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Photos: Residents severely injured in a reprisal attack at Upper Dixcove

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh

Reprisal attacks at Upper Dixcove in the Ahanta West district of the Western region have left several residents injured over a chieftaincy dispute.

Three days after the attack on the Chief of Lower Dixcove, Nana Kwesi Agyeman IX and some of his subjects, heavily-built men believed to be linked to the Lower Dixcove traditional authority also stormed Upper Dixcove in a reprisal attack. The men broke into homes, vandalised properties and harassed women.

Some of the residents have fled to Busua, a nearby community.

The tension between the two areas is over traditional control over Tuorem, an area in the coastal town of the district. But a court judgment in September 2001, granted the right to install a chief to Upper Dixcove, Obrempon Hima Dekyi.

But the judgment has done little to quell the dispute over the land. 

The attack on Monday on Lower Dixcove chief, Nana Agyeman IX, was in reply to disruptions of a traditional activity by the Upper Dixcove traditional authority some three months ago.

Five persons arrested for attacks on Lower Dixcove chief

The Western Regional Police Command has arrested five persons, including the Paramount Chief of Upper Dixcove, Obrempong Himan Dekyi, in connection with the attack on Lower Dixcove Chief.

The rest are Justice Cromwell, a farmer; Thomas Quayson, a carpenter; Paul Stephens, an electrician, and Christopher Bonney, all from Upper Dixcove and believed to be co-conspirators in last Monday’s attack.


Investigation

The Western Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Ewuraabena Adiku, confirmed the arrests and said they had been granted police enquiry bail.

They would be reporting themselves to the police to help in investigations, she said.

She explained that while the four were picked up, Obrempong Dekyi reported himself to the police and was granted bail.

The arrest follows violence involving hired thugs, allegedly contracted by a rival chief, who unleashed terror on the people of Lower Dixcove in the Ahanta West Municipality in the Western Region over a suspected boundary dispute.

DSP Adiku said investigations were ongoing and that victims of the attack were assisting the police in that direction, although no charges had been preferred.


Boundary dispute

The thugs destroyed properties, including national assets, and kidnapped the Omanhene of Lower Dixcove, Nana Kwesi Agyeman IX, allegedly over a boundary dispute.

The Ahanta West District Police Commander, DSP Mr. Valentine Akposu, said preliminary police investigations indicated that the thugs were suspected to have been contracted from Kwesimintsim in the Effia-Kwesimintsim municipality to carry out the attacks.

He said some of the community members told the police that the thugs had arrived just before midnight, wielding machetes, guns, bread knives, and explosives.

They forcibly broke the metal gate to the Omanhene’s house, located almost at the centre of the town, took Nana Agyeman hostage and assaulted him, while others destroyed the palace and other properties in the vicinity.

He said other citizens who were caught up in the frenzy were also subjected to beatings, with some sustaining injuries.
Meanwhile, the police said calm had been restored in Lower Dixcove.

“I must say that at the moment there is no problem; everything is calm and the regional command yesterday joined the district command to visit the communities and the people urged to stay calm,” DSP Akposu said.

Those who had their items, shops, canoes and fishing nets destroyed had been assured of speedy investigation and urged to help the police to assess the extent of damage, he added.

He said the police would remain in the community for some time to ensure that peace prevailed and that they were also on the ground to gather further intelligence.

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