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Opinions of Thursday, 29 January 2015

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Asanteman Council Cannot, and Must Not, Defend Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II

Long before the capture with the subsequent deportation of Asantehene Nana Agyemang Prempeh I into exile in 1896, there existed a very powerful union of states called the Asante Confederacy. Each of these states was independent of one another until they came together for a common purpose. They came together with the common understanding of becoming stronger, be able to fight and defeat their then powerful enemies. In so doing, they could not only expand their influence over the defeated enemies, but also, capture their lands. In that era, under the noble leadership of Nana Osei Tutu I, backed by the wisdom and spiritual powers of Okomfo Anokye (fetish priest), all those states united. The Golden Stool became the embodiment of their unity but not the Asantehene (person) sitting on the throne.

The capture of Nana Agyemang Prempeh I culminated in the dissolution of the confederacy by the powerful British colonial government. He was deported to Sierra Leone and then to Seychelles. He was released from exile to return to Gold Coast, to be precise, Kumase, in 1924. In the end, the Asante Confederacy was restored in 1935 with the sphere of influence of the Kumasehene who will customarily also de facto be Asantehene, heavily delimited. The Asantehenes have no exercise of overlordship on the other stools since the restoration of the Ashanti Confederacy in 1935.

The States now became what they called Divisions e.g. Kumase Division, Kumawu Division, Nsuta Division, Juaben Division, Mampong Division etc. Kumasehene became the Ceremonial Head of the confederacy with the laws put in place barring him from extending his influence over the subjects, lands and properties of the other divisions.

The Asante Confederacy morphed into Asanteman Council with the divisions changing into Traditional Councils e.g. Kumawu Traditional Council, Juaben Traditional Council, Offinso Traditional Council etc.

Each traditional Council or Division is headed by its Omanhene. Now, let me discuss why the Asanteman Council cannot defend Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, as he had always contrarily expected from the Amanhene.

Asanteman Council is not there to dance to the dubious tunes called by Otumfuo Osei Tutu II all of the time. In 2006, he deplored the attitude of the Council members for failing to rally to his defence when his name was being soiled in public and in the media. His name was called into question because of the actions by Tagoe in relation to the missing 76 parcels of cocaine aboard the MV Benjamin vessel.

In 2012, he lost some "Nanamon" jewels in Norway under suspicious circumstances. The Ghanaian public took him on, casting aspersions on his general character. He came out angrily and crying at an Asanteman Council meeting. He condemned Asanteman chiefs for failing to defend him. Let me quote an excerpt from a publication on Ghanaweb.com of Monday, 29 October 2012, under the heading, "Angry Asantehene threatens to curse sub chiefs for 'deserting' him" – "The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has lashed out at the paramount chiefs in the Kingdom for failing to speak on his behalf when people made derogatory remarks about him when some royal jewellery he was traveling with in Norway was stolen recently".

Again in 2013, it surfaced that he involved himself in an underhand deal to get the Atuguba's Supreme Court judges to twist the truth regarding the declaration of Election 2012 court verdict. Once again, he wanted the Council to support him.

This year, 2015, he is again accusing Asanteman chiefs of not defending him when the majority of Kumawuman citizens are supportive of a section of their elders that have threatened to pull Kumawuman out of the white elephant Asanteman Council. His childish lamentations can be read from a publication on Ghanaweb.com of Sunday 18 January 2015 titled, "My own chiefs don't defend me"- Otumfuo. ("The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has lashed out at Asante chiefs for not defending him whenever he is ridiculed in the media.

The Asantehene, who was addressing an Asanteman Council meeting on Thursday, lamented sourly that chiefs who had sworn to defend Asanteman as well as himself had reclined in that duty.

"My own chiefs don't defend me when they have sworn oaths to defend me and Asanteman. So Hon. Yammin was on point when he said they would defend Manhyia."). Nonsense! Is the militarization of the Kumawu, terrorising innocent citizens in that brutish show of power, the defence that Joseph Yammin promised you? Helping you to subjugate innocent people with intent to steal from them is no defence. It is just a warped Ghanaian mentality. It amounts to crime against humanity.

How do they defend him knowing very well that he is always in the wrong? How do they defend him knowing that all his entire life lived abroad, and he continues to live in Ghana is shrouded in criminalities?

In the case of Kumawu, I have written copiously about how he is exercising powers he is not entitled to. He has no traditional or customary rights whatsoever to needlessly meddle in Kumawu stool affairs, let alone, imposing a puppet as chief on Kumawuman. He plans to dubiously sell Kumawuman lands to a Norwegian business tycoon, take 50% of Kumawuman funds sitting in the Bank of Ghana.

How can the other Amanhene defend him knowing he is always in the wrong? How does he think that in this day and age, he can use force to cow any member of Asanteman to stay in the union despite all his roguish behaviour and daylight infliction of thievery on other members, to his sole benefit? He must be a little mad. In this global world, he cannot reinvent the savagery of olden times and go scot free. The minute he does that, he will be arrested and shipped to Dan Hague to face international justice.

Who cares if he will display the restored Golden Stool every day of all the years ahead of us until thy Kingdom come? We are more concerned about him ceasing his tactical thievery and acts of criminality. Kumawuman will resist him. God Almighty will resist him, punish him and disgrace him. His cup is now full.

He, Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has confided in someone that most of the Asanteman Amanhene are not the rightful royals to their stools. They are illegitimates, same as Barimah Sarfo Tweneboah Koduah is. He says these chiefs are always scared of seeing a genuine royal attempting to ascend to a throne. They always conspire to fight that genuine royal to ensure he never gets the throne.

Is it not this knowledge he has on the Amanhene that has empowered him to act in the obviously irresponsible way that he does always? He knows they have their hands in his mouth and should any of the illegitimates dare challenge him, he will expose them. Look at the life of a crook in exhibition.

Upon all the adverse secrets or reports he holds against his chiefs, they will not defend him. It is even long overdue his forced abdication. Kumawuman citizens are no soft touch.

I will publish an official document that will nail his coffin, God willing. I respect him as a person, a fellow "burger", but not his dubious acts and character. I am sorry if people see me as being disrespectful of our traditional elders and institutions. Far from that, but honestly, I have no respect for crooks that have no shame robbing the poor and the needy at any available opportunity.

Rockson Adofo