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Opinions of Friday, 17 August 2007

Columnist: Fosu, John

Appeal For Prudence in The Selection of The Next Kumawumanhene

The audacious Kumawu citizens are no doubt in tears; donned in black and red mourning gear. They are dabbing their eyes with handkerchief, bewailing their departed number one citizen, Barima Asumadu Sakyi II. He has been called to join "Nananom" to rest in the bosom of God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. May the kindly light shine upon his feet, lead and direct him in this spiteful, but inevitable journey to meet his Creator, in peace.

To err is human. As fallible mortal beings, there is no doubt the need for the redirection of our steps by those in the backseat. It does not belong to he who is leading to redirect their steps but to those following him. Assertively agreed by diligent people, it is pointless dwelling on the pains of the ills of a departed soul through constant castigation. It is interestingly however prudent to learn lessons from the committed mistakes of the departed to help steer clear of committing the same mistakes in the here and now.

It is a fallacious assumption that libidinal gratification with people in higher places can be used as an effective coercive weapon to tilt the balance in one's favour on the issue of who should be the next paramount chief of Kumawuman. It is noted that the renowned novelist, Sir Salman Rushdie, in his novel, "The Moors", suggestively chastises a pestering gluttonous Indian lady thus, "your future prospects are between your legs, concentrate on making your husband happy and butt out your elders' businesses.” Will this admonition though be magically applicable to the quest of Kumawuman seeking the People's chief, where an affluently influential person is scheming to thwart the people’s dream by employing the tactics stated above, owing to this person’s connections with someone deemed Omnipotent in the chieftaincy hierarchy? The alluded Omnipotent is besotted with the other person that he would not even notice if this person was the devil incarnate, which of course is the perception of many. Even if this scheme could work, Kumawuman would resist it.
Some people in their figment of imagination consider themselves too powerful to be disobeyed, simply for been accorded traditional titles with the attendant privileges of people stooping and prostrating to them. These misguided societal privileges are misconstrued by these selfish individuals to be rights, which are abused by many of them. They incessantly bully, intimidate, and insult their subjects. They treat the masses in their care without any respect, but like dirt easily discarded with a whiff of air. However, unashamedly they require of their subjects absolute obeisance, regardless of any mistreatment and maltreatment meted out to their people.
In this 21st century era, it must be sounded into the tympanic membrane of our elders that they no longer wield that absolute power to cast out people from society as was prevalent in the days of our forebears. They should know that their subjects have the right to air out their views and have the rights to be heard.
Surely, in our Ghanaian culture and saying, "one person's demise is another person's fortune". No doubt, some people are gleefully somersaulting all over the place, intending to rake in as much cash as they can, in bribery and corruption. They are going to milk the contesting royals aspiring to succeed Barima Asumadu Sakyi II dry. Our people are never keen to having the future People's king saddled with debt before ascending to the throne, owing to some dishonest people taking bribes from him before offering him the future post. If this does happen, what should we expect of the eventual heir apparent in the waiting? Misappropriate funds from the word GO? And sadly enough, to some shallow-minded people, this untoward action is deemed as tradition.
My compatriots should note the adage, "if the perfidiously apathetic person knew his portion of the game was going to be its head, he would have taken much care roasting it.” This goes to tell, any evil done will come back to haunt their perpetrators sometime, someday, somewhere. Walls have ears and the truth will always come out, so please be honest to Kumawuman by doing the selfless and honourable duty for at least once. Assisting in the selection of an Omanhene may be a life time opportunity for most of our present kingmakers. So when it does chance upon you, please do use it judiciously to the benefit of all. No more bribe taking by whomever, please. And whoever does will sooner pay through their nose. Imagine how painful that will be.
Respect is earned, but not commanded! And respect is reciprocal. I personally appeal for the exhibition of honesty by our kingmakers in the selection of a befitting personality for the kingly crown. They should not go for beauty but for someone full of wisdom, with the qualities of reliability, stewardship, integrity, acuminous, and full of respect for their subjects, to succeed Barima Asumadu Sakyi II, the just passed away Omanhene of Kumawuman. I pray none of them sells their conscience for pittance, an act which they will surely live to regret later in their life; in addition to incurring whipping from the fairy cane of the legendary "Kwaku Ananse.” This time the code word for stopping the flogging wouldn't be "adwobre,” so calm down. The kingmakers must avoid being caught in the whipping path of the people's anger, which will be scary if and when it happens. It is much better as by precaution than by getting caught and then pleading for mercy.
Just consider the following scenario. Character "A" has been in power for "X" number of years, having achieved nothing for his country but all for himself/herself. A higher position becomes vacant. "A" jumps into action, employing all the dirty tricks that are possible to confer the position on "A's" son, Character "B", a novice. Looking back on the achievements or otherwise of "A", what should the reaction of the people be? Lest I forget, "A" is confidently doing so with the backing of a mighty hand, character "Z". In the name of tradition, my response is, keep mute and let things take their natural course, as laid down by tradition. But a piece of advice to "A", lean back, search your archives and your heart, weigh your achievements, judge for yourself if you merit imposing son "B" on your people.
Would you please muse over this other scenario? Mr. "C" is voted to represent his people at a big organization. His duties are to help make sound policies for running the organization and also, inform the organization of the needs and worries of his people. The people are obliged to pay him for his services, fixed for a number of years, though renewable. Mr. "C" chooses rather to measure his popularity in terms of the succulent damsels he is bedding at the expense of the people's expectation of him (for the assistance with the provision of the basic necessities of life). Mr." C" is miles away from what he was voted to do. If Miss "Q" reprimands him or asks for his removal from the organization, what will be your reaction?
With the People's chief, Kumawuman will sooner make up for the many wasteful or lost years when measured up in development. The youth of Kumawuman have whispered into my ear that they no longer want to be left behind, always in short of the minimum requirements of a decent living. This is an anathema in this unprecedented fast evolving world of abundance of everything to the sensible White contemporaries. The people of Kumawuman will write their own laws and regulations to run the chiefdom, with the chief as the Chief Executive Officer. They don’t want to be held in bondage by any depletive traditions and cultures any more.
Is it true what a White friend once remarked? He stated that whereas the Whites keep advancing technologically and materially, researching into even Outer Space, the unproductive and lazy hand-twirling Africans always pray for the second coming of Christ right now, just to end their perceived miseries of the world? He further said it is selfish on the part of Africans to pray for the total destruction of the world all because they lack the foresight and means to develop to see the glory of God manifested in their daily lives. I leave it to the traditionalists to scold him. Cast the first stone at him, whoever believes he has blasphemed.
"Whatever you give your attention to will give you direction.” My attention is to ensuring Kumawuman and the students of Tweneboa Kodua Secondary School see the liberation from the abject poverty their leaders have plunged them into. Am I wrong to do that? If YES, why? Is it because it is against tradition, and moreover that I am a merely a “stranger” to Kumawu; though a student of T.K.S.S? Should I better not poke my bloody nose into their local affairs, or else they will advise their executioners panting up and down the corridors of their palace to prepare my head for the chief's burial, as warned off one Mr. Adofo by a Kumawu citizen seeking economic asylum in the Whiteman's land? Just out of curiosity, do we still behead people for a king or a chief's burial? Will the deceased still need to be carried in palanquin in the underworld; hence, laying his grave with chopped human heads, and then sitting his coffin on them? Do we still kill chiefs’ widows because they will need to be attended sexually? What a bizarre tradition indeed!
Wisdom is not the absolute prerogative or repository of any one person. Therefore, let us all in peace co-operate to find better solutions to the many problems confronting Ghana in general, and Kumawu in particular. Note that, "a chain is as strong as its weakest link.” If a society is rotten to the core, that is how far best its people can live.
I call on all like-minded people to come to the aid of Kumawuman in this critical turn of their miserable state, where a flicker of hope is beckoning them to the Promised Land, the "Sugar Candy Mountain" where there will no longer be any premature praying for God's destruction of the earth now and then. They lack in everything—though they have rich men and women, rich forest and fertile lands—they have abundant apathy and gross mismanagement.
I am doing a research on how attitudinal behaviour is adversely affecting the development of Africa. Ghanaweb is being a great source of help to me. Those discussions and comments that are destructive or otherwise are pointers as to how conclusively successful my research will be in the end. Many people deviate from the topics at hand, either by intention or by ignorance. Political and tribal inclinations have robbed many a Ghanaian of their reasoning. They are unabashedly and stupidly biased even if it costs them certain comforts. I go in circles, a trite writer indeed, just to provoke reaction. You may disagree but relate your anger and comments to the intentions raised by this writer. For how long will Ghanaians languish for lack of common sense?
The much “hidden” intentions of my writing on this particular issue are:
* Character "A" should not dare impose Character "B" on Kumawuman.
* Character "Z" should not lend any unnecessary hand in the evil machinations of "A".
* A wake-up call to all citizens of Kumawuman to build their own locality as the White contemporaries are tired of the lackadaisical attitude of Africans, with Ghanaians inclusive.
* Corruption and tribalism are hurting and obstructing the development of Africa and Africans.
* Ghanaians are not farsighted and will continue to be slaves with the ongoing undue importance given to their obsolete traditions, where the chief is unaccountable to anyone, however repugnant his behaviour (or misbehaviour) may be.
* Our local rich histories are continually being proven to be all folklores, not to be taken seriously. One cannot be so much proud of them anymore. If in doubt, contact one Nana Akrase. And according to the greatest historian of Ghana, "there is not any genuine history but it is how you perceive it and want it to be.”
* Why was the Kumawu "ABAMO" not put to any economic use of benefit to the locality? Belief has it that it could resolve infertility in women, yet many a female in Kumawuman have been and continue to be barren.
People can keep on lying to themselves, it is their choice. But society shouldn't accept that fact if they need to move forward. Ashanti tradition encourages lying between their teeth, considering the wise saying, "Never point at the direction of your father's cottage with the left hand."
Goodbye my dear Kumawu people. I have done what Napoleon couldn't do. It is up to you to put up the mantle to keep up the good fight until success is yours. I have been wounded by a friendly fire, having crossed the Rubicon. As my model-mentor, Mr. Adofo, has chickened out, so will I. I am scurrying away like a frightened dog with its tail tucked between his legs, for the longer a bird stays in the tree chirping, the more likely it gets killed. But mind you, "he who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day;” that is the secret of the art of bravery. I am going into hibernation, but I will come back recharged, with new boxing gloves on to deliver knockout punches if the problem still remains the same on my return. You will remember me, and as was said by Arnold Schwarzenegger, "I will be back.” All the noble sons and daughters of Kumawuman are to get involved to select a person of their choice, without allowing anyone to be imposed on them as intended.
I call on Mr. Kwaku Owusu alias Alabama, Mr. Kwadwo Boadi, Mr. R.A.O. Basoah, James, and Kofi Dadzie, Acheampong, and anybody who cares about the plight of Kumawuman and Kumawu especially, to join the peaceful march for their rights. Kumawuman, make your future happen. “You have talked the talk, now walk the walk.”

J. Fosu (USA)

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