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18.09.2002 General News

There'll be another Yendi. if ...

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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Akuse (Eastern Region) – Security experts who have been scratching their heads in recent times over the volatile situation in and around Akuse in the Eastern region, will now have to be more pragmatic, if they hope to avert the looming bloody clash between the chiefs and people of the Manya Krobo and Osudoku traditional areas.

The chief of Akuse, Nene Asade Ahor, who sounded this note of caution to the authorities through the Chronicle, explained that, should the gun crack, what happened at Yendi in March this year would, by comparison, be a child's play.

"I am a law-abiding citizen but my patience is wearing out. I don't want us to start spending billions of our hard-earned cedis on conflict resolution as is happening up north. We are being driven to the edge of a precipice and, if nothing is done about this problem early enough, the consequences will be indescribable," the embittered chief told Chronicle.

The long-standing but simmering land dispute took a dramatic turn last Monday during the inauguration of the newly-elected members of the Manya Krobo district assembly when five out of the six elected members representing the Akuse township daringly took a secessionist stance and in a petition to the district assembly, adopted Dodowa in the Dangme West district of the Greater Accra region as their "new home."

And true to their word they drove there to be sworn-in, leaving their 48 other colleagues in a limbo. But for the timely intervention of Prof Dominic Fobih, Minister for Environment and Science who represented the President Kufuor, the packed parish hall of the St. Martin's Catholic Church would have been the theatre of that Armageddon yet to come.

Some participants, including one Emmanuel Adjei Tettey-Fio, demanded an explanation from their chief executive of rumours they were hearing and the conspicuous absence of the 'Akuse clique' before proceedings would be allowed to continue.

In fact, not even a reply by Hon. Andrews Kwasi Teye, the DCE, that a team of personnel from the regional police command had been dispatched to Dodowa to block the inauguration of the five 'renegades' would go down well with the obviously dissatisfied crowd, until the passionate appeal by the soft-spoken professor to the chiefs to exercise restraint was made.

Speaking after the ceremony, Nene Ahor, who incidentally is a government appointee to the M.K.D.A. said a few people are masterminding the whole development but declined to mention names.

He reiterated that if the agenda of the perpetrators was aimed at seceding to the Dangme West district, then it was bound to fail because his subjects would defend their land with the last pint of their blood.

He therefore asked the Nana Kofi Aboagye, Caxton Adjei Obodai, Emmanuel Narh Konor, Francis Odonkor Quarcoo and Sylavanus Kwaku Attivor the secessionists to move out of the town if they would not abide by the laws of Manya Krobo.

The chief hoped Prof. Fobih would make good his promise, saying, "A stitch in time saves nine." A source close to the Local Government ministry intimated to this paper that there is the likelihood that those seats would be declared vacant for subsequent bye-elections since those chosen did not avail themselves to be sworn in.

While some observers felt the DCE's explanation was rather equivocal because it failed to mention which regional police - Eastern or Greater Accra - was handling the matter, others wondered how a candidate would be elected in one district only to be sworn-in in another.

It would be recalled that since the construction of the Kpong Hydroelectric dam, the two neighbours with similar dialects had been at each other's throat as to whose land had gone under water, leading to a near battle in 1995 and the eventual setting up of the Nathan Quao Commission. But the report of that commission whose implementation could have settled the dispute, till today, has not been released.

Present at last Monday's event were Hon. Michael Teye Nyaunu, MP for the area, and Nene Agmortey Zogli II, acting president of the Manya Krobo Traditional Council.

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