A statement issued by the group, in which it urged a ceasefire between the Muslim community and locals in Old Tafo, following Wednesday’s bloody clashes over a cemetery land, which resulted in many injuries and the death of one person, said: “We have also noticed that other visitors have taken our God-given trait of being very hospitable and accommodating to be our weakness. We are not weak, have never been weak and will never be weak, and, therefore, people should never ever take our kindness to be our weakness because we can equally bite hard.”
The group also condemned an assault on a sub chief of Tafo, saying: “It is a taboo to its apex for someone to slap any chief in our land. It is, therefore, the highest level of sacrilege, which must be condemned.”
AYA nonetheless said it was urging calm between the two groups saying it was better to talk over issues than fight.
Read the full statement below:
ASANTE YOUTH ASSOCIATION (AYA)
PRESS RELEASE Thursday February 11, 2016.
AYA CALLS FOR CALMNESS IN KUMASI TAFO.
The leadership and the entire membership of the association supra (AYA) is saddened by the state of rowdy disorder, mayhem and lawlessness which occurred yesterday the 10th day of February 2016, at TAFO in the Kumasi metropolis.
We call on all stakeholders who have directly or indirectly caused this brutality to hold their fire for now and go to the negotiation table because as Asantes we believe in "JAW JAWING and not WAR WARING" after all when "two elephants fight it is the grass that suffer". We believe that we as Asante youths have greater proportion of interest in Asanteman than any other stakeholder and therefore cannot blow hot air nor rekindle an already quenched flame. Notwithstanding, it is a taboo to its apex for someone to slap any chief in our land. It is therefore the highest level of SACRILEGE which must be condemned.
We, therefore, humbly call on the national security, regional security, the chiefs and people of TAFO and its environs, the national and regional chief Imams and all those who matter in this clash to help calm down the situation professionally. Especially the police must step up their game with their crowd control technique. It is becoming too many a misfiring mistake on the part of the police, a typical example is how the police mistakenly shot to dead two innocent young people in Asante Mampong, a couple of days ago.
We wish to seize this opportunity to also state that, we have lived with Muslims all these while and have lived happily together as a tribe. We have also noticed that, other visitors have taken our God given trait of being very hospitable and accommodating to be our weakness, we are not weak, have never been weak and will never be weak and therefore people should never ever take our kindness to be our weakness because we can equally bite hard. There are some Moslems who are even Asantes and so we do not think damaging others properties and destroying ourselves is the way forward, not at all.
We conclude with an Asante proverb which says "we do not damage or spoil where we eat" a word to the wise........This is a wake-up call for all the chiefs in Asanteman to rise up and do due diligence on any person or persons they give lands to. We therefore remain very firm behind any decision by Manhyia.
Long Live Asante
Long Live the Golden Stool
Long Live AYA
Long Live us all.
Kwame Opoku Gyamfi
Director of communications
Nana Oppong Boadi
Nana Akua Serwaa