There is growing tension in Safo a town in the Kwabre East District of the Ashanti Region where the youth are on a collision path with a member of the Council of State and Chief of Juaben, Nana Otuo Siriboe the second.
The youth are accusing Nana Otuo Siriboe of seizing Safo lands and threatening chiefs and community leaders with police arrest.
The demonstrating youth who matched to the disputed lands on Thursday clad in red and chanting war songs demanded an end to the land disputes and the constant attacks on their chief Nana Oppong Baah whom they claim is in hiding after the police attempted arresting him on orders from the Juabenhene.
”The Chief knows that we have no voice so he can claim all our lands. We are farmers. How does he expect us to feed? We are pleading with the Otumfuo who owns all lands, to solve this problem for us,” a youth leader noted.
The Juabenhene who has not denied occupancy of the said lands has petitioned the Juaben District Court and a Kumasi High Court demanding that the residents be restrained from trespassing the disputed lands in his possession.
Elders of the town who spoke to Ultimate News’ Ivan Heathcote – Fumador questioned the locus of the Juabenhene in claiming lands when Safo in no way shares boundaries or lies within the jurisdiction of the Juaben stool lands.
“We share borders with Kasaam, Adanwomase and Asonomaso so we can’t understand how the Juabenhene will cross all these towns to take over our lands and build a wall around these huge tracks. We want the Otumfuo to know that Juabenhene is claiming to own these lands so he should call him to order,” the Akwamuhene of Safo Nana Agyemang Kodom explained.
The elders called on President Nana Akufo Addo to instruct the Juabenhene to stop what they described as using his influence as a member of the Council of State, to terrorize their chief Nana Oppong Baah.
“If Nana Addo whom we voted for has appointed Juabenhene to advise him we are pleading that he advises the Juabenhene too. Now he has sought a bench warrant to get Nana Oppong Baah arrested and we don’t know his whereabouts,” the Safo Asonahene Nana Boateng contended.
According to gathered history, the Safo Township dates as far back as three hundred and fifty years when forebears settled on the arable lands to begin farming rice, cassava, and cocoa.
Some town dwellers who joined the demonstrations lamented, they had lost their livelihoods after the Juabenhene’s personnel destroyed all their crops leaving them with nothing to fend for themselves and their families.
The youth who dominated the demonstration appealed to the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu the second and the Member of Parliament for the Kwabre East constituency Francisca Oteng Mensah to intervene to restore their lands to them.
They offered a ram to invoke ancestral intervention to annex their lands against injustices.
The town is submitting a formal petition signed by the Safo Chief Nana Oppong Baah to Manhyia to get their grievances addressed.
By: Ivan Heathcote – Fumador