The Office of the Okyenhene has denied allegations that it has demolished 500 houses in its bid to expand the Ofori-Panin palace.
According to the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council, it has no such policy to expand the palace refuting reports it has served notice to 500 residents of Kyebi to evacuate.
In a statement Wednesday, Okyenman attributed the false reports “to a certain Daniel Aboagye of a group calling itself Concerned Citizens of Okyeman, claiming to represent the interest of residents who are to be evicted as part of the palace expansion project.
“Amongst other things going around in the media is to link the expansion of the palace to alleged agenda of the Okyenhene to rival the status of the Asantehene by building a palace twice the size of Manhyia Palace.”
Their comment follows news that some affected residents who have been directed to leave the premises to enable the expansion project get underway saying they have nowhere to go.
Daniel Aboagye who claims to speaks for the residents, told Joy News most of the affected persons are elderly people.
“Notice was sent to them since last year and two weeks ago, another reminder was sent to them. They have been asked to evacuate by the end of August for the expansion of the palace,” he said.
But the Palace clarified its position on the matter explaining that the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin in the year 2007 began a process of extensive renovation of the Ofori Panin Palace.
“That in consequence of the above, it became necessary in the year 2014 to serve notices of eviction to squatters around the palace. These are residents of houses constructed by and owned by the Ofori Panin Stool to serve as quarters for domestic staff and officials of the palace,” it said.
According to the statement, upon humanitarian consideration, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin ordered that those affected be given assistance to rent houses and those who wanted to build houses be given land at no cost.
“The report that over 500 houses are to be demolished is credulous and irresponsible, but however not surprising,” it said.
The Palace said, “we see it as a drop in the ocean amongst several attempts to denigrate the person of the Okyenhene, and being part of the agenda to court public disaffection for the Ofori Panin Stool and Okyeman.”
Further, Okyenman noted that the Ofori Panin Palace is sandwiched between major roads, thus any possible expansion will be limited in scope by any consideration.
“We do not fail to see behind all these organised interests who have sustained efforts to undermine Okyeman,” it said.