The Story Of A Vulnerable Migrant
Mohammed Tahir, is a Ghanaian and a native of Anyinam , currently living abroad .I am using this medium to bring to fore the circumstances behind his fleeing from Ghana into obscurity and to also appeal to the government of that foreign country where he currently resides not to return him [ Tahir Mohammed] to Ghana.
Mohammed Tahir, who is a first child of my late friend, left Ghana under bizarre circumstances in 2008 when his life came under serious threat by the traditional council of the Anyinam Traditional Council of the Eastern Region of Ghana.
He flee Ghana into unknown location because his people wanted to kill him for his refusal to accept a position given to him as the next Obrafuor of his traditional area. The chiefs and people of the Anyinam area viewed his refusal of the position as disrespectful to their tradition.
Another reason why his life was been sought after was in order not for him[ Mohammed Tahir] to exposed the secret of his people to the outside world because they were of the view that since he had declined to accept that position, he might exposed their outmoded wicked tradition to outsiders.
Mohammed Tahir’s late father was chosen to be the next Obrafuor in 2005 after the death of the previous one. Even though their father accepted the offer, he couldn’t disclosed it to his children because of the children’s religious beliefs which is Islam.
The role of the Obrafuor literally translated as the ‘’ Executioner’’ is to behead people during the death of a chief or a king. The beheaded people are to be buried together with a dead chief
In the history of the Anyinam Tradition, whenever a chief dies, he is supposed to be buried with the chopped heads of other persons believed to be his servants in the other world.
‘’The previous Obrafuor[Executioner] who died in 2002 has no children hence the reason for the chiefs and people to select a new Obrafuor. After some ancestral consultation, my father was chosen as the new executioner for the Anyinam traditional area in 2005’’.
The father couldn’t informed his children of the new position given him even though he had discussed it with his wife until his sudden demise in a car accident in 2005. The reason been that the children are practicing Muslims whose religion goes contrary to the role of the executioner and the practices of the Anyinam people .
After the death of Tahir Mohammed’s father in 2005, the Chiefs informed him[Tahir] of the position given to their father before his death and their collective agreement for Tahir to succeed his late father since he is the first child of the father.
Tahir declined to accept that position on two grounds. One , it is against the practice of Islam his religion and two, he himself as a person doesn’t believe in the practices of burying a chief with chopped heads of others in the name of serving the late chief in the ancestral world.
Against this background, the chief and his cabinet took offence against Tahir for declining the new Obrafuor[Executioner] position and feared that he [Tahir] will exposed their evil deeds to the outside world and therefore ordered for his arrest and subsequent execution.
Mohammed Tahir, through my help managed to flee the Anyinam area into hiding into unknown location until recently when he called me that he is in abroad.
Just this year 2016, in desperation to appease their gods, the younger brother of Mohammed by name Rashad was captured and appointed as the new Obrafuor since his brother was no way to be found and it has also been a longer period since the Anyinam enclave had an Obrafuor pending the approval of their ancestors.
Rashad was appointed as the new Obrafuor against his will as he was also a Muslim like his elder brother and therefore declined to accept that position
Unfortunately for the chiefs and leaders, Rashad’s appointment was disapproved by the ancestors based on the reason that his elder brother Tahir is still alive and that it is only Tahir who can occupy that position. Rashad , was subsequently murdered in the evil forest of the Anyinam enclave as a result and his decomposed body was found by a farmer who informed the family later.
‘’I am bringing this story out now for the international community and human rights activists to intervene in saving the life of my friend Tahir who is now in overseas. I am also pleading to remain anonymous because should they [ the Anyinam Traditional Council] get to know I am the one who helped Tahir to escape and also brought this story out, my life would be in great danger’’.
I decided to use the power of the press to bring this story out because I have hope in the media and since the police have failed to intervene in this situation despite several reports made to them. The police claim that they do not meddle in traditional affairs.
We have petitioned the Eastern Regional Police Command, the Regional Coordination Council[RCC], the Regional Security Council[REGSEC] and other influential bodies within Ghana to intervene in saving the situation but all to no avail, hence the reason for using the media.
‘’We are further calling on other religious bodies, Civil Society Organizations’[CSOs], youthful groups and all well meaning Ghanaians from all walks of life who truly understand the principles of human rights and justice to intervene and help us solve this situation’’
‘’The writer is a native of Anyinam in the Eastern Region of Ghana and a close friend to the parents of Tahir Mohammed’’
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