Ahanta community attacks soldier & seizes his weapon
From Alfred Adams, Takoradi
AJUMAKO Patase, a farming community in the Ahanta West District of the Western Region is now a ghost town because almost all the residents have fled the village for fear of being arrested, after attempting to lynch a military officer.
The people, especially the men, hide in the bush during the day and come out in the evenings to eat and then go back into hiding. The information gathered by The Chronicle indicates that one of military officers doing guard duties at the Ghana Rubber Estate (GREL) was attacked by the community, after wrestling his weapon from him.
The said Military officer, who was later rescued by his colleague security men, was hurriedly rushed to the Axim hospital, where he is receiving treatment. The soldier, whose name has not been made available, reportedly fired and injured one of the community members who had stopped some labourers working on behalf of GREL, from planting rubber trees on their land. This forced the men in the community to also retaliate by attacking and seizing his weapon from him.
The soldiers were brought in by the management of GREL to protect their workers, whilst they planted the economic trees. A member of Association of Chiefs, on whose land GREL operates, Nana Kwesi Agyemang, who confirmed the story expressed regret over the confrontation between the community and the Military. Nana Agyemang who blamed the community told this reporter in a telephone interview that decisions over where GREL should plant rubber trees and where they should avoid was being discussed by them (chiefs).
He was therefore surprised with the action that was taken by the community to stop the company from going about its work.
For some time now, the people of Ajumako have been resisting the move by GREL to take over their lands for rubber plantation. GREL has currently released forty acre of land back to the community on which it planted rubber trees as against 200 acres being demanded by the people. The people of Ahanta in general have also protested against the taking over of their lands by management of GREL without recourse to the original owners of the land. In Apinto in the Prestea Bogoso District, a similar incident nearly occurred where farmers resisted the forceful takeover of their lands by GREL for rubber plantation.
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