From Richard Owusu-Akyaw, Kumasi
Tension is brewing at Sefwi Bekwai in the Western North region as the Queen mother of Sefwi Sukusuku, Obaahemaa Ahenemmrah ll, together with a section of the youth of the community are up in arms with the traditional authorities over an attempt to impose a chief on the people.
The Queen mother, with the support of the youth, have vowed to resist any such imposition and threatened to clash with the police and soldiers who have been allegedly commissioned by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal Assembly, Alfred Amoah, to provide security during the installation.
The soldiers and police, according to Obaahemaa Ahenemmrah ll, have been deployed to the community to protect Nana Abena Niwah, Queen mother of Sefwi Bekwai to install an unknown person to succeed the late Odeneho Gyapong Ababio as the next Paramount Chief of Sefwi Bekwai.
Last Thursday, May 30, 2019, Nana Kofi Manu was out-doored as the chief of Sefwi Bekwai Traditional Area, which triggered a state of insecurity in the cocoa-growing area.
But the Queen mother of Sukusuku, who doubles as the Abakumahemaa of the Sefwi Bekwai Traditional area, at a press conference vowed to resist the imposition and subsequent installation of an unknown person on them, even if they have to clash with the police and soldiers at the cost of their lives to avert it, stressing that, “We will never agree”.
She explained that there are three main gates; namely Bakromisa, Sukusuku and Ayiem that rotate the Sefwi Bekwai throne and that, it is now the turn of the Sukusuku to choose a legitimate candidate to inherit the late Chief of Sefwi Bekwai, Odeneho Gyapong Ababio, who died four years ago.
She said the Queen mother of Sefwi Bekwai, Nana Abena Niwah rather reportedly sidelined her (Sukusuku Queen mother), who is supposed to select the right candidate for installation and the kingmakers of Sefwi Bekwai Traditional Council to install (Nana Kofi Manu) with the support of the Bibiani-Anhwiaso- Bekwai (MCE), who mobilised armed police men and soldiers to intimidate the youth and protect the other faction, led by Nana Abena Niwah.
But Nana Abena Niwah has refuted the claims by the Queen mother of Sukusuku.
In a telephone interaction with Nana Niwah, she explained that some time last year, the Sukusuku Queen mother allegedly collected GHc50,000 (Chronicle could not confirm this) from someone with the promise of making him the chief, a development which was shot down by the Western Regional House of Chiefs, who directed Sefwi Bekwai Traditional Council to re-install a new chief.
She continued that in furtherance of this, Sukusuku Obaahemaa Ahenemmrah II, who by custom is to nominate a candidate for the Paramount Chief slot, acted in accordance with the traditional conventions by providing a list of potential chiefs to her (Nana Niwah) for onwards transmission to the King makers for consideration and approval to replace the late Odeneho Gyapong Ababio, which was done .
According to her, the Sukusuku Queen mother brought five names, including a Ghanaian resident in America to be considered for the paramountcy slot.
As a result, Nana Abena Niwah said the King makers selected one out of the five, in accordance with the requirements of the Western Regional House of Chiefs.
Meanwhile, The Chronicle’s calls, SMS and WhatsApp messages to the Bibiani MCE, Alfred Amoah, have not been answered at the time of filing this report.