Some residents of Akropong–Akuapem in the Eastern Region on Tuesday embarked on a peaceful demonstration to call on government to order the National Security operatives to vacate the Okuapehene’s palace.
The residents, numbering about 500 from the various clans of Okuapeman, poured onto the principal streets to express their displeasure.
The protestors, who were in black and red attire, sang war songs to express their anger over the closure of the palace.
The leader of the group, Seth Anthony Marfo, called on the President to, as matter of urgency, remove the security operatives from the palace.
He said since the agents took over the palace, the workers have not been able to perform their normal duties at the place.
“All arbitration and conflicts cases that are supposed to be heard at the palace have stalled, the chiefs can’t sit on the cases again,” he said.
The protestors, who stormed the Akuapem North Municipal Assembly to present their petition to the assembly, said that they would advice themselves if the relevant authorities fail to address their concerns.
Denis Edward Aboagye, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Akuapem North, who received the petition on behalf of the President, promised to forward the petition to the presidency.
The National Security operatives and some police officers some months ago besieged the palace of the Akropong chief to pick up some prominent chiefs.
The move was in connection with the ongoing chieftaincy dispute over who should succeed the late Okuapehene, Oseadeyo Addo Dankwah III, who ruled for 41 years.
The National Security operatives reportedly arrested Nana Kwasi Omenako II, head of the Asona Family of Okuapeman and Tufuhene of Akropong, Nana Yaw Ampem Darko, known in private life as George Darko, the popular highlife musician, who composed the hitsong ‘Ako Te Brofo.’
DAILY GUIDE learnt that the armed security agents ransacked the palace before whisking the chiefs away.
After the intervention by National Security, the seven-member committee, which was formed on December 22, 2017 by the Akuapem Traditional Council to resolve the chieftaincy dispute, was dissolved.
Members of the panel included Otoobour Djan Kwasi, who was the chairman of the committee, Odeefour Oteng Korankye II, Berekusuhene, Osabarima Ansah Sasraku II, Mamfehene; Nana Sakyi Amoako, Adawsohene; Okatakyie Kusi Oboadum Amoyaw V, Aseseesohene; Osabarima Opese Konadu II, Awukuguahene and Osabarima Asiedu Okoo Ababio III, Lartehene.
DAILY GUIDE gathered that the members dissolved the committee themselves and vowed not get involved with the dispute.
According to Otoobour Djan Kwasi II, the Aburihene and Adontenhene of Okuapeman, the committee was dissolved because their lives were in danger, adding that they took the decision to ensure peace in the area.
During last year’s Christmas festivities, there was uneasy calm at Akropong following the installation and counter-installation of some people in the traditional area.
Otoobour Djan Kwasi told DAILY GUIDE that “the desecration of the Okuapehene’s palace by the National Security operatives, coupled with verbal attacks and threats on the lives of the committee members, informed the decision to dissolve it.
He said the chiefs have not been able to adjudicate chieftaincy cases in the traditional council due to the presence of the National Security operatives.
The Aburi Chief explained that the committee has not been able to present its report to the traditional council even though the matter is pending at the Regional House of Chiefs.
“The committee has suggested that the two aspiring candidates should step down for nominations to open for peace to prevail. Despite the dissolution of the committee, we would continue to serve Okuapeman in our various capacities,” the Aburi chief emphasized.
The process to select a new Okuapehene has been fraught with problems since the death of Oseadeyo Addo Dankwa III in 2015.
Two factions have emerged from the Sakyebea House, the gate in the Asona Royal Family with the mandate to select a new Okuapehene.
According to reports, Odehyie Kwasi Akuffo, a 63-year-old retired journalist and businessman and Nana Kese from the Sakyebea Family, are being prepared by the various factions to succeed the late paramount chief.