THERE WAS drama when a man temporarily turned into a statue as he could not move or talk for hours at Atasemanso in Kumasi Sunday morning.
The man, believed to be in his late 30s, suffered the ordeal because he allegedly killed a crocodile in River Atasee, which is at the outskirts of Atasemanso.
It is a taboo for anyone to kill animals that live in River Atasee, including crocodiles, crabs and fish, since they are considered children of the river god.
Any person that breaks this strict rule, which has been there for ages, by killing an animal from the river, would suffer dire consequences, including death.
The victim, name not known, who is believed to be an Ewe, but lives at Atasemanso, unknowingly killed the crocodile.
He was on his way taking his booty home to perhaps prepare food with it when he got stuck right in the middle of Atasemanso Township.
The man reportedly could not talk for about six hours as the dead crocodile lay by his side – a strange spectacle which attracted people to the scene.
The town folks said the spot where the man got stuck has a tributary of River Atasee so they believed the angry river god caused the man’s shocking posture.
A powerful fetish priest in the town was quickly called to perform some rituals before the man was able to speak and walk once again around 7am.
The crowd that besieged the scene on the day which was ‘Akwasidae’ on the Asante calendar, was so huge that the police were invited to ensure law and order.
The police were said to have whisked away the man to the station so as to prevent a situation where the mob would try to assault him.
Nana Ofori Nyarko, Gyasehene of Atasemanso, who was at the scene, without mincing words, stated that the river god turned the man into a statue.
He said it is an open secret in the town that people are forbidden to kill animals that live in the river ‘and we have respected this rule for ages.’
According to him, four people that broke the rule and killed animals from the river got killed in bizarre manners later.
He feared that if proper sacrifices were not performed by the elders and the fetish of the town to pacify the obviously angry river god, ‘the man will die soon.’
Nana Nyarko said the initial sacrifice that the fetish priest performed in the morning was made to make the man active to talk and walk once again.
He said to save the man from an imminent death, he had to buy a coffin and a white cloth which would be used to cover the crocodile, for burial.
The chief said the burial would take place at the banks of the river where the elders would pour libation and other sacrifices to appease the river god.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi
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