The simmering tension over the installation of two rival paramount chiefs in the Anum Traditional Area of the Eastern Region took a dramatic twist on Sunday, July 23, 2023 during the Akwasidea celebrations in the area.
One side’s occupation of the palace in the wake of a temporal injunction placed on both sides from accessing the building did not go down well with the other faction who mobilized to demonstrate their disapproval to stage.
The youth from the Bruku Bretuo Royal Family clad in red arm bands and numbering about twenty staged a spontaneous demonstration to the palace to present their grievances to the district police commander where they met a wall of police personnel drawn from Akosombo led by the district police commander who eventually managed to restrain them and calm down nerves.
A reinforcement team of police from Akosombo responded to the threat to peace when one faction led by the queen mother stormed the palace to perform the rituals to mark the annual celebrations.
Detailing the events on the day, the Adontenhene of the Anum Traditional Area and Acting President of the Anum Traditional Council, Okogyeaman Nana Kwasi Anyane V in an interview with GhanaWeb accused the queen mother, Nana Ama Korangtenmaa and the Krontihene, Osahene Nana Owusu Ntow IV of blatantly disregarding the injunction by leading the rival chief, Okusiaku Kumi Sasraku VIII to celebrate the Akwasidae at the prohibited venue.
He said: “The palace has been placed under a ban, the other faction has also been injuncted against holding himself as chief and the case is currently before the Regional House of Chiefs and all of them have been served but they went into the palace,” disclosed the Adontenhene.
Expressing his disappointment in the police, he accused the Akosombo Police Commander of, despite a directive from his superiors at the regional level to secure the palace from being assessed by either side, failed to act to stop the illegality but instead protected the other faction to perpetrate the act.
Though the police explained that their actions were based on a supposed proof of a gazette recognizing Okusiaku Kumi Sasraku VIII as a legitimate chief, Okogyeaman Nana Kwasi Anyane V still insisted that he should’ve followed instructions to prevent either sides from entering the place.
The traditional leader reiterated his earlier calls for peace in the community and an amicable resolution of the impasse to ensure development in the area.
However, the Krontihene of the Anum Traditional Area, Osahene Nana Owusu Ntow IV in reacting to the allegations denied defying the orders of the Senchi District Magistrate Court to access the palace, insisting that their actions were proper as the said injunction was only valid for a period of ten days which elapsed long ago.
He added that though the other side have also petitioned the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs against them, the case was yet to be heard and thus no injunction has since been served aside from the earlier one from the Court.
According to him, the controversy surrounding the parallel chieftaincy installations was now dead on arrival following the gazetting of Nana Okusiaku Kumi Sasraku VIII.
“The Akosombo police commander sent us a letter the last Akwasidae that no one should go to the palace and that injunction takes ten days so those ten days have gone already. So luckily for us, we have gazetted our chief,” the chief explained.
Absolving the police of allegations of taking sides in the ongoing brouhaha, the Krontihene stated that the police only acted after being shown evidence of the official recognition of the Omanhene as the legitimate chief of the area through the gazette alongside the fact that the 10-day injunction has elapsed.
Osahene Nana Owusu Ntow IV disclosed: “They (police) came around and found out that nothing was going on, then they found out we have got a gazette for our paramount chief so what happened is they can’t do anything, they can’t prevent us from going to the palace so he (commander) guided us to finish our Akwasidae and they left.
He accused the Adontenhene of instigating an unlawful demonstration against the event without police permit and thereby heightening tensions in the area
Leader of the youth of the Bruku Bretuo Royal Family who led the demonstration, Opare Daniel Kofi in an interview said the purpose of their actions was to enable the youth channel their grievances to the district commander against the actions of the queen mother and draw his attention to the improprieties happening in the area.
The two sides led by the Adontenhene and the queen mother, Nana Ama Korangtenmaa respectively on the 5th of May, 2023 installed two paramount chiefs following the death of Nana Appiah Kumi whose reign lasted from 1970 to 2016 before passing on at age 86.
The Omanhene of Anum is selected rotationally from one of three families from the Bruku Bretuo Royal Family including Atta Anum (Panyin), Atta Kuma (Kakra) and Tawiah Families.
Abrewatia of the Bruku Bretuo Royal Family, Mr. Isaac Osei Ayesu contends that while the late chief hailed from the Tawiah family with the Atta Anum Family standing in line to produce the next chief, this was by-passed by the queen mother’s faction to select one Kwabena Asare who hails from the Atta Kuma Family for enstoolment.
Queen mother of the Anum Traditional Area, Nana Ama Korantenma I, the Krontihene, Osahene Nana Owusu Ntow IV, the Kyidomhene and Benkumhene reportedly installed Okusiaku Kumi Sasraku VIII, known in private life as Kwabena Asare, a grand-nephew to the queen mother, as the new paramount chief of the area.
Following this development, the Adontenhene together with the family insisting that the process was illegitimate same day also supervised the installation of Dickson Daniel Owusu as parallel Paramount Chief under the stool name, Nana Okoampata Hiawo Kumi II.
Following the development, the District Security Committee (DISEC) on the 9th of May, 2023 invited the two sides to a meeting at Akosombo.
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