Cocoa farmers in 5 communities within the Ejisu Municipality in the Ashanti Region and the parts of EasternRegion are asking the paramount Chief of Ejisu NAna Oguakro Afrane Kese IV whether he got Asantehene Otumfuo’s blessing for the land 5000 hectares of land ‘fraud’ he is perpetrating on them.
The cocoa farmers numbering about 2000 in a Press Conference say the Chief risks bloodshed over his attempted sale of 5,000 hectares of cocoa farmlands belonging to them.
The aggrieved farmers in communities like Onwe –Amoadu, Abenase, Edwenase, Asapong and Odaho insist they will not sit unconcerned and be deprived of their only source livelihood which is cocoa farming.
The farmers clad in red and chanting war songs last Friday February 1, 2019 MyNewsGh.com observed, embarked on demonstration to register their displeasure over the sale of cocoa farmlands, accusing the Paramount Chief of Ejisu Traditional Area, Nana Oguakro Afrane Okese IV and the Chief of Onwe Nana Asokwah Danka Gyeabour II of being behind the sale of the lands.
The Spokesperson of the aggrieved farmers Kwabena Boateng while addressing the media in Kumasi said 5,000 hectares of cocoa are to be destroyed to pave way for building of houses.
According to Kwabena Boateng, the cocoa farmers were told that their farmlands have been sold to Ghana Free Zones Authority without prior consultation by those said to be engaged in the act.
“Ejisuhene and Onwehene told us that our farm lands have been sold to Ghana Free Zones Authority. After our investigations, what they told us wasn’t true. We went to Ghana Free Zones Authority main office in Accra and they told us it is not true. They (Ejisuhene and Onwehene) want to sell our farm lands to enrich themselves. We are not going to allow that to happen until they kill all of us. Can Ghana survive without cocoa? Houses and cocoa which one gives Ghana more income? Kwabena Boateng asked.
He therefore called on the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and President Akufo-Addo to come to their aid.
The Queen mother for Apenkra Nana Akua Agyemang who spoke to MyNewsGh.com warned Ejisuhene Nana Oguakro Afrane Okese IV to refrain from intimidating cocoa farmers and residents of Ejisu Traditional Area.
According to Nana Akua Agyemang, the land belongs to Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and not Ejisuhene Nana Oguakro Afrane Okese IV.
“Afrane Okese should leave the cocoa farmers to do their work for the betterment of this country. I’m warning Afrane Okese to stop intimidating people and refrain from selling lands to enrich himself. Asanteman lands belong to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. Otumfuo has the power to sell lands not Afrane Okese. The cocoa farmers will neither leave today nor tomorrow. I will continue to support the cocoa farmers” Nana Akua Agemang said.
She however appealed to Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to intervene and call Ejisuhene Nana Oguakro Afrane Okese IV to order to avert a looming bloodbath.
All attempts to speak to the Ejisuhene Nana Oguakro Afrane Okese IV proved futile. But is gathered that his palace is planning to release an official statement in response to the claims by the cocoa farmers.