Okyehene shuts ‘alien’ shrines in Eastern Region
Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin has asked all alien shrines in the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional area to close down within the next two weeks.
His directive follows recent ritual killings in the Eastern Region.
He also asked for an end to what he described as alien customary rituals in the traditional area.
The traditional ruler has further appealed to the security agencies to institute formal measures to intensify and broaden investigations into ritual murders and other criminal activities in the Akyem Abuakwa State.
This was contained in a statement issued by the secretary of the traditional ruler Mr Dan Ofori–Atta.
It was in reaction to the recent killings of two persons by two fetish priests at Mame Dede near Adeiso in the Eastern region.
The statement said background checks must be made on all migrant fetish priests and their assigns and the retrieval of all ammunitions in their possession to ensure the safety of lawful citizens.
In a statement, the Okyenhene said “any chief, irrespective of rank who under whatever circumstance lease lands for the purposes of erection of shrines will face immediate destoolment and other related sanctions”.
Below is the statement by the Okyenhene
ORDER FOR REMOVAL OF ALL ALIEN SHRINES AND BAN ON ALIEN RITUAL ACTIVITIES
15th May, 2020
The Okyenhene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin has found it extremely necessary to take action with respect to the provocative spectre of the establishment of alien shrines by Fetish Priests with no clear social ties and identity mainly from the neighbouring Countries, directly linked with the violation of Akyem Abuakwa customary observances, ritual murders, fake currency racketeering and other violent criminal activities.
It has been observed that over the past decade there has been an unperfected influx of immigrant ritualists guised as traditional priests who have abused the hospitality of Okyeman and engaged in activities that threaten the lives of residents, social order and the health of the national economy
It must be stated that although the acquisition of land and landed property is permitted for non-subjects of the Ofori Panin Stool, it is strictly forbidden for migrant traditional rulers and traditional priests to invoke alien rituals and purport to exercise customary authority, which is the sole prerogative of Nananom of Akyem Abuakwa .
For the sake of clarity, alienation of land does not confer jurisdictional authority on the alienee and further the performance of unregulated ritual activities.
The police on April 21, 2020, arrested suspects Christian Gameli Lawerh, alias Power, 36, and Famous Adorkunu, alias Scorpion, 37.
Both fetish priests hail from the Volta region but reside at Maame Dede near Adeisu according to news reports.
On April 29, both suspects admitted having interacted with the missing person for some time, but he was later shot and killed on January 15, 2020, at their shrine.
The suspects reiterated that the deceased was buried at a particular spot within the shrine and led police to the scene. The area was secured for an exhumation order to be granted by the court.
After a search was conducted at their residences, police retrieved two pump action guns, a single barrel gun, together with eleven packets of cartridges from Lawerh’s room.
The Osagyefuo wishes to indicate further that the Adeisu incident is not an isolated incident; it however authenticates several reports and complaints received by the Ofori Panin Palace, and exposes the gravity of the situation.
In defence of greater public interest and fulfillment of his responsibility as the Over Lord of Akyem Abuakwa, the Osagyefuo has found it prudent and timely to order the following measures:
- That all alien shrines be closed down within two weeks from the date of this public statement.
- An immediate end to all customary rituals alien to Akyem Abuakwa custom
- By this notice ,Osagyefuo request the Ghana Police and other Security agencies to institute formal measures to intensify and broaden investigations to ritual murders and other criminal activities mentioned earlier.
- In relation to the above, background checks must be made on all migrant fetish priest and their assigns.
- Retrieval of all ammunitions to ensure the safety of lawful citizens.
He further by this statement is ordering all Chiefs in Akyem Abuakwa not lease lands to immigrant traditional priests and their associates.
The Osagyefuo regrets to add that any Chief , irrespective of rank who under whatever circumstance lease lands for the purposes of erection of shrines will face immediate destoolment and other related sanctions.
Nananom are also ordered to be fully dedicated to the enforcement of the above measures.
The Osagyefuo wishes to take this opportunity to congratulate the Police and other security forces for their handling of the Adeisu incident and further call for their cooperation to erase this rather ugly spectacle from the face of Okyeman and other parts of the country.
Signed D.M. Ofori-Atta