Tension is mounting in Emena, a community in the Oforikrom Municipality of the Ashanti Region, due to the destruction of a community cemetery by a developer.
The developer brought trucks to the site over the weekend, claiming to have obtained a court order to work on the land.
As a result of this development, some bodies have been exhumed, causing alarm among residents.
Three individuals were arrested on Saturday in connection with the incident but have since been released on bail.
Concerns have emerged about the potential environmental and health impacts on the community as the graves have been left uncovered.
Emena Appiadu, the Assembly Member for the Boadi, Emena Appiadu, and Kokoben Electoral area, as well as Kenneth Owusu Bediako, provided an account of the incident.
“Last Saturday around 5;30am I was called by one resident in Emena that there were some agitations in the community so I quickly tried moving out. On my way out, I saw some youth from Emena, both males and females who were in red hand bands. The agitation was that a grader has been set on their cemetery to pave the way for a woman who was building on the cemetery land.
“And hence bodies that were buried years and months ago have been exposed and they don’t understand why people who were involved in this action were walking freely, whiles those who were protesting against this action have been arrested and sent to Appiah Adu police station by the anti-robbery team in Oforikrom.
“I rushed to the scene to ascertain what the youth were saying, and true to their words, I realised there had been some grading on the land, and some bodies and tombs that used to exist are no more there. After having first-hand information, I moved towards the police station to ask why they have been arrested and l was informed that the complainants said the youth threatened to kill or beat them and that they feared for their lives”.
Municipal Chief Executive for Oforikrom, Abraham Kwame Antwi however told Citi News a team of Environmental Health Officers is working to carry out fumigation of the area and also cover the open graves.
“The police will look at it, they have invited the parties. In terms of who owns the land, that is purely the preserve of the traditional authorities and the courts to determine. We are more particular about the security implications. So we have got a team of professionals including environmental health, disease control, physical planning, works department people, we have been there to look at the situation. The recommendation is that the open grave poses a serious threat to human life and if we quickly don’t deal with it and fumigate and cover the place, we could easily have some issues with health, some airborne and water diseases,” he said.
He added that the traditional council has been asked to liaise with Manhyia palace to pour some libation to avert any untoward.
“We have asked the Abusuapanin and the traditional authorities to liaise with Manhyia to pour libation and other things for us to cover the graves and also fumigate the place,” Abraham Kwame Antwi stated.
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