Okyenhene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin has appealed to the Ghana Police Service to restore peace and order to the Asamankese traditional area.
According to him, the impasse which resulted in the seizure and occupation of the Asamankese palace was an assault on the dignity and integrity of Okyeman.
This comes after the chief of Aworasa, Barima Pobi Asomanin II, allegedly raided the Asamankese palace claiming legitimacy to the throne.
In a statement reacting to the events, the Okyenhene clarified that “Osabarima Adu Darko III remains the legitimate Chief of Asamankese; thus, the purported installation of Barima Pobi Asomanin II is unlawful, irregular, uncustomary, and an aberration of Akyem Abuakwa custom and therefore null, void, and of no effect.”
He further stated that the impasse as to who the legitimate chief was had already been resolved in favour of Osabarima Adu Darko III, adding that Barima Pobi Asomanin II was fined, hence his latest actions are affront to “the dignity of Okyeman, and a desecration and violation of its cherished customs and traditions.”
The Okyenhene has thus called on the Inspector General of Police to thoroughly probe the incident and unreservedly bring all culprits to book.
He said the current volatile situation requires urgent “personal intervention” of the IGP as well as the intervention of all security agencies, as he has received reports indicating “the possibility of spontaneous retaliatory actions as a result of this unwarranted provocation,”
He called for inventory to be taken of all customary items and artifacts, adding: “It is to be noted that this is without prejudice to other related regular customary and disciplinary measures to be taken against Barima Pobi Asomanin III, and other errant chiefs.”
Some 38 alleged thugs are in the grips of the Asamankese Police Command in the Eastern Region over renewed chieftaincy clashes in the area in which two persons were allegedly shot.
The suspects were arrested on Monday after they were allegedly hired by Barima Pobi Asomanin to aid his enstoolment as a chief.
The enstoolment ceremony was characterized by sporadic gunshots amidst resistance from some residents, believed to be followers of Osabarima Adu Darko III.
Whilst some residents pelted stones at the thugs who provided security for the ceremony, others fled the tensed scene.
Before the ceremony, the gun-wielding thugs were alleged to have forcibly broken into the main palace, threatening to destroy lives and property.
The presence of a Police team brought the volatile situation under control for the enstoolment process to continue. Some chiefs and elders performed traditional rites, including the slaughtering of a sheep and pouring of libation.
In a speech after his purported entoolment, Barima Pobi Asomanin claimed his legitimacy had been endorsed by a Koforidua High Court and the Akyem-Abuakwa Traditional Council.
“I want to tell my people to exercise restraint; we don’t need any disturbances. I pledged to use lawful means to resolve this issue and take what rightfully belongs to me, and that’s exactly what I have done.
“Today is a very important day for us in Asamankese because this issue had been lingering for long. They lost all their cases at the High Court. They proceeded to the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs where they lost an appeal,” he stated.
Barima Pobi Asomanin further claimed that a High Court and the Judicial Committee of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs had ruled that his rival, Osabarima Adu Darko III, is not the rightful occupant of the stool and cannot hold himself as such.
He said he had notified all relevant authorities, including the Inspector General of Police, of what he termed “the continuous occupation of the palace” by the rival chief, and had also petitioned the Presidency to intervene.