There was pandemonium at Lower Dixcove in the Ahanta West Municipality of the Western Region on Sunday when the Paramount Chief of the area, Nana Kwasi Agyemang IX, was allegedly subjected to severe beatings, stripped naked and kidnapped by assailants of a rival chief.
The unfortunate incident happened at about 11:30pm; currently, there is no atmosphere of calm in the town.
The attackers, believed to be supporters of a rival paramount chief called Nana Hema Dekyi at Upper Dixcove, were said to have used dynamite to break into the heavily fortified gate at the palace of the paramount chief of Lower Dixcove to take control of the palace.
They allegedly damaged some items at the palace with clubs and other implements, and set the transformer in the area ablaze, resulting in a total blackout in the area.
They then abducted the paramount chief to the rival's palace at Upper Dixcove, beat him to pulp, stripped him naked and inflicted machete wounds on him.
The cause of their action was not immediately known, but it was believed to have been necessitated by a land dispute between the victim and the rival chief.
The abducted paramount chief was later rescued by the police and rushed to the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital in Sekondi for treatment after the police had received a distress call from some relatives of the chief.
According to sources, he was rescued from the palace of the rival chief and was said to be in a very bad condition.
Western Regional Police Public Relations head DSP Olivia Ewurabena Adiku disclosed that police had information that the rival chief, Nana Hema Dekyi, Paramount Chief of Upper Dixcove, had already made an announcement for his subjects to gather at his palace on Sunday.
She said the police gathered that the rival chief allegedly brought some heavily built men (machomen) from outside the town who were wielding machetes and clubs.
They then attacked Nana Kwasi Agyemang IX and his people at his palace at Lower Dixcove late in the night. They destroyed properties and kidnapped the chief and four of his men.
She added that the police in the Ahanta West Municipality with reinforcement from Sekondi moved to Dixcove and rescued Nana Kwasi Agyemang IX and the four kidnapped persons from the palace of the rival chief.
“They were locked up in a room in the second floor of the palace of the rival chief… and police had to break into the room to rescue them. No suspect was met at the Upper Dixcove Palace as they fled on the arrival of police,” DSP Adiku revealed.
She said the police quickly sent the five rescued persons to the Effia-Nkwanta Hospital where they are currently receiving treatment.
According to the police PRO, a Ford vehicle with registration GT7299-X and a Daewoo saloon car with registration GS4207-10 belonging to Nana Kwasi Agyemang IX had their windscreens and glasses damaged.
She pointed out that about eight boats at the beach near the victim's palace were also set ablaze and the fire caused damage to electric poles and cables.
She said the police were patrolling the area to avert reprisal attacks.
DSP Adiku told DAILY GUIDE that the whereabouts of suspect and the rival chief, Nana Hema Dekyi were not known.
A police source also told DAILY GUIDE that about four persons had been apprehended in connection with the incident.
Rival Chief Speaks
Nana Hema Dekyi XIV, the said rival chief, later denied media reports that he is at large and insisted that he was not behind the incident.
According to him, he was not at his palace at Upper Dixcove at the time of the incident and that it was the regional police commander who called to ask him questions about it.
“I am currently in Takoradi preparing myself to receive the president who will visit my traditional area to cut sod for the construction of a landing beach,” he said, adding “I will go to the police myself and will visit Nana Kwasi Agyemang if I am told where he is.”
DAILY GUIDE Warning
It would be recalled that DAILY GUIDE reported on May 30, 2019, that tension was brewing between supporters of the two rival chiefs following a fracas which occurred during the launch of this year's Kundum Festival of the chiefs and people of Upper Dixcove.