Traditional elders in Drobo, where some youth allegedly shot and killed four youth from Japekrom including a chief, are accusing the Brong Ahafo Region Police Command of misrepresenting the facts that led to the confrontation.
The Drobo Traditional Council says the Police, through its spokesperson, Chief Inspector Augustine Kingsley Oppong, who granted interviews to the media following the developments, “lied” in presenting the facts.
Initial reports had suggested that the youth of Japekrom were attacked and shot at on Wednesday night while returning from Drobo where they had gone to perform rituals ahead of the Munufie festival.
Four persons, all said to be indigenes of Japekrom, including their Mmrantehene (Youth Chief), were killed.
They were said to have been attacked by the youth who shot at them from the palace of the Drobo chief.
However, a statement signed by the acting president of the Drobo Traditional Council, Nana Amo Yeboah Asuama, gives a chilling account of events leading to the confrontation and the killings.
The statement which was issued Thursday, October 18, also claimed that the youth of Japekrom were the first to provoke the Drobo youth during their procession through the town.
The Council alleges that the Japekrom youth attacked a commercial bus and beheaded three passengers on board.
The chiefs, therefore, are demanding a retraction of the supposed false accounts given by the Police Public Relations Officer.
The two neighbouring towns have a long-standing chieftaincy and land dispute which continue to spark a feirce rivalry between them.
Their relations worsened in the year 2000 after the Sunyani High Court ruled that the matter should be referred to the Stool Lands Boundary Demarcation Committee, which is the body empowered with jurisdiction over the matter.
No arrest had been made in the latest clash as at Thursday, October 18, 2018.
Read the statement from the Drobo Traditional Council below:
PRESS RELEASE ON RECENT SECURITY THREATS AT DROBO AND JAPEKROM
Based on the information on air through a local radio station at Japekrom indicating that as part of the Munufie Festival Programme by Mpuasu – Japekrom Traditional Council there was a planned clean-up exercise at the St. Mary’s Hospital and candlelight procession through Drobo, the Drobo Traditional Council protested to the Municipal Security council against their proposal and any other related Munufie activities.
The Drobo Traditional Council was invited to the Regional Security Council to deliberate on the protest. The Regional Security Council persuaded us to allow Japekrom-Mpuasu Traditional Council to carry out the clean-up exercise and organise a quiz at the Drobo Senior High School.
However, Mpuasu – Japekrom was disallowed to carry out the candlelight procession and any other procession through the Drobo Township.
Surprisingly, Mpuasu – Japekrom Traditional Council disregarded the orders by the Regional Security Council. i. They went ahead and with impunity carried out the candlelight procession through the streets of Drobo on Sunday 14th October 2018 at about 9:30 pm amidst gunshots and insults against the people of Drobo.
Even though it was improper, Drobo patiently allowed them to pass through without any resistance. ii. As if the candlelight procession was not enough for them, on Wednesday 17th October 2018 after performing their so-called rituals at Mpuasu for the first time in history, on their way back they alighted at the outskirts of Drobo Township.
Strangely they marched through the principal street of Drobo with torch brands (locally called “tanii) singing war songs, firing sporadic gunshots and casting insinuations on the chiefs and people of Drobo.
ATTEMPT TO ATTACK THE KRUPIASE PALACE
After covering a distance of about 2km from where they alighted and having reached the junction to the palace they aimed 1st at setting fire to the filling stations in the centre of the Drobo town, others aiming to branch to the Krupiase palace to set it ablaze with the torch brands.
While these developments were going on, Nananom of Drobo Traditional Council were holding a crunch meeting on pertinent issues affecting the development of Drobo state which had been postponed from Tuesday to Wednesday due to a court case.
Information reaching the Council in course of our meeting was that the irate youth of Drobo had resisted the move by the people of Japekrom to attack and burn down the palace and the filling stations.
There ensued a clash between the Drobo youth and the people of Japekrom. As a result, there were some casualties.
As at the time of going to press the people of Japekrom had erected a barrier on the Berekum Sampa Road at Japekrom.
So far two vehicles belonging to the people of Drobo have been burnt and three passengers have been beheaded and burnt by the people of Japekrom.
Deliberate misrepresentation of facts by the Brong Ahafo Regional Police P.R.O., one Chief Inspector Augustine Kingsley Oppong, two infactual statements in the report by the said P.R.O. is seen as a deliberate attempt to distort the facts as happened on the ground.
Firstly, his assertion that the torch brand procession through the principal street of Drobo has been an annual ritual during their Munufie Festival is a blatant lie meant to achieve a purpose only he knows.
This is the first time in history the people of Japekrom have ventured to embark on this exercise.
Secondly, the assertion that the gun shot came from the Drobo palace is also a big lie. The verifiable fact on the ground is that the Krupiase palace of Drobo is located about a kilometre off the main Berekum Sampa Road where the incident occurred.
We, therefore, expect the police hierarchy to call their P.R.O. to retract his widely circulated lies and present the true report from the Ghana Police.
In all these, Nananom of Drobo Traditional Council have prevailed on the irate youth and restored calm.
Nana Amo Yeboah Asuama