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09.10.2008 Regional News

Police avert bloodshed at Tuobodom

By Micael Boateng, Techiman - Ghanaian Chronicle

THE timely intervention by the police averted what could have been a bloody clash between two rival chiefs at Tuobodom, in the Techiman Municipality on Tuesday. The feuding chiefs involved in the skirmishes, pay allegiances to different traditional rulers -the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and the Paramount Chief of Techiman, Oseadeyo Akumfi Ameyaw IV respectively.

On Tuesday, October 7th, 2008, at about 2pm, confusion ensued between the two factions when the chief who pays allegiance to Techiman, Nana Obeng Ameyaw Barima, who is the Akyempemhene of Techiman Traditional Area, was celebrating the climax of the annual Fordjour Kese Yam Festival and was riding in a palanquin through the principal streets of Tuobodom.

According to reports gathered by The Chronicle, the other faction that pays allegiance to the Otumfuo, led by their chief, Nana Barfour Asare sent a warning message to the Techiman faction not to extend their celebration to their territory. When approaching the area of the Ashantis, gun shots were fired towards their direction which compelled them to return to their durbar grounds.

The presence of the security, made up of the police and army managed to control the situation in the town. Traditionally, the Paramount Chief of the Techiman Traditional Area, Oseadeyo Akumfi was invited as the Chairman of the occasion. Ironically, the Ashanti faction is closer to the Techiman Township, so the paramount chief had to pass through their territory to the durbar grounds.

When the security were busily controlling the situation in the town, some of the youth belonging to the Ashanti faction barricaded the Techiman-Tamale main road with timber logs, tomato boxes and other materials after being hinted that the Paramount Chief of Techiman was to attend the festival as the Chairman for the occasion.

On the arrival of Osagyefo Akumfi Ameyaw and his entourage, made up of five of his sub-chiefs, they noticed that the road was blocked, so Nana ordered his guards to remove the road blockade, but this led to the firing of gunshots from the opposing faction from all directions, which subsequently injured five people who were with Oseadeyo Akumfi Ameyaw.

However, the Chief of the Ashanti faction, Nana Barfour Asare, argued that Oseadeyo Akumfi and his people were the first to fire gunshots on their way to Tuobodom, and he being the Chief, will not sit down unconcerned for some other chiefs to intimidate him and his people on his land, hence the reaction.

The Techiman Municipal Police Command when contacted claimed that the situation was under control, with the massive presence of a combined Police force the Army.

To ensure peace, the Omanhene of Techiman Traditional Area called an emergency meeting among his sub-chiefs to talk to the youth of the area not to mar the peace in the area, but to allow the law to take its own course.

Interacting with The Chronicle after the emergency meeting, Oseadeyo Akumfi described the incident as a plot to assassinate him by some group of people who he believed were motivated by some high powered personalities in the country.

He said such a calamity was not envisaged by him, or any member of his entourage.