Kuntum festival turns violent at Apremdo

By Mildred Siabi-Mensah, GNA

Apremdo (W/R), Sept. 28, GNA – The brouhaha as
to who has the legal or traditional mandate to celebrate  Kuntum festival at  Apremdo, a chieftaincy wrecked area in the
Western Region, turned bloody when the factions clashed resulting in massive
destruction of  property.

An eye witness said the violent incident
occurred around 1900 hours on Wednesday evening resulting in the burning of
houses and acid injuries to some people in the community.

The Apremdo community in the Ahanta
Traditional Area and under the Effia-Kwesimintsim Metropolitan Assembly (EKMA)
has been ravaging in terms of social amenities and quality leadership due to a
prolonged chieftaincy dispute between the two factions.

One of the factions supporting the alleged
destooled chief, Nana Egya Kwamena XI insisted that the Queen mother, Nana Mozu
had been destooled while the other faction backing the Queen mother also
claimed that the chief had been destooled.

This clearly showed the lack of direction in
leadership and community mobilization which must be corrected by stakeholders
particularly the Ahanta Traditional Council to enable peace to prevail and
canvass development.

As part of the steps taken to ensure that
peace prevailed in the area, the Metropolitan Security Council advised the
people not to celebrate the Kuntum festival this year. However, one of the
factions, believed to be supporters of the alleged destooled chief decided to
start the celebration with drumming and dancing on Wednesday evening and while
on it, the group received upfront confrontation by the other faction which
resulted in the feud.

Some houses were set ablaze while some other
persons suffered acid burns and cutlass wounds.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Olivia
Ewurabena Adiku, Regional Police Public Relations Officer, who confirmed the
incident, said the police have since arrested nine persons in connection with
the violence.

They are Kofi Arhin, 21; Edward Johnson, 21;
Evans Amoah 30, Solomon Wuru 50, Jona Odum 25, Joseph Essien 43, John Baidoo
47, David Osei Yalley 24 and John Banasco 35.

She said the police also retrieved drums,
daggers, machetes, gong-gongs and talisman from them.

According to her, the Kwesimintsim District
Police Commander, Superintendent (Supt) Peter Aidoo received a call from the
Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) Kojo Acquah which indicated that there was a
violent clash at Apremdo.

She said the District Commander quickly
informed the Police Patrol team at Kwesimintsim to proceed to the scene.

She said whiles there, a group of people
suspected to belong to the faction of the Queen Mother Nana Mozu VIII led by
one John Nat Panyin attacked some members of the other faction and sprinkled
some substance suspected to be acid on them.

The PRO said the Regional Information room of
the Police Service was also informed and three patrol teams were dispatched to
the scene where they saw that a house had been set ablaze.

She indicated that some people sustained various
degrees of injuries and were rushed to Kwesimintsim Government Hospital.

She explained further that Nana Egya Kwamina
XI, the destooled chief’s faction became infuriated and went to John Nat
Panyin’s house where they suspected the other group had gone into hiding. The
group surrounded the said house and set the house ablaze and bolted.

The Police PRO noted that those in the house
at the time, managed to escape but the house got burnt together with other
unidentified properties.

DSP Olivia Adiku mentioned that the Queen
Mother of Apremdo Nana Mozu later reported an assault and arson case on her
relatives against one Paapa and Yankey all of Apremdo.

The PRO said the Police proceeded to the
Hospital and found 14 people including men, women and children with various
degrees of injuries.

She revealed that one Dominic Yankey and
Joseph Baidoo had parts of their faces burnt while one Ignatius Yankey also had
a cutlass wound on the head.

She said at the Military Clinic at Apremdo,
one Kingsley Cudjoe, 63 who sustained a deep cut on the head, was treated and
discharged.

The Regional Police PRO said calm had returned
to the area, while the police was still keeping vigilance and continuing with
investigations.

GNA

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