Construction of ‘ISIS Centre’ at Akyem Asene causes stir

The building of a youth centre at Akyem Asene Zongo, near Akyem Oda in the Eastern Region, has drawn the ire of a section of residents of the town.

Some of the residents allege that the Muslim youth who are constructing the centre intend to use it as a base for Islamic State (ISIS) activities.

The resentment follows the refusal of the Muslim youth to heed the intervention of the chief and elders of Akyem Asene to prevent the establishment of the training centre in the town.

Last Tuesday, the Muslim youth held some people hostage and threatened them with machetes and clubs.

Briefing the Daily Graphic at Asene on Wednesday, the Asenehene, Nana Karikari Apau I, said recently some youth from the Zongo reported to him and his elders that an ISIS training centre was being established in the community.

Training centre

He said the Asene Zongo Chief, Naa Aminu Zakaria Babangida, also followed up to make a similar complaint to him and his elders. According to Nana Apau, he and his elders summoned the leaders of the group and seriously warned them to refrain from putting up the centre.

He stated that last Monday he and his elders received a report that the group had defied the chief’s orders and were putting up the building at Zongo as a training centre for the ISIS.

Nana Apau said based on that report, he, in the company of the Asene Gyaasehene, Nana Amoah Daadom; the Abakomahene, Nana Asiedu Kodua, and a linguist, went to the site to find out the authenticity or otherwise of the allegation.

He said on reaching the place, they saw some youth from the Zongo laying the foundation for the construction of the alleged ISIS training centre.

Nana Asenehene said without any provocation, the youth held him and his elders hostage and threatened them with machetes and clubs if they attempted to prevent them from establishing the training centre.

He said sensing danger, he phoned the Asene Police, who rushed to the scene.

Violent posture

Nana Apau said considering the violent posture of the youth, the Asene Police called for reinforcement from Oda and the response was immediate to bring the youth under control.

He said to avoid an escalation of the situation, the police did not effect any arrest but directed the leaders of the group to report themselves at the Oda Divisional Police Headquarters the next day.

When the Asene Zongo chief, who is a police officer in Accra, was contacted on phone, he confirmed the establishment of the ISIS training centre at Asene Zongo, which was being financed by an agency based in Iran.

He said the members of the group had decided to train ISIS personnel and ‘export’ them to Iran.

Police react

The Oda Divisional Police Commander, Chief Supt Ebenezer Ampofo, however, denied that the building the youth were putting up was meant for the training of ISIS personnel, as there was no trace of ISIS in Ghana.

He stated that his outfit had invited both parties to a meeting to find a lasting solution to the problem in order to promote peace in the town.



Source: Daily Graphic