Residents of Sakyikrom a suburb of Nsawam Adoagyiri Municipality in the Eastern region say they are gripped with fear following the heightening chieftaincy dispute in the community.
The Queenmother of Sakyikrom, Nana Agyarkwabea, and a few palace Elders allegedly staged a palace coup by enstooling a new chief Nana Sakyi Agyarkwa known in private life as Percy whilst the substantive Chief Nana Osei Anka IV had traveled abroad for medical intervention in 2020 before COVID-19 lockdown.
The return of Nana Osei Anka IV to the community has since heightened tension as the Queenmother and her cohorts of chiefs aided by the security have allegedly hijacked the palace denying the alleged destooled chief access.
According to residents armed police and some plain cloth security operatives have been marauding in the town under the guise of maintaining law and order but say it is rather causing more fear and panic.
“When they come, they fire warning shots indiscriminately. We are all afraid. Our children, our wives are all afraid to go out. The last time they beat the assembly member mercilessly and he was rushed to the hospital “a resident said.
Tension was high Sunday, October 2, 2022, during the celebration of Akwasidae as both factions performed customary rites to observe the day.
Oheneba Nana Asante Okodie, the Apegyahene of Sakyikrom said, "this community is no longer safe because of the weapons being paraded in town. But I must emphasize that the Queenmother can’t destool a chief so the so-called destoolment by the Queenmother is illegal, null, and void”.
The embattled Chief of Sakyikrom, Nana Osae Anka IV explained that he was legitimately enstooled in 2013 but whilst abroad for medical treatment in 2020, he was informed by Abusuapanyin Kofi Owusu, the Queenmother was enstooling a new Chief.
Nana Osae Anka IV has since petitioned the Eastern regional House of chiefs as well as the Regional Police Command for the law to take its course rather than using violence to liberate the palace and his personal properties.
“We are peace-loving people so deposit having the numbers to face them squarely I have told my followers to remain calm. We are using the legal means to regain the stool and librate the palace” Nana Osae Anka IV.
The Mawerehene Nana Sakyi Ankomea, however, denied allegations of indiscriminate shooting in the community.
He admitted to the presence of security personnel during events due to the chieftaincy dispute in the community but said the security is to maintain law and order.
“We don’t fire warning shots. Whenever you hear gunshot that is from the musket during procession of chiefs to an event or ceremony so it is absolutely malicious to say we fire gunshots indiscriminately. There is serious chieftaincy dispute in the community so I have asked the factions several times to sit and resolve the feud for peace to prevail to stimulate development,” Nana Sakyi Ankomea, Mawerehene said.