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Feature Article of Thursday, 1 November 2012

Columnist: Tawiah, Francis

Otumfuor Shouted At His Sub-Chiefs

But Unity Begins At Home



Ashanti sub-chiefs are not slaves to the Ashanti King.

The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has no reason to shout on top of his voice at his sub-chiefs.

Why should a sub-chief defend him in his absence if he doesn't know exactly what has transpired. We all heard or read that the king has lost some of his precious crown/jewels in his Hotel abroad, but how and what exactly was stolen was not immediately known. If people who carry their own views in this our modern democratic environment are gossiping around about his possible dismissal from the Ashanti stool, how can a sub-chief who is innocent about what has really transpired during his visit abroad run to the public or a radio station to say something about what he has no idea.

The King of Ashanti must not forget that even though he is the king, his sub-chiefs are not his slaves. "Besides the king remains the king but he is not always right."

He shouted loudly during his recent meeting with his sub-chefs that, "if even I have lost the jewels it's my own property." But then if he lost his own property as he claims and other people are talking about it what is his beef for support from his sub-chiefs? How should they support him, to go to the public and say it is not true or fight those gossipers?

Otumfuor expressed disappointment at comments on the airwaves criticizing him for losing some crown jewels in Norway. Nana, what do you expect? You travel to Norway "IN EUROPE NOT MAMPONG OR NSUTA IN ASHANTI REGION" with such heavy Gold jewels and if they are stolen you still expect the Ghanaian people to keep quiet and curse the thieves for you or what?

Many are those who are also deeply disappointed in Otumfuor Osei Tutu II for treating his sub-chiefs like his slaves during his current meetings with the chiefs at his Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.

Otumfuor seems to have totally forgotten that "he was made a King but not born a King" and gone are the days when Kings were owing slaves.

What I personally can't understand is Why Otumfuor expects his sub-chiefs to defend him on the comments that "the theft of his jewels could lead to his dismissal from the stool."

After all it is an indisputable fact that those jewels were stolen and if somebody or any group of people opine that he must be dismissed, there should no be any reason for any sub-chief to fight for that matter on his behalf. Otumfuor can go to the public and defend himself. He is not above the traditional law.

Ashanti Kings are also liable to dismissal from the Golden stool, depending upon the situation.

Once upon a time (the Ashanti) King, Mensah Bonsu was dismissed because of his habit of chasing the wifes of his sub-chiefs and also digging out the graves (at Kumasi Baamu, Bantama near Okomfo Anokye Hospital) of the past Ashanti Kings in search of gold ornaments and jewels.

Otumfuo shouted asking his sub-chiefs, "don't I have people to defend me when other people are saying all sorts of things on radio about me? If I don't have people to defend me then let me know, If that is the treatment you are giving me then you have to tell me in plain words.”

I am not sure Otumfuor expected his sub-chiefs to have gone the platform or Radio station to say it's not true that our King has lost his jewels in Norway whilst it really happened. Mean while non of the sub-chiefs knew the exact facts about what and how those items were stolen.

Nana stop blaming your sub-chiefs, since you are safely back home you can adequately defend yourself. The chiefs have no plans to disown you and the Golden Stool will continue to provide adequate security and protection for you and your people, therefore be rest assured that nobody can do any harm to you.

Why will Otumfuo Osei Tutu II blame or think his sub-chiefs are short of unity among themselves, a development he said creates avenue for the enemies of the Asante kingdom to infiltrate their ranks. If it is really so then Nana, I will advise to start bringing your people together because when we the Ashantis went in for the Priest Kwame Okomfuor Anokye Frimpong from the Eastern Region (Awuku Gua) to help us (Ashantis) to unite, he took finger nails, hair and drops of blood from all the Ashanti chiefs as a symbol or omen of UNITY to perform some rituals before he conjured the Golden stool (Kofi) on one Friday for you to be in command as the King of all Kings to bring about unity among all the Ashanti Chiefs. Nana it will therefore be disappointing to come out today and tell us there is no unity among your subordinates. Who should be blamed in this case? "I have never before seen a passenger driving a car into ditch while the driver will be sitting behind the steering wheel controlling the car."

Nana Otumfuor Osei Tutu II must sit upright, take command over his territory as a traditional King, bring about unity and development and forget about what people are saying because "the raining season is gone" the olden days have passed, we are in a modern democratic world, people are free to express their views. You no longer own slaves, it is world wide abolished.

And even if “Otuo, Mampong, Nsuta" who made you a king, would stand by you hold you tight and defend you, you will still be subject to criticisms as far as democracy is concerned.

Nana! despite the fact that I don't side with you to some extend, I wish you a long life and wisdom. May god richly bless you and your Kingdom!

FRANCIS TAWIAH (Duisburg - Duisburg)

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