Feature Article of Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Columnist: Kwawukume, Andy C. Y.
The Unfolding Chieftaincy Drama In New Juaben: Another Case Of Ndc Double Standards And Duplicity.
I have been following the unfolding drama in New Juaben with much consternation. As many readers are aware of, I have an interest in drastically reforming chieftaincy in Ghana to bring it into modern times, besides being an interested actor in the ongoing Awoamefia debacle in Anlo. I therefore like to follow chieftaincy issues everywhere, as much as I could.
The conflict in the New Juaben [Dwaben] Traditional Area raises many interesting questions, many of which I won’t dwell on. Much of the information out there is one sided, being largely the version of events according to the obviously “peeved” Suhyenhene who has been allegedly denied the chance to swear the oath of allegiance to the Omanhene Daasebre Oti Boateng despite even a Supreme Court verdict in his favour; presumably, as the legitimate chief of that community. If that is the case - and I have no reason to doubt their truthfulness – then the Omanhene is simply exhibiting the general trait of lawlessness an disrespect to the law courts that the elite of Ghana demonstrate in their actions. After all, even Dr Busia famously shouted “no court, court …” and the rest is history! It is such contempt for decisions of courts and lawlessness in respecting due process that has led to the huge judgement debts Ghana is paying. It is behind the endemic corruption in the country. It is the same contempt for law and order that has led the elders of some of us in Anlo to take the once convicted ex-Police Commissioner and impostor Patrick Agboba and many of his equally lawless and arrogant henchmen such as Prof. Kofi Awoonor and ex-convict Dan Abodakpi to the Accra Fast Track Court on a charge of another contempt of court which they are doing their utmost best to derail the course of justice.
The Omanhene is, of course, no other a person than the erstwhile, long-serving head of the Statistical Service, Dr Oti Boateng. He, just like the rumoured late impostor to the Ga Mantsehip, Dr Blankson and the rest of the aforementioned individuals, fits the pattern of what I deemed the pathetic “modern elite” who have been migrating to the rural areas to secure chieftaincy titles by hook or crook as one of the crowning glories of their achievement in life - a development I consider as inimical to the development of an open society and good governance in Ghana. When the rent-seeking national elite who have fed fat on the national cake begun to descend on the rural areas to feed off the landed spoils of office that most chieftaincies command, then we are done for, and must fight back. This is not to say that we should continue to make uneducated rural people heirs to stools and skins; far from it!
This is just one aspect of and issues thrown out by the unfolding drama. But then, here we have a legitimate chief who wants to perform a lawful rite and has been threatened by a sub-chief with mayhem and bloodbath! One would have expected that the authorities descend heavily on the chief making the threats and offer protection to the Omanhene to perform the rites at the Suhyen River. Rather, the Regional Minister and the Head of the Regional Security outfit, Mr Victor Smith, considered it appropriate to ban the Omanhene from appearing in Suhyen! I think an astute leader would have tried to use this occasion to reconcile the two chiefs by inviting both to a tête-à-tête before and after the ceremony, with he himself appearing at the ceremony.
If the NDC government under the late President Mills has the security muscle to provide armed troops and police to the impostor Agboba and his unconscionable henchmen and lackeys to engage in an illegal and uncustomary out-dooring in Anloga, knowing full well that the man was under several injunctions and one conviction already for infringing such an injunction, I wonder why they could not provide same security to a legitimate chief to perform lawful rites to herald a festival? Of course, President Mills was just a thorough hypocrite when he declared that he wouldn’t want to entertain Dr Blankson as Ga Mantse because of the legal actions against him, but he found it fit to travel all the way to embrace another impostor, a convicted one at that, as Awoamefia in Anloga, VR! Now that we have interred him with whatever good he had done as President, we are now free to dwell on the evils that he lefty behind! When I find sometime, I might write The Legacy of President Mills, Part 2.
At this very moment, thanks to President Mahama’s own duplicity in this affair, troops have been deployed in Anloga several weeks before the announced celebration of the Hogbe festival by the impostor and his unprincipled and conscienceless associates. No one has threatened to disrupt their actions as that chief of Suhyen did, as last year, the opponents to the mischief makers issued a letter supporting any plans to celebrate the Hogbeza, only objecting to the participation of the impostor and convict as Awoamefia of Anlo. Some few weeks ago, when they planned to perform another ceremony in order to remedy the illegal and uncustomary “outdooring” they performed for the impostor and a letter was issued by the legitimate kingmakers advising the chiefs and citizens not to turn up for the occasion, Police from Ho were unleashed on the town of Anloga to arrest some leaders of those opposed to them. A poor, young man with a bullet still in his groin from Nyonyo Atitsogbui’s debacle under the Kufour regime was arrested, kept in prison for days and finally arraigned before court. Such is the abuse of the state security resources to prosecute an illegal private agenda one wonders what sort of government President Mahama is running, after Mills pathetic reign from the Castle!
With Rawlings, one of his main backers who helped in no small measure in starting this dispute, also finally accepting my oftentimes stated stance and declaration that our fight against corruption and all forms of lawlessness must start from our homes, I guess all should be prepared for the internal onslaught some of us shall launch on the criminals, the lawless and arrogant, roguish elements, the conmen, etc, in our midst. Enough is enough of the display of lawlessness, the chicanery and the duplicitous behaviour of our so-called leaders!
Andy C. Y. Kwawukume London 30 October, 2012