the shot belonged to a "self-styled" chief, Nana Baffour Asare, who claimed to owe allegiance to the Asantehene.

"It was an attempt to assassinate me", he said.

He said he did not anticipate any such attack on him otherwise he would not have traveled to the town with only four other chiefs and a few royals.

"We were going to a festival to give thanks to our gods and make merry and not to a war", he added.

Oseadeeyo.Ameyaw said he had formally lodged a complaint with the military and police and expected the law to take its course.

Other chiefs including Okogyeaman Kese Basahyia II, Benkumhene and Nana Apenteng Fosu Gyeabour III, Ahansuahene of the Techiman Traditional Area, appealed to the youth to exercise restraint.

Okogyeaman Basahyia said the Omanhene, who is a member of the National Peace Council, would not like his area to be engulfed in violence, hence the need for patience.

He, however, stressed that their patience should not be taken for granted as they would be forced to defend themselves and the paramountcy should the need arise.

Efforts to talk to Nana Asare at Tuobodom did not materialise as the 'Times' was advised by security personnel that "it was risky".