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15.01.2010 Regional News

Adow-Obeng chairs Swedru Violence Committee

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A former Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Adow-Obeng, has been appointed Chairman of a seven-member committee, set up by the Central Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to investigate the circumstances leading to death and destruction properties in the Agona Swedru Municipality last December, when a fight broke out between the Zongo community and Agona indigenes.

Other members of the committee are Barima Kwame Nkyi XII, representative from the Central Region House of Chiefs, Mrs. Hannah Spencer Taylor, Principal State Attorney, Alhaji Mumuni Yidana, a lecturer at the UCC, representing the Zongo community, Alhaji Mohammed Ben Abu, also a lecturer at the UCC, representating the Cape Coast Zongo Chief, ACP Samuel Lartey, Deputy Regional Police Commander of the Central Region, and Mrs. Dorcas Hutchful Aidoo, Secretary to the committee.

Swearing in the committee on Wednesday, the Central Regional Minister, Mrs. Ama Benyiwa Doe, charged them to come out with appropriate findings and recommendations that would enable the perpetrators to be punished, and find a lasting solution to the riot.

She said the committee had 21 days to present its report to her office, adding that the calibre of the committee members gave her the confidence that they would deliver.

Mrs. Doe thanked the Agona Chiefs for cooperating with the REGSEC and DISEC to calm down nerves among the citizens.

For his part, Rev. Prof. Adow-Obeng, a native of Agona Nsaba, thanked the minister and chiefs for the confidence reposed in them as committee members, and promised to work without fear or favour to unravel the circumstances that led to the violence.

He said they would work within the specified time to enable the REGSEC implement the recommendations.

He expressed worry over the indulgence of the Agona youth in ritual money making, known as Sakawa, and other social vices that tend to put the traditional area in a bad light to the outside world.

Rev. Adow-Obeng therefore appealed to all citizens in the area to eschew all forms of social vices, so as to ensure peace and stability among the people.

Meanwhile, the chiefs of the Agona Traditional area, led by Okatakyi Nyanfeku, Omanhen of Agona Nyakrom, have announced a lift of sanctions that barred the Zongo communities from burying their dead on Agona Lands, selling in the markets, and interacting with Agona indigenes.

The chiefs recently held a press conference at Agona Nyakrom, and passed some resolutions, including the three lifted bans, after the violence that broke out on December 27, 2009, where two people lost their lives, with several people getting injured.

The chief of Agona Swedru, Nana Botwe, thanked the Regional Minister for the manner she handled the situation, and promised that the people would abide by the outcome of the committee investigations.

He urged the committee to be fair, and eschew partiality in their duty to make each of the feuding factions feel satisfied.

The Zongo Chief of Agona Swedru, Nana Daffi, said he was saddened by the turn of events, because at the time of the swearing in of the committee, one of his members was in the morgue, owing to the ban on burials by Zongo communities on Agona lands.

He therefore welcomed the lifting of the ban, and promised to divulge any information that would help the committee come out with lasting solutions.

The owners of Crokers, Solace and Paragon Bars, all drinking spots where properties were destroyed, were given some amounts by the Regional Coordinating Council to start their businesses.

An old woman, who was injured on her breast in the process, was given GH¢100, while three kids, who suffered injury during the attack, were also given some monies.

The Agona West Municipal Chief Executive, Felix Obeng Forson, thanked the chiefs for cooperating with the DISEC, the Regional Minister and her team, towards bringing peace to the area.

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