The Herald’s digging around the military brutalities visited on the people of Dome Faase in the Ga South Municipal Assembly of the Greater Accra Region, continue to reveal interesting findings, as far as the activities of the man behind the atrocities is concerned.
It is emerging that, Bafour Sarpong Kumankuma; an ex-military officer, working with the Forestry Commission (FC) as security trainer since the days of the late Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, alias “Sir John”, rather acts as an “errand boy” for the Army Commander of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF);Major Gen. Thomas Oppong Peprah.
Bafour Sarpong Kumankuma, whose chieftaincy title has since been disputed by the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, has been involved in land grabbing, estate agency business and recruitment of youth into land guard business in areas in the national capital.
The two soldiers who were beaten by the Dome Faase people two weeks ago had insisted that they were dispatched from the Army Headquarters but failed to mention the officer who sent them to protect the disputed land.
One of the soldiers who had identified himself as Clement Asare-Addo, said he fired warning shots with the hope of dispersing the agitated residents. However, this backfired.
“Our work is that we give a warning shot and when they stop then their leader and our leader will sit down and talk. But this one, it didn’t happen like that. They came to us and attacked us saying that we came here voluntarily,” he said, adding he was stationed at the Army Headquarters.
He said, the residents, had accused them of not being officially assigned to that post, and even after explaining to the leader of the resident that they were not criminals, the resident simply would not listen to reason and proceeded to beat him and his colleague.
“Their leader came there and we informed him that we are not criminals. So if there is anything else, they should exercise patience and lead us to your chief or wherever then we continue,” he pleaded.
Clement said their pleas and cries of innocence fell on deaf ears as the residents continued to beat them.
Interestingly, the next day, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), stormed the place to beat up the men in the two and left one dead while others had to be rushed to various hospitals.
Interestingly, the GAF, has unusually remained silent over the incident, despite the huge uproar and wide media coverage.
Bafour Sarpong Kumankuma, whose real name was given as Samuel Sarpong, according to credible sources, while serving as a soldier at the rank of a Staff Sergeant, travelled to the United Kingdom (UK) without permission from superior officers and fell foul of the laws of the UK, and ended in jail serving some six years.
After completing his jail term, Sarpong, alias “Okyeman” was deported back to Ghana, after which he landed a job with the National Security stationed at the Tema Port.
Both Major Gen. Oppong Peprah and the Sergeant, were said to have served at 64th Battalion Infantry; the Commando unit created under former President Jerry Rawlings for special operations, including VVIP protection.
It is alleged that but for the powers he draws from his former colleague; Major Gen. Oppong Peprah, Sarpong, will have no such authority to parade around with military personnel, extending his brutalities on the people of Dome Faase .
Insiders, say Major Gen Oppong Peprah, has become very powerful in the military set up rendering the calm and soft-spoken Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Lt. Gen. Obed Akwa, “useless”.
He goes about boasting of how President, Akufo-Addo, has handed him the armed forces to manage for him.
Lt. Gen. Akwa, should have proceeded on retirement sometime in June, but had been offered a six month contract by President Akufo-Addo, to stay on until after December President Elections, when he will vacate the office for Oppong-Peprah to assume the position as CDS.
The senior military officer is married to the daughter of the Akyem Abuakwa Queen-mother, Nana Adutwumwaa Dokoa, known only as Asantewaa; as his second wife aside his first wife; Agnes Oppong Peprah, currently in the US.
These latest information, points in a different direction to an earlier claim by Sarpong that, his incessant attack on the people of Dome Faase community, is blessed by Osagyefuo Amatia Ofori Panin.
Sarpong sometime last week had implicated the Okeyehene, saying he was working for the Akyeam Abuakwa overlord, and that his terror at Dome Faase, including the razing down of villages and destruction of several acres of cultivated farmlands with serving soldiers and land guards, were on his directive to retrieve the lands.
Sarpong, had claimed in a television interview, that he only serves at the pleasure of the Okyenhene, as his police guards protecting his lands.
“We are only his people, we are only his police who guard his lands, and we are only his labourers”, he claimed.
He had insisted that the Okyenhene was prepared to dialogue with the people of Dome Faase to iron out the issues, indicating although the land at the banks of the Densu River, belongs to the stool, shockingly, his cover has been blown by the same Okyehene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panyin.
The Akyem Abuakwa traditional ruler in a statement yesterday, took serious exception to his name being associated with the brutalities and called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) James Oppong Boanuht, o take swift action against Bafour Sarpong Kumankuma, for instigating the violence.
The Okyenhene also vehemently denied the former soldier that he was the Akyem Apedwa Mponuahene and described him as someone, who has been involved in very serious criminal activities such as land guarding, unlawful sand winning, unauthorized sale of lands.
Secretary of the Akyem Abuakwa State, Dan Ofori Atta, said “It has become necessary and of immediate concern to react to news reports that a certain Bafour Sarpong Kumankuma purporting to be Mponuahene of AkyemApedwa has attributed his unlawful conduct with regards to the invasion of Dome Faase to the Okyenhene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin.
The news as reported by several media outlets represents a grave assault on the dignity of the Ofori Panin Stool.
On Tuesday 25th August, 2020, Bafour Sarpong Kumankuma with the assistance of thugs and hoodlums provoked an unneeded social conflict by unlawfully invading the village of Dome Faase in the Obom- Domeabra Constituency”.
Adding “The Dome Faase incident has not the knowledge and or acceptance of His Majesty Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin. We wish to state unequivocally, that Bafour Sarpong Kumankuma is not the Mponuahene of Akyem Abuakwa.
He is not recognized and accepted as a Chief or a holder of any traditional authority in Akyem Abuakwa”.
While cataloging criminal activities of the former soldier, the Okyehene, said he has on countless occasions been summoned before the Kyebi Executive Council (KEC) but on each occasion, he blatantly refused to honour the request.
“He acted as land guard in furtherance of his illicit and criminal profession related to unlawful sand winning, unauthorised sale of lands and violation of the order and enforcement of the public policy which has been his hallmark.
He has time without number disrespected summons to appear before the Kyebi Executive Council to answer queries regarding his nefarious activities.
This point is to the effect that the Osagyefuo dissociates himself from the criminal incident at Dome Faase. Further to this, it must be made clear that there is no authorized associative responsibility to the person of the Okyenhene”, the statement sighted by Herald said.
The statement was greatly concerned about the cordial relationship the Stool has had with the Ga State and the potential damage the actions of Bafour Sarpong Kumankuma and his men could have on the two states.
“What is of immediate concern to the Ofori Panin Fie, is the resultant effect to disturb the immemorial unity and historic solidarity of Akyem Abuakwa and the Ga State. He called on the IGP to ensure the onward prosecution of the actors involved in the brutalities.
The Okyenhene wishes to assure the people of Dome Faase and the Ga State of his commitment to peaceful co-existence and harmony which has characterized the relationship between Okyeman and the Ga State.
Further to this point, I am directed to call on the Inspector General of the Ghana Police Service to order for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators”.
Perhaps, this request by the Okyenhene will be taken seriously and the necessary legal action taken, against the orchestrators of the Dome Faase brutalities.
Before the incident last week, the chiefs and people of the Dome Faase community petitioned President Akufo-Addo earlier this year to call the IGP, the Military and the Akyem Traditional Council whose name was being used at the time to order to prevent any brutalities.
Despite the desperate nature of the petition, no action was taken leading to the brutalities that were recorded last Tuesday.
“We would like to state emphatically that we are not in the era of tribal intimidation, so the Akyem Apedwa Mponuahene and his collaborators (Estate developers) should be mindful that Administrative Boundaries do not serve as Traditional Boundaries, more so, nobody is above the laws of the country.
We are unequivocally telling them we will not sit idle and watch these atrocities. We the members of the affected communities are prepared to face them as men of valour and might” the petition read in parts.
“We believe the President is the father for all and also an astute human rights advocate. We are certain that your office will not condone any act of internal terrorism and land guard issues. We hope your office will act swiftly and being the actions of these encroachers and hoodlums to a halt before any escalation”.