A 42-year old native of Japekrom and a father of five in the Jaman South District of the Brong Ahafo Region, Wofa Sina Atta, has been killed by gunmen believed to be from Drobo, a rival community.
According to a report sighted by YEN.com.gh on Citinewsroom.com, the deceased, who was well-known as the Mbrantehene (Youth Leader) of Japekrom, was among those leading the townsfolk including chiefs, as part of activities marking their Munufie Festival when the shooting took place on Wednesday afternoon.
About fifteen other natives of the town were also injured in what appeared to be an attack by snipers who were hiding in a storey-building, believed to be the Palace of the Drobo Chief, according to Police in the region.
Japekrom and Drobo, both twin towns, are said to have a long history of rivalry over land.
Narrating the incident, the Brong Ahafo Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Chief Inspector Augustine Kingsley Oppong, said natives of Japekrom as part of their festival, had visited a Crocodile River at Mpuasu, to perform some rituals.
“According to them [Japekrom natives], it’s their spiritual River and they had to go and have a spiritual bath. And the same tradition also goes that when they’re coming back from the River they should walk. So gathering people in a bus from Japekrom to the Mpuaso area and coming to their town, on reaching a section of the road in front of the Drobo Palace, they got down from their vehicle and were about to walk. Ahead of them they saw a certain barrier. For that matter they were moving in convoy; they reached there and there was an attack from a storey-building which is the palace of Drobo”, Chief Inspector Augustine Kingsley Oppong recounted.
“From the shooting that came from the top of the storey-building, we’ve gotten about fifteen victims so far; and one has been pronounced dead. The name of the deceased is Wofa Sina Atta, 42 years, who’s said to be the Mbrantehene (Youth Leader) of Japekrom”, Chief Inspector Augustine Kingsley Oppong added.
He said that investigations had commenced into the incident to ensure that the culprits were arrested and brought to book.
In the meantime, he says several police officers and military personnel have been dispatched to the area to ensure law and order and to avert reprisal attacks.
Meanwhile, a native of Japekrom, Alhaji Amadu Osman Rafat, who survived the attack, said the injured persons could not be treated at the Drobo Government Hospital which was closer, for fear of another attack.
As a result, they had to be driven for about one hour to a Hospital in Sampa.
He described the experience as a “war zone”, saying he was yet to locate some of his family members, as virtually all the residents of the town had to run for their lives.
He added that the entire town was in a state of shock and fear, although military personnel and police officers had been dispatched to the area.
He alleged that some police officers who had led them to the River, were suddenly nowhere to be found when the shooting started.
In 2015, the legal tussle over land ownership between the two towns, was said to have been settled at the court, and ruled in favour of Japekrom.
It however appeared natives of Drobo, which is much bigger than Japekrom, had not come to terms with the ruling of the court.
It is however unclear whether the attack was linked to that rivalry over the land.
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