The spotlight and controversy surrounding the Central Regional town of Denkyira Obuasi will linger for a long time after a mob lynched Major Maxwell Mahama on suspicion he was an armed robber.
The story is told of how the people moved to the present location after being compelled to abandon their old abode.
The reason? Buildings and other structures had reportedly turned into a chain and pieces of rock and until recently, people were barred from stepping foot in the area, known as Apaaho.
Nhyira FM's Ohemeng Tawiah has been digging into the history of the town to establish the facts behind the town’s history.
Denkyira Obuasi attracted global attention when residents pounced on a military officer and beat him to death in broad daylight on the fateful Monday of 29th May, 2017.
Major Mahama had committed no crime except for the people suspecting he was an armed robber.
The incident, according to sources, had been preceded in 2012, by the killing, in a similar fashion, of three men, believed to be national security operatives.
Nhyira News was told of how the old Denkyira Obuasi town was once cursed by an unknown person who had cited residents for unfair treatment at the town’s original location.
That curse, according to mythical accounts, turned residents and the entire community into standing rocks shaped in human sizes.
When they resettled at the present place, residents were barred from the old site, for any reason.
The chief and selected elders, however, offered sacrifices to their ancestors there every two years.
With time, the area, covering about four miles square has grown into a thick forest.
Eighty-six year old Nana Kwadwo Nsowah is an elder of Denkyira Obuasi.
He tells me how only the chief and few elders were allowed to access the old community on a two-year basis.
“We used to call it Abosomso.
The chief, queenmother and selected elders go there every two years to perform rituals
There is a small stream on the way to the place. No-one is permitted step in it.
'Nananom' will not eat neither will they urinate or even spit during the sacrifice,” he narrated.
According to Nana Nsowah, the entire old Denkyira Obuasi community except for the household of an Obaapanin from the Aduana turned into rocks.
The unidentified elderly woman and her household were spared of the curse because she received the unidentified man suffering from Chicken Pox well.
“Everybody is said to have turned into rock except the household that accepted him
We are told the bigger stones represent men and the small ones are females
There are rocks shaped like women pounding fufu.”
Luckily for me, I have been able to access Apaaho without offering a sacrifice.
The prohibited land, though has been covered by thick forest, is now open to human visit.
The Diaso parish of the Roman Catholic Church attends prayer retreat at one side of the rock every month.
But some elders of new Denkyira Obuasi want the area developed into a tourist site to generate income for the community, as echoed by Chief Linguist, Nana Kwabena Asare.
He says: “This will attract tourists from within and outside Ghana if it is developed
The local economy will see improvement
Trading activities will increase here
Even unmarried persons can have life partners”.
His call is endorsed by the caretaker chief and a former assemblyman for Modaso Electoral area, Nana Kofi Okyere.
“Our doors are open to all potential investors.
In fact, we will support from whoever wants to help develop the site,” he said.