Friday, 23 February

Nkwanta: Akyode Youth Association accuses police of bias

General News
Mr Sillas Asiedu addressing the press in Accra

The Akyode Youth Association of Nkwanta in the Oti Region has accused the municipal police command of bias in handling communal conflicts among the people of Akyode, Adeles, Kotokoli, and Chalas.

The association alleges that Chief Superintendent Lawson, who leads the police command, has shown partiality towards the people of Akyode. According to the association's leadership, their members are being unfairly targeted for crimes committed by the Adeles, Challas and Kotokoli.

During a press conference held in Accra to provide more information on the conflict leading to the imposition of a curfew by the Ministry for the Interior, Mr Sillas Asiedu, the spokesperson for the association, claimed that members of the Adele group are attempting to tarnish Akyode's reputation in the Nkwanta South Municipality.

The tensions escalated before the 2021 Yam Festival celebration when the Adeles, Kotokoli, and Challas marched on the streets of Nkwanta in broad daylight with offensive weapons, protesting against Akyode's festival.

The association alleges that this led to insecurity in the town, leading to the stabbing to death of a young Akyode man named Joshua. 

The alleged crime is said to have happened in the presence of the Municipal Police Commander at the English and Arabic School Park by a youth from the joint Adele-Chala and Kotokoli gang.

This incident drew the attention of the Oti Regional Security Council, which, after a meeting with the three ethnic groups, directed that the festival proceeds.

However, the celebration was cancelled for the sake of peace.

In 2022, another incident occurred where a man was murdered on his farm by unknown assailants. 

Akyodes were again made scapegoats for the crime, resulting in a protest by Adeles and Challas on the streets of Nkwanta South with offensive weapons, he noted.

The association claims that this violent protest labelled a communal clash by the police, led to the loss of property of the people of Akyode. 

No rioters or gang leaders were reportedly arrested by the police, 5he group said.

Despite this incident not being related to the celebration of the annual yam festival, members of Adele and Challas called on the Municipal Chief Executive to prohibit the landowners (Akyode) from celebrating the festival. 

The association said it threatened to destroy properties and set Nkwanta ablaze if Akyode attempted to celebrate the yam festival again. 

It added that the situation plunged Nkwanta into insecurity, resulting in school closures, and only members of the Akyode clans were reportedly arrested for the violent clash.

The association accused the police commander of demonstrating bias in managing the conflict and calls for the removal of the municipal commander.

Source: Mensah