The Manso Nkwanta Traditional Council, presided over by the paramount chief, Nana Bi-Kusi Appiah, has appointed a four-member caretaker committee to take charge of the management of Tontokrom, a mining community in the Amansie South District of the Ashanti Region.
This followed the denouncement of an opinion leader, Nana Kwadwo Tonto, who had been accused of masterminding a recent standoff between the community and workers of a mining company, Benviko, which resulted in the youth ambushing a team of policemen who had gone to the town to execute a court arrest warrant.
Nana Tonto was said to have been entrusted with taking care of the community over the years in the absence of a chief.
It is recalled that, the Ghanaian Times, in its Saturday, May 18, 2019 edition, carried a story that some three youth had allegedly robbed the mining company and the police, per a warrant from the Bekwai Circuit court, had gone to the town to effect their arrest.
On their way back to base, irate youth of the town attacked the police to demand the release of the their colleagues which resulted in a shoot-out between the police and the youth who were said to be armed with pump action guns, machete and other dangerous implements resulting in the injury of one of the policemen and five of the youth.
The standoff has resulted in the deployment of the police and military personnel to the community recently to maintain peace and set the stage for Benviko to operate as it the company has a license to undertake prospecting in the area.
At the sitting of the chiefs and elders of the community as part of their monthly Akwasidae meeting last Sunday, Nana Tonto who was missed out, was declared wanted by the traditional council for failing to appear to answer charges levelled against him by the community regarding his role in the standoff between the community and the police.
The community is also demanding accountability from Nana Tonto of his stewardship over the past 18 years he was entrusted with the care of the community.
Nana Bi-Kusi urged the security personnel camped in the community to ensure peace prevailed, and urged them to be circumspect and diligent in the discharge of their duties in the community.
He asked them not to compromise their stand in the impasse in order to ensure lasting peace in the area.
FROM KINGSLEY E. HOPE, TONTOKROM