Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V was beaten by the police during the clashes
Residents of Bodomase in the Kumawu Traditional Area of the Ashanti Region have clashed with a team of police and military personnel over a chieftaincy dispute. Thursday’s conflict ensued as one of the claimants to be the Kumawu Paramount seat and his supporters were prevented from participating in the final burial rites of the late Akyeampemhene of Kumawu, Oheneba Krapa Yiadom.
An attempt to forcefully make their way to the burial grounds was fiercely resisted with firing of gunshots and tear gas as the residents also pelted stones at the security personnel. The chief and his supporters managed to escape from police arrest but the security personnel destroyed the umbrella of the chief.
Residents say they feel intimidated and threatened by the incident and called for immediate intervention to solve the chieftaincy dispute. “This is uncalled for. Why should we suffer police and military brutality in our community without any provocation,” an angered resident said. “It is disgusting and inhumane for the security to beat up residents and their chief even if the chief is not a legitimate one. We feel intimated by the presence of police and military in our community.”
For the past two years, residents of Kumawu and Bodomase have had no peace due to a chieftaincy dispute between two factions. Two persons have been installed as paramount chiefs of the Kumawu Traditional Council, at separate events. Barima Sarfo Tweneboah, who resides in Kumawu, was installed by one out of the five kingmakers of the Traditional Council whilst the other, Barima Tweneboah Koduah V, who resides at Bodomase was also installed by the other four kingmakers. Each of the two chiefs claims legitimacy to the seat.
However, the chief who resides at Bodomase has been cautioned not to parade himself as the Paramount Chief of Kumawu Traditional Council since the Manhyia Palace does not endors him. Nonetheless, Barima Tweneboah Koduah V insists he is the rightful heir and has the support of majority of the people.
Barima Sarfo Tweneboah Kodua in a telephone interview also said he is the legitimate chief since Manhyia recognizes his ascension and has been gazetted at the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs. Residents of both Kumawu and Bodomase fear a bloody clash if authorities do not act immediately to restore peace and order.