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Opinions of Saturday, 16 February 2013

Columnist: Adu, Joseph Ampomah

Are Ashantis Safe In Ghana?

I will have allowed sleeping dogs lie if Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu, and a Minister Designate in President John Mahama’s government has not stared the controversy by asking a regional Minister designate for Ashanti Region, if other Tribes are safe in Ashanti Region. I will not blame him because he is not matured. Haruna has no experience in life that qualified him to be a Minister of State. This young man has never done any tangible work, while I will concede that he is smart and joined the political class right from University of Legon as a student political activist, he does not have work experience aside being a politician, so let us forgive him if sometimes he makes such a blunder.
What has brought Ghana to this messy situation? Why have we allowed the politicians to divide the country? It is well known fact that Ashanti Regions have more cosmopolitan cities due to the fact that all tribes reside in every town there. We have Zongo communities; Anglo communities and every tribe have a chief in Ashanti Region to the point that even in Manhyia Palace we have chiefs representing other tribes. In the north people from the south are referred to as “Kabonya” or something which sounds like that which means a foreigner. We Ashantis are easy going and do not discriminate. My constituent representative in Parliament is not an Ashanti yet we accept him fully and support him and there is countless number of Parliamentarians who represent people of Ashanti and Greater Accra with similar situation.
Ghana is one people with common destiny and we should not do anything to jeopardize the peace we all enjoy, albeit in darkness. There is also the misconception that every Akan speaking person is an Ashanti, the ignorance is not limited to the small guys who do not know the difference but even highly educated politicians display same attitude.
This is wrong as any person with Akan’s name who misbehaves is regarded as Ashanti. How can somebody who has never gone beyond Chorkor see an Ashanti man and call him ‘kurasi Ni’? We have been a target of every insult on the Ghana web and other medium in the country. From the time of Nana Osei Tutu (1680 t0 1717) - The Asante kingdom was founded by the great King Osei Tutu in the eighteenth century. His fetish priest was Okomfo Anokye, who unified the Asante states through allegiance to the Golden Stool, which miraculously descended from heaven. Okomfo Anokye planted two trees in the forest and predicted that one tree would live and become the capital of Ashanti, Kumasi is a melting pot of all tribes.
One day I went to Kumasi and decided to purchase yam from Tafo market for friends, after paying for the yam, I was asked by a Dagomba woman to pay her for the land which the yam is sold. I asked her which of the Royal Family in Ashanti that she comes from that warrant her to collect such dues, of course she could not tell me. Can an Ashanti woman goes to the north and become the market queen? Thus, till Nana Kwaku Dua (Nana Osei Tutu II) Ashanti’s have remained homogenous people with respect for our culture and tradition. Some may say derogatory remarks or despise us for that but we are not self-centered people. We do not envy other tribes, and we always tried to be accommodative to others.
Like they say in Akan – Efie bia mensa womu. There may be some bad people in Ashanti and I am not saying that every person from Ashanti region whether indigene or not is a good person. So we should stop stereotyping and deal firmly with bad nuts in all the country. So Haruna, I can tell you boldly that all tribes are safe in Ashanti region but the question is, are Ashantis Safe in Ghana?