Nyahbinghi leader accuses police of targeting and threatening his community

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Even after the local government established a Marijuana Decriminalisation Committee and the Caricom heads continue to review marijuana policies in the region, the Nyahbinghi Theocracy Order of Antigua claims it is being oppressed by lawmen here.
The head of a Rastafarian community in Antigua and Elder of the Nyahbinghi House of Big Creek, Foster “King Osagyefo” Mack spoke passionately about the church’s ordeal and how their way of life continues to be overlooked.
“Under the Constitution, we have our religious rights to our beliefs and practices. We are away from society; we are on our own, trying our best to develop ourselves over the last 45 years and the Nyahbinghi House of Big Creek is being targeted and being suppressed,” King Osagyefo told OBSERVER media.
He said he received news over the weekend that several police officers [from the Special Squad Unit (SSU)] barged into his home without a warrant.
“The report said they entered my yard from many different areas, traumatising my youths, run into the place with guns like we up in Iraq,” he said, adding, “They did not even have a warrant, not even a right name; they were never to enter the premises,” Rastafarian elder said.
The raid resulted in King Osagyefo’s son – Greate Mack — being fined $18,000 for the cultivation of 10 pounds of marijuana plants, on Saturday, but only after several of the tribe’s brothers had been kept in police custody from last Friday to Monday morning.
According to him, 33 people reside on the compound, and 19 of them are children. They also have their own school and finance their own businesses.
The 65-year-old Rastafarian elder told our newsroom “I am sick and fed up … I am overrun … I am powerless and I am willing to use the media as my source of defence.”
King Osagyefo said the community’s main concern is the ganja suppression by successive governments.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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