Tension is high in Sra in the Yilo Krobo Municipality, Eastern Region, as residents demonstrate over what they say is the interference of the police in chieftaincy affairs in the area.
According to them, the police stationed there have virtually supervised the imposition of a chief they consider illegitimate.
This follows the exhumation of the remains of a late paramount chief from the royal mausoleum to an unknown destination three days ago.
Speaking to Joy News, the residents called for government’s intervention, saying they are not safe in the town.
“Since we were born in this town, we have never seen police installing a chief,” one of the demonstrators said.
A woman added, “We are sitting on time bomb, the chief has thugs who are moving in town holding guns, and the police have been defending them; we are not safe.”
Municipal Chief Executive of the Yilo Krobo Municipality, Andrews Sodah told Joy News “tension has been very high” in the town following the exhumation.
He assured that the municipal security council is “providing the best of security for everybody” and called on residents to “exercise patience”.
He said his outfit is aware of the numerous “accusations that have been flying all over” about the police taking sides in the chieftaincy dispute there.
Rather, he said, the police have been minding their own business, providing protection for all residents.
Recounting the incidents leading to Sunday’s demonstration, Mr. Andrews Sodah said the issues started a few weeks ago when an attempt was made to install a new chief after the death of the Nene Ologo Dawutey.
He said, the security council had insisted that the condition in the area was not good for the installation, and security personnel were subsequently dispatched to the community to “guard against” the installation.
However, one gate in the chieftaincy dispute got approval from the court to go ahead with the installation. With court order, he said, there was nothing the security forces could do to stop the ceremony.
All the police did under the circumstances, the MCE said, was to “provide security during the installation”, which he said angered the residents, who are now accusing the police of rather supervising the ceremony.