Residents of Konkori, a community near Sokoban in the Atwimaa Kwanwoma District of the Ashanti Region, are enraged over what they allege is a collusion between their chief, Nana Akate Agyemang and the Asokwa police to harass any resident who opposes his indiscriminate sale of community lands.
The residents are accusing the Asokwa Police Commander of harassing them on the instructions of their chief after the police stormed the community recently, arresting some persons allegedly amidst gun shots and assaults. The residents were particularly incensed by the latest of the chief’s land-sales spree which involved a community school land and a cemetery.
According to the residents, the chief, Nana Akate Agyemang, who they claimed they had destooled traditionally by removing his sandals, contracted the police to harass them because they opposed his indiscriminate sale of community lands.
The frustrated residents who spoke to Ultimate Radio appealed to the Ashanti Regional Police Command to stop the Asokwa Police Commander’s murky involvement in the matter.
An angry resident told Ultimate Radio, “I want the Regional Police Commander to investigate the Asokwa Police Commander. He is harassing us too much. He should come and see the school and the cemetery whether our claims are true or not. The Asokwa Commander is maltreating us. He should come and see what we are going through” he suggested.
Another irate female resident said “We are pleading with the regional police commander to come to our aid because we are suffering. Is it within the law that if an old man is being arrested, you can fire gun shots and assault people? We are suffering”.
Some opinion leaders claim the Chief of Adum, who has oversight jurisdiction over the Konkori community set up a committee to arbitrate the controversial sale of lands. The committee however halted its work over two years ago claiming the chief was too frail to be confronted. They told Ultimate Radio “the committee acknowledged their claims but pleaded with them to be patient as the Chief could die in no time due to his old age”.
The residents say the police harassment became rampant especially after they refused to hold their peace and allow the chief enjoy his booty while they awaited his death, as was suggested to them by the Adum Hene’s committee.
“They are always harassing us with police because of our stance that we will never agree for him to continue being the chief of this town. The elders who destooled the chief by taking off his royal sandals have all been arrested,” a resident recounted.
The Chief of the community has however denied the allegations leveled against him. He told Ultimate Radio that his life is in danger because the residents have threatened to attack him.
Nana Akate Agyemang said he only called in the police when he was ambushed on his way to the Palace to peacefully hand over his royal stool.
“They attacked me and tried to take off my sandals and I resisted so they used a blade to cut my foot. I reported the case to Asokwa police and the police arrested them. The commander told them they didn’t act according to the law, so they apologized”
He claims the residents had begged him not to press any charges against them only for them to turn around to attack him.
He also told Ultimate Radio, the issue had been reported to the Manhyia Palace where an independent investigation into the matter exonerated him from any wrong doing.
“I have not sold any school lands and I can never sell the cemetery land. I have been a chief for 30yrs so I understand customs and will never sell school lands. I have not even finished selling the stool lands in this town, so how come I will sell those lands?” he inquired.
The Asokwa Police Commander would not comment on the matter despite efforts by Ultimate Radio to get his response. Four persons including a woman are behind bars for their involvement in the attack on the chief. They were arrested on Sunday but are yet to be charged.