Family Wants Answers From Police
By Otor Plahar
It is almost six months since Opanyin Kweku Adade, was murdered in cold blood at the Chief’s palace at Akropong. As at the time of writing this article, not a single arrest has been made.
During the time this country was mourning the painful death of the late academic luminary , Professor Nyidevu Kofi Awoonor in far away Kenya, another great son of the land, Odehye Samuel Kweku Adade, was shot dead at the Akropong Omanhene’s Palace on September 27,2013 during the Odwira Festival by “unknown assailants “under very bizarre circumstances.
The late Adade, was at the festival with Laurice; his granddaughter, who lives in the UK and had come down purposely to witness the festival and also to learn about the history and culture of the Akuapems – her ancestors.
Recounting events leading to the tragic incident, Laurice recalls painfully that they were seated at the first floor of the Omanhene’s palace to observe the durbar of chiefs at the festival. The time was around 2.30 in the afternoon.
Suddenly, they heard some commotion downstairs and got up to find out the cause of the disturbance. In the process they heard gun shots and her grandfather fell to the ground in a pool of blood.
He was shot in the eye and head and she (Laurice) had a bullet in her right lower arm. Two other persons were hurt. They are William Opare Newman from Daakye who was shot in the right eye and Kofi Nkwantabisa, shot in the chest.
They were rushed to the Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital in Mampong and were referred to the Ridge Hospital in Accra, where Adade died later.
Eye witness accounts revealed that the durbar went on without any hitch and no mention was ever made of the shooting incident that claimed the life of a Royal. Very strange .There was low publicity on the incident, except for reports on myjoyonline and in the Ghanaian Times.
On page 3 of the October, 2013 edition of The Ghanaian Times, Ama Tekyiwaa Ampadu-Nyarko writes “Man, 76, shot dead at Odwira”.
According to the second paragraph of the story, “the deceased, Samuel Adade, is said to have been hit by a stray bullet from the gun of an
unknown musketeer when he was explaining the history of the festival to his grandchildren, who had travelled from the United Kingdom to participate in it.”
How did live ammunition find their way to a purely traditional festival at which both the Eastern Regional Minister and the Regional Police Commander were present and the culprit could not be apprehended?
The late Adade was one of the greatest personalities this nation has ever produced. He was a great advocate for Green Revolution and self- sustenance and grew all his food requirements on his farm near Nsawam. He used a combination of solar and wind power for his energy needs and harvested rain water for his all year round use.
Adade had great ideas which he would willingly share with all who came his way. Sitting with Adade under the big mango tree at his Ashale Botwe Third Gate residence was a wonderful experience. He was a fountain of great knowledge on practical life and also a unique resource person.
It was basically for these reasons that he became a regular guest on the TV Africa programme.”Oman Yi Mu Nsem” a platform for discussions on pertinent national issues.
In his eulogy to the late Adade, Mr. Robert Wood “The Crusading Engineer” wrote “You are unfortunately one of the very few and yet concerned persons in our country who very sincerely believed Ghana’s energy problem can be solved if we resort to the hybrid of wind and solar as a solution. You went that extra mile to demonstrate it by example in your own house.”
The Akropong shooting brings to the fore two important issues: Control of small firearms and second, our personal security in the face of danger posed by terrorist activities in the sub region.
Firing of musketry is an integral part of most of our traditional festival. How can individual’s safety be guaranteed at similar festival s in future, when the use of live bullets in place of gun powder is staring us in the face?
The death of Adade is yet another incident of a “Stray bullets” case too many.
What would the situation had been, had it been the Police Commander or the Regional Minister (touch wood!) who has been shot?
In a telephone interview with the Koforidua Divisional Police Commander, DCOP Yaagy Akurubah on the investigations into the shooting incident, he said his outfit has not yet finished with their investigations to enable the culprit to be brought to book.
He said, although he was at the function together with the regional minister, the incident happened on their blind side and referred me to the Akropong District Police Commander for the update.
When contacted the Akropong District Police Commander, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), Ayisi Amo, said their investigations was delaying because there are two factions in the deceased’s family and they were not forth coming with the necessary information to assist the police with their investigations.
Besides, the nucleus family of the deceased who could have assisted them, left back to their base in London and this was also affecting the progress of their investigations.
Adade’s death, revives a critical question. Are live bullets permitted at festivals? The mayhem being caused by terrorist activities of the Boko Haram in Nigeria and rebels in Mali just next door are frightening developments that should make up tighten our security.
The police must get to the bottom of the Akropong shooting incident and arrest the perpetrator. The issue of stray bullets should no longer be a glorified cliché in this era because the threat from terrorism in the sub -region is real. Is Adade’s killer from outside?
The late Samuel Kweku Adade
Author’s E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org