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01.12.2003 Regional News

Chief apologises for disturbances at Prang

By gna
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Prang (B/A), Dec 1, GNA- Nana Kwadwo Nyarko 111, Omanhene of Prang Traditional Area in Brong Ahafo has blamed the police for the degeneration of an otherwise peaceful demonstration by his people last week against the citing of the capital of the new Pru District at Yeji.

''A warning shot by a policeman that hurt some of the people might have incensed the others to turn violent, a situation that was most unfortunate,'' the chief said and apologized for that.

He told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Prang that the demonstration was a spontaneous action by the youth which was, as he later learnt, sparked by the news that the people of Duayaw Nkwanta, also in the region, had embarked on a demonstration against their alleged denial of a district status.

The 'Daily Graphic' in November published the creation of 19 new districts including Pru District, which was carved out of Atebubu District.

Nana Nyarko, who is the President of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, said whilst in the palace he heard about the demonstration but felt that since it was a constitutional right he did not foresee any danger about it.

"It was later that I heard that a warning shot by a policeman had hurt some people and this had made others to become violent. The situation was compounded by the arrest of about 57 of them by the police", he said.

He said, "I myself felt trapped in my palace and I couldn't go out until a military officer and a policeman came to rescue me. The youth were just uncontrollable so I rushed to the Zongo Chief to talk to his people to calm down whilst we negotiated for the release of those arrested. "

''It is unthinkable for me to incite my people to embark on disturbances, which I know retard development and disturb the peace,'' Nana Nyarko added.

When questioned as to why he remained in his palace whilst the disturbances were going on, the Omanhene said the experiences at Acherensua and the Dagbon crisis made him to exercise his influence with caution since the youth were just uncontrollable and anything else could have happened to him. The town is now calm and social and economic activities have resumed.

Following the disturbances, the Brong Ahafo Regional Security Council (REGSEC) ordered the police to conduct full-scale investigations and submit a report to the appropriate authority for further action.

The Council also decided that the damage caused by the demonstrators to property would be assessed and the value surcharged to the Omanhene and his people.

The Omanhene was last Tuesday granted a 100 million cedis police bail with two sureties to be justified for his alleged involvement in the disturbances.

Mr Alexander Mensah, Regional Crime Officer, told the Ghana News Agency in Sunyani that the police granted the chief bail after he had given a statement to the police in connection with the disturbances as ordered by the REGSEC.

Investigations are on-going to ascertain the extent of Nana Nyarko's involvement and he is to report at the regional police headquarters again on December 8.

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