Banda Ahenkro chiefs disown xenophobic group; want return of govt workers

Chiefs of Banda Ahenkro have condemned a faceless group threatening to maim and possibly kill non-indigenes. They have also issued stern warning that planned action of the group is criminal and would be countered with full force. The chiefs and people of Banda Ahenkro in the Brong Ahafo region having disassociated themselves from the group want the unknown members of the group considered outcast. Calling itself Concern Members of Banda Ahenkro, the group issued public notices that it intends visiting mayhem, akin to the largely condemned xenophobic attacks in South Africa, on persons it considered strangers in the area. The group accused non-indigenes of taking over all available jobs in the area. Scared by the warning, many government workers including health service personnel and teachers have deserted the community. Speaking through an interpreter on TV Midday Live, Thursday, Kwansiafem Osiadieyo Barima Kofi Anim Hatale, the Abremponghene of Banda Traditional Council, was emphatic that the chiefs are against the group, insisting the faceless group is not welcomed in the area. “We don’t have any group like that in Banda Ahenkro,” he stressed as he laments over the repercussions brought by the group’s action with schools in the area being closed down. He said even though members of the group are yet to be identified, the traditional council is scheduled to meet on Friday on the issue. Barima Kofi Anim Hatale noted that Banda Ahenkro is a new district that is now developing and would therefore not do anything such as being engaged by the group to retard its development. “The people of Banda are surprised by the development” he said and appealed to residents to cooperate with the security agencies to apprehend those behind the group. The matter has been reported to district security council that include the regional minister and the police, he said and challenged the police to use their intelligence to uncover those behind the threatening message. Meanwhile, Wenchi Divisional Police Commander, ACP Sebastian Atsu Wemegah told TV3 calm has returned to the area after it was secured by the police. No arrest has been made so far, he said, adding that the police is yet to also receive any tip off from the community members. “The statement put fears into people so police only reassured them by having more police presence in town to guarantee that their security has been taken care of,” he noted. Public Relations Officer of the GES Rev Jonathan Bettey told TV3 the teachers would resume work only when there is “sanity” in the community.

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By Isaac Essel||Ghana]]>