Two Die In Wild Protest Against Relocation Of District Capital At Foase
Natives and other residents of Foase in the Atwima Kwanwoma District of Ashanti Region have vowed to resist relocation of the district capital from the town to neighbouring Twedie.
The declaration comes after police allegedly shot and killed two people in violent protests on the issue on Wednesday.
Angry youth who mounted roadblocks and burnt lorry tyres besieged the assembly offices to seize air conditioners being sent to Twedie.
Foase has, since 2008, remained the capital of the new district carved out of the then Bosomtwe Atwima Kwanwoma District in 2007 by the Kufuor government.
Authorities settled on it as compromise location following a fierce controversy between Twedie and Trede over which should become the district capital.
A Supreme Court ruling on May 22, 2012, however annulled the siting of the capital at Foase.
It followed a petition by Twediehene, Nana Kwarteng Panin Akosa the second, and others in 2009.
Residents have been angered by a decision by current District Chief Executive, Nana Okyere Tawiah Antwi , to enforce the Supreme Court ruling to relocate the capital from Foase.
The youth went on a protest on Wednesday and took the DCE and other workers hostage until police arrived on the scene and rescued them.
The ensuing firing of gunshots in an attempt to disperse the mob resulted in the death of two people.
One Kwaku died instantly while a second person, 30-year old Prince Boateng, also known as Bootey died later at a health facility at Afari near Nkawie.
Prince’s spouse, Abenaa Gyamfuah is heartbroken.
The youth leader of Foase, Elvis Appiah, who led the youth in yesterday's protest, says no amount of persuasion can force them to soften their stance.
"The best way to solve it is by maintaining the council (District capital) here. That's the only thing we need. We are not going to agree with government [to relocate the capital from here]. Never! Ever. It won't happen," he said.
According to Mr. Appiah, residents are hurt to learn their community would be no more the district capital as it becomes a subject of discussion..
"This district has been here for eleven good years. Imagine. If it happens to you, how are you going to feel? We are in pain," he revealed.]
The action of the youth and subsequent reaction by security operatives brought the town on its knees with economic activities coming to a standstill on Thursday.
At least, two basic schools and a health post in the community remained closed as a skeletal police team patrolled the town to protect the District Assembly offices.
This means pupils have a field day to operate as adults group themselves into discussions of what could be next for the town.
Foasehene, Nana Bediako Appiah Ampam-Frimpong, denies allegation he is instigating his people.
He rather blames the DCE for secretly leading a crusade to relocate the district capital from Foase.