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14.10.2003 General News

Farmer asks NRC for eggs for pacification

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Accra, Oct. 14, GNA - Opanin Kwame Nsiah, a cocoa farmer resident in Konongo in the Ashanti Region, on Tuesday called on Members of the National Reconciliation Commission to pacify him with some eggs, adding that it would help restore his dignity.

He said in 1967, after the Arthur and Yeboah coup attempt, he was arrested with some other CPP members for allegedly jubilating during the coup, adding that he spent a total of 12 months in detention. Opanin Nsiah said the chief of the town, Opanin Aning and one Opanin Kwame Nyame who were members of the United Party (UP) reported them to the police that they were jubilating, hence the arrest.

He said some the prisoners were as old as 70 years old including women, adding that they were first taken to the Konongo Police station and detained for four days.

"I was then taken to Kumasi Prisons where I was detained for five months then to the Usher Fort Prisons for seven months,'' he said, adding that he was not even in town when Arthur and Yeboah attempted the coup.

Opanin Nsiah said he was neither charged nor arraigned before court, adding that he was released the same day with Krobo Edusei. The witness said he got home only to realize that he had lost most of his property, including livestock and cocoa farm.

He said his wife assisted in taking care of the 10 children, four of whom have travelled outside the country and are taking good care of him.

The witness said in spite of the fact that he went back into cocoa farming after he was released with the farm having flourished, he still needed "some eggs" from the NRC to pacify his soul and to restore his dignity.

Mr. David Kobina Osei, another farmer from Takorad told the NRC that he was arrested by soldiers in 1972 for allegedly selling some cola nuts belonging to one Grace Brew and her mother for 20,000 cedis and had kept the money.

He said Grace Brew rather sold some cola nuts, the two of them cultivated together worth 400 cedis for 1,700 cedis and took all the money away, after which she went to report him.

Mr. Osei said he was arrested and taken to the Takoradi Air Force Base where Grace and her mother had lodged a complaint against him, adding that he was severely beaten with water hose. He said he was interrogated about the 20,000 cedis, but after he explained that he knew nothing about it, they released him. The witness said he reported the case to the Cape Coast police, adding that he travelled to Kumasi the following day, only to come back the next day to be told that his wives had been arrested and taken to the Air Force Base.

He said he followed up to the Air Force Base where they arrested and detained him and freed his wives.

Mr. Osei said he was kept in detention for two weeks after which the soldiers seized 14 bags of cola nut he had at home, adding that he was subsequently released.

The witness said he was suffering from cataract due to the beatings he received from the soldiers and pleaded with the Commission to help him treat it.

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