The chiefs and people of Suhyen in the New Juaben Traditional Area have served notice to resist the entry of the Omanhene of New Juaben into the town, to perform annual rituals at the Suhyen River, towards the Akwantukese festival on Friday.
They threatened that they would “use all means possible” to stop any forceful entry into the town by Daasebre Prof Oti Boateng Thursday.
“As the chiefs and people of Suhyen being the owners, custodians and guardians of the land and its rivers, we shall continue to protect the land and rivers against the entry of all undesirable persons including for now, the Omanhene of New Juaben,” they warned.
At a press briefing at his palace at Suhyene Wednesday, Okogyeman Ankomah Basapong, stated that “Customary law requires that a chief who intends to step on another chief’s land for the purpose of performing any ritual, ought to inform the latter to obtain his consent well in advance before he could do so”.
“Our laws provide for self-protection and self defence and we shall protect ourselves and use all means possible to resist the Omanhene’s entry until such time both of us resolve to treat each other with mutual respect”, they stated.
The Suhyene was flanked by other sub-chiefs of the town and a number of residents of the town attired in red, to express their frustration over the non-recognition of their chief and the town as part of the New Juaben Traditional Area.
The Mponoahene of New Juaben, Okogyeman Basapong, stated that Suhyen town, which is an entry point to New Juaben, played a very important role in the celebration of the Akwantukese festival.
According to him, on every Akwantukese festival, rituals were performed at the banks of river Suhyen by the Omanhene to commemorate the entry of the people to New Juaben and also remember their ancestors.
“In the performance of the rituals, the chiefs and elders of Suhyen play no small role as guardians of the rivers and soil of the land,” he stated.
However, Okogyeman Basapong stated that since his nomination in 1994 and enstoolment as the Suhyenhene and Mponoahene of New Juaben in June 2010, Daasebre Oti Boateng had employed all means at his disposal to “sabotage my chiefship”.
“Indeed not only has Daasebre Oti Boateng looked down upon the Supreme Court’s judgement of February 15, 2006 and its subsequent review of October 2007, with disdain, as both of them went in favour of my Asona royal clan, but he has also orchestrated a move to literally knock heads of the people of Suhyen against one another.
“This has gone to the extent that there now exist in Suhyen two factions—pro-Nana Ankomah Basapong group and the pro-Daasebre Oti Boateng group. This situation is negatively affecting the smooth development of the town,” Okogyeman Basapong said.
The chief alleged that the Omanhene had deliberately refused to allow him to swear the customary oath of allegiance to him and prevented the processing of his enstoolment forms for his name to be entered into the national register of chiefs, as a chief of Suhyen to enable him to perform his statutory duties.
“This has had to be battled in the High Court at Koforidua whose decision went against the Omanhene. Although the High Court gave its decision on June 15, 2012, Daasebre is yet to comply with the orders of the court,” the chief said.
“Worst of all, Daasebre Oti Boateng removed the name of Suhyen from the New Juaben Traditional Council membership list Nana Basapon alleged, adding that one may wonder if he has any legal authority to do so.”
The Suhyenhene expressed disappointment over the Eastern Regional Minister’s handling of the dispute and a petition sent to him recently.
“To our disappointment, Mr Victor Smith yesterday (Oct 23) informed us that if we felt we had a case we should seek redress at the law court by going for an injunction against the entry of the Omanhene to Suhyen,” he stated.
“We consider this advice as very disappointing because we knew of the courts before addressing our petition to him.
“And what is more unacceptable is Mr Smith’s admonition that if it should become necessary for the Omanhene to be given security protection to enter Suhyen he would be given”, Nana Basapon added.
“If the security agencies would give him the protection to come, we are saying that we shall also protect ourselves and use all means possible to resist the Omanhene’s entry”, the chief said.
Meanwhile, Nana Basapon is appealing to President John Mahama to intervene to ensure peace, law and order in the best interest of all.
Source: Daily Graphic