A scene at Kumawu-Bodomase prior to the clash
Security was yesterday beefed up at Kumawu and its surrounding communities in the Ashanti Region following a violent clash between a royal sect of the Kumawu paramount stool and security agencies Thursday afternoon.
The incident, which occurred at Kumawu Bodomase in the Sekyere Kumawu District, reportedly left five police officers with gunshot wounds.
They were rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi for medical attention.
ASP Mohammed Yusif Tanko, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ashanti Regional Police Command, who confirmed the incident, said four of the officers had been discharged after receiving treatment, while one – in critical condition – remained on admission.
The victims were said to be among a team of police and military officers deplored to Kumawu Bodomase by the District Security Council (DISEC) to prevent John Akwasi Oduro, telecommunication engineer, from parading as Kumawu paramount chief.
Three embattled chiefs of the Kumawu Traditional Area – Nana Akwasi Baffoe II, Akwamuhene; Nana Sarfo Agyekum II, Aduanahene and Nana Okyere Krapah, Akyempemhene – on Monday, January 12, 2015 installed the 58-year-old man as the new chief of Kumawu, even though the area already has one.
Mr Akwasi Oduro, who was working with the British Royal Mail, Post High Grade, in London, was given a stool name Twereboa Kodua V to rival Dr. Emmanuel Yaw Kantanka Sarfo-Asante, 49, who had then been installed the paramount chief of the area with the stool name Barima Sarfo Twereboa Kodua.
The Thursday clash ensued when the rival paramount chief, Twereboa Kodua V, and his supporters were prevented by security agencies from participating in the final burial rites of Nana Okyere Krapah, one of the chiefs who installed him as Kumawuhene.
Until his death, Nana Okyere Krapah was the chief of the Bodomase community and destooled Akyeampemhene of Kumawu, having failed to recognise Barima Sarfo Twereboa Kodua as the legitimate paramount chief of the Kumawu Traditional Area.
The resistance by the district security dramatically escalated tension as the claimant of the Kodua Stool and his supporters attempted to force their way to the burial ground, trying to break through a human barricade of security personnel.
However, the security officers, who did not take kindly to this, began firing warning shots and teargas in a move to disperse the crowd.
The residents of the area, who construed the security people’s action as an attack on them, also hurled stones at them and that resulted into chaotic scenes, with people running helter-skelter.
No arrest was made as at press time, but the PRO said the people threw grenade made of petrol at a military officer during the melee, which was followed by a pellet discharged from a supposed pump-action gun that hit five officers.
From Ernest Kofi Adu, Kumasi