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11.08.2004 Regional News

Berekum Heads for Bloodshed

By Chronicle
Berekum Heads for Bloodshed
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As Minority attempts to install paramount chief IGP, BAR & Ashanti Ministers censured for unwarranted remarks The Berekum Traditional Area in the Brong Ahafo Region may well be heading towards possible bloodshed, as the traditional authorities wrangle over the choice a new paramount chief.

The Queen Mother, Nana Akua Ameahene and some divisional chiefs have installed a medical practitioner, Dr. Leo Ofori but the Krontihene and acting President of the traditional council, Nana Ofori Appiah and other divisional chiefs have proposed a counter candidate.

Speaking to the media at Berekum after an abortive planned installation of Nana Appiah's choice, Mr. John Atta Nyamekye, former Managing Director of the Ayensu Industries, the Krontihene warned that his faction, which he said constitutes the majority, would not sit down for the minority faction to take them for granted. He said they were determined to install a chief that all the people of Berekum wanted.

On Monday August 9, seven of the nine divisional chiefs and three of the four royal gates met to install Mr. Nyamekye, but the police had to stop them, because the police said they were not formally notified.

But Nana Appiah told the press that the seven divisional chiefs and three royal gates would, on August 16, receive and endorse Mr. Nyamekye as the new paramount chief.

He accused the Inspector General of Police, Nana Owusu Nsiah, also known as Nana Owusu Effah, who he said is a member of the Queen Mother's faction, of being the brain behind the protracted chieftaincy dispute.

According to him Nana Nsiah had been using the police to intimidate and harass members of the majority faction.

He also chastised the Brong Ahafo and Ashanti Regional Ministers, Nana Kwadwo Seinti and Mr. Sampson Kwaku Boafo, for making "unwarranted statements" during the purported installation of Dr. Ofori.

According to Nana Appiah, the two ministers were reported to have said that they, and for that matter the government, supported Dr. Ofori.

He said: " Knowing very well that Dr. Ofori was not properly installed as tradition demanded, it was very unfortunate statement made by the two government officials."

Nana Krontihene said as far as they were concerned there was no paramount chief in Berekum, adding that the rulings by the Wenchi and Sunyani High Courts as well as the Supreme Court never stated anywhere that Nana Ameahene and her faction had the mandate to install a chief.

"The substantive case, as far as we are concerned, is still pending before the Judicial Committee of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs," he declared.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court said the procedure for appeal against the ruling of the Wenchi court was wrong.

It therefore ordered that the Judicial Committee of the regional house of chiefs should be reconstituted, because the committee's counsel appointed by the Attorney General was improperly done.

Nana Appiah appealed to President Kufuor to set a commission to investigate the Berekum Chieftaincy affair.

He said the nomination of Dr. Ofori by his sister, the queen mother, was her sole decision, because the four royal gates met twice to brainstorm and nominate a suitable candidate but could not reach any conclusion.

While the king makers were still searching for a suitable candidate, the queen mother and the royal gate where Dr. Ofori comes from, nominated him without the consent of the seven other divisional chiefs.