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Opinions of Thursday, 18 October 2018

Columnist: Rockson Adofo

Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II needs remedial tutorials in Asante history

If Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is not feigning ignorance in knowledge of Asante history for his greedy and criminal quest, then I shall suggest to him to seek remedial tutorials in Asante history. He should be assisted to know the history of the Asantes before, and during, the formation of the Asante Confederacy until the capture and exile of Asantehene Nana Agyemang Prempeh I to Sierra Leone and finally to the Seychelles Island.

I find that he depicts public deficiency in his knowledge of Asante history. If he does not do so purposely to suit his secret agenda of intimidating and exploiting other chiefs from the Divisions/States within the Confederacy now called Asanteman Council, then I shall strongly suggest he seeks remedial tutorials in Asante history.

When in the history of the Asantes was an Asantehene conventionally empowered to have absolute control over the Divisions that voluntarily came together to form the Asante Confederacy, especially, after the restoration of the Asante Confederacy in 1935?

Is Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II aware that no Asantehene has control over the Kumawu Division? Is he also aware of the document signed by the Asante Confederacy chiefs in a meeting in 1931 stipulating that the land of every Division belongs to the paramount chief and subjects of that division without any other chief from another division having control over it? I can furnish him with a photocopy of that official document to upgrade his knowledge of the Asante history to stop him from encroaching upon lands belonging to the other divisions as if he had inalienable right to do so.

For his information, because he sought to have his illegal way in the Kumawu chieftaincy dispute to satisfy his criminal and parochial interests, he is on recorded video on YouTube to have asserted thus, “In the olden days, our elders went to the North to bring tall Dagomba males to sleep with our women to give birth to tall and stout males to occupy our thrones”. He said this when the Asanteman Council had met at Kumasi Manhyia Palace to deliberate over the Kumawu chieftaincy dispute on 24 February 2014. He found himself cornered by the request made by one Mr Osei Kwabena, the uncle of Dr Yaw Sarfo, now the dubiously enstooled Kumawuhene going by the stool name Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua, to have a DNA test done to prove that the man presenting himself as the father of Dr Yaw Sarfo was not his biological father. Mr Osei Kwabena had insisted Dr Yaw Sarfo’s father was one Salifu, a northerner, hence he could not ascend the Kumawu Kodua Stool by Kumawu custom and tradition.

Asantehene and his Council having secretly agreed on an agenda to twist justice rebuffed him saying, regardless of his parenthood, he could ascend the Kumawu stool. In his rebuttal, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II made that preposterous statement which has now been seized upon by some northerners to make mockery of the Asantes.

I have received some audio recordings on my WhatsApp page by some unknown voices claiming to be northerners. They purport to be countering the insults heaped on them allegedly said by the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Simon Osei Mensah. They are quoting Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to justify their claim that they are far important than the Asantes. The audio of the said insults rained on the northerners has also found its way onto the WhatsApp.

I am not going to argue with the northerners in their assertions but I find it completely absurd on the part of Asantehene to have made that utterance. He thought he was being smart but today, his thoughtless statement made is being used to crucify Asantes on the alter of the social media and the gallows of the Ghana tribal politics.

Has he ever seen, or heard of, any Kumawu paramount chief bow to any Asantehene? Does he know about the importance of the Kumawu Division within the Asanteman? Does he think he can force Kumawu chiefs to prostrate to him?

What does he understand about the role of the “Nkwankwaa” (the youth) in the election of a royal candidate to becoming a chief? Does he know that a candidate elected by the kingmakers can be rejected by the youth let alone, the one simply imposed on them without going through the due processes of election and enstoolment as it is the case with Dr Yaw Sarfo?

Kumawuman has a unique process of selecting and electing their royal candidates to become chief-elect. After they have elected a royal candidate who swears an oath to his elders on a particular day with his elders swearing an oath of allegiance to them on another day, then the said candidate becomes a chief-elect. After forty days or any number of days of their choice and convenience, the chief-elect is taken to Kumasi Manhyia Palace to be introduced to his co-equal Asante Amanhene at Kumasi Manhyia Palace as the new Kumawu Omanhene coming to join them. The meeting is chaired by the Ceremonial Head Asantehene.

At Manhyia, the new Kumawu chief-elect swears an oath of allegiance to the Golden Stool occupied by Asantehene but not to the person of Asantehene. The Golden Stool is the symbol of unity of Asanteman hence swearing an oath of allegiance to it. Therefore, those lacking in knowledge of Asante history think it is Asantehene that they swear the oath of allegiance to hence he is all-powerful to do as he wants when he wants. That is a fallacy!

No Asantehene has any right to meddle in Kumawu chieftaincy affairs. No Asantehene can play any role in the selection, election and enstoolment of a royal candidate as Kumawuhene-elect let alone, imposing a person of their choice on Kumawuman as Omanhene.

I am waiting patiently for any chief that worth his salt within the Asanteman to counter my claims as false.

I promise from today forward to take on Asantehene in a manner never seen by him before. Despite the fact that he has been able to persuade or induce some publishers not to publish my articles, there are many routes to convey my messages to him and the reading public.

My fans, please make a date with me on my Facebook wall.

Finally, may I seize this opportunity to ask if at all the Asanteman paramount chiefs truly know the history of Asanteman and that of their divisions. Do the Kumawu sub-chiefs following Dr Yaw Sarfo, directly giving legitimacy to his roguish enstoolment actually know Kumawuman history and the position of Kumawu within Asanteman? Do they know that by their action, they are strengthening the hands of the criminal Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to denigrate the status of Kumawuman and her subjects?

Indeed, for lack of knowledge, my people perish. Lest I forget, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II in his mind’s eye is cleverer than the fairy-tale Kwaku Ananse. He possesses all the wisdom in Asanteman. However, playing the momentary role of Ntikuma, the son of Kwaku Ananse, let me punch a big hole in his famed, but hollow wisdom. Once, Juabenhene Nana Otuo Serebour II, enstooled a royal from Juaso in Asante Akyem as the paramount chief of that traditional area. Years later, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II destooled that person and rebuked Juabenhene for not following tradition and custom during that person’s enstoolment.

There was neither the Kontrehene nor Akwamuhene present when that person was sworn in as the paramount chief of Juaso. Subsequently, he could not be conventionally accepted as a legitimate chief hence removing him from the throne. His view was supported by the Asanteman Council. In the Kumawu case, were the Kontrehene and Akwamuhene present when Dr Yaw Sarfo swore in as Kumawuhene-elect? NO!!! How then can Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, claim that the enstoolment of Dr Yaw Sarfo as Kumawuhene is legal but not that of Juaso? Who is he trying to fool if not himself? He must be kidding!