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14.07.2003 Regional News

Esaase is not under siege by the Police - Queenmother

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Kumasi, July 14, GNA - Nana Serwaah Akenten, Queenmother of Esaase Bontefufuo, a mining community in the Amansie West District, has denied reports that the Police had laid siege of the town and imposed fear and insecurity among the people.

She said there was absolute peace, calm and tranquillity in the area, adding that, "it is not true that Policemen are patrolling the town".

Nana Akenten made the denial when she called at the Kumasi Office of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Sunday.

She said Policemen from the Striking Force Unit in Kumasi only went to the town to arrest a group of 16 suspects including Mr Kwame Acheampong, the Assembly Member, who allegedly assaulted some patriotic citizens of the area with canes and sticks to stop them from providing communal labour on a clinic being constructed for the community by the Catholic Church.

The offence of those patriotic citizens, according to the Queenmother was that they had defied an order by the Assembly Member that they should boycott any invitation to attend communal labour made to them by the Chiefs.

Nana Akenten alleged that about two months ago, Mr Acheampong severely beat up the gong-gong beater of the town for not consulting him before beating a gong-gong to invite the people to attend communal labour.

He also seized the gong-gong, which he said was still in his custody and a report was made to the Police at Ahwerewa where the case was now pending.

She said since the incident the relationship between the Chiefs and the Assembly Member had been frosty as "our position is that we are going to apply appropriate customary sanctions against him for his conduct".

Nana Akenten said anytime the Chiefs attempted to organise the people for any development activity, the Assembly Member would use a megaphone to tell them "to ignore us".

"It happened that we asked the people to provide communal labour on the clinic project and those who responded to the call were set on by the Assembly Member and his small band of supporters, using canes and sticks to whip them".

The Queenmother alleged that Nana Agyeman Badu Prempeh, Adontenhene, had to flee to Ahwerewa using a bush path to make a report to the Police.

She said as there was not enough Policemen at the station, they decided to go to Kumasi.

Nana Serwaah said it was, therefore, not true that the arrest was over the youth demand for probity and accountability as alleged by Mr Acheampong and his gang.

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