You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2002 02 11Article 21686

Opinions of Monday, 11 February 2002

Columnist: Ellison, Kofi

Bravo King Of Akyem Abuakwa

Folks, our traditional Chiefs are showing the world that indeed they have the wherewithal, the capabilities, and certainly the dedication to provide leadership in our nation. Nana Amoatia Ofori Panin , the King of Akyem Abuakwa has certainly proven within a short time that he is indeed, a capable ruler.
Nana Amoatia Ofori is part of a long list of modern-minded, well-traveled (in the Western World), educated individuals who have assumed traditional leadership in Ghana. The list is too long to enumerate here. Suffice it to say that the activities of these new Chiefs are re-shaping our ideas about the Chieftaincy institution in Ghana.
Of course, our Chiefs have sometimes proven to be hindrances to innovation and development by hiding behind the veil of antiquated customs and tradition to frustrate new ideas. What the Akyem Abuakwa Chief spoke about at the durbar welcoming British Premier Blair to Kyebi speaks volume to this modern approach to leadership that our Chiefs are charting. I hope the government of Ghana is listening.
Please find below what the BBC reporter at the scene in Kyebi had to say about Nana Amoatia Ofori Panin's speech. It is an excellent reflection on our Chiefs and tradition. And it brings to the fore, the Akan aphorism that "Se Ohene nni Kuro mu a, Kuro no bo" or "Kuro a Ohene nni mu no, ennya apuntuo" That is to say, when a town is left without the services of a Chief, without the good leadership provided by a Chief, the town relapses into chaos and under-development.
In this regard, I urge our Chiefs to clamp down on chieftaincy disputes, which can only lead to erosion of popular support and respect for the glorious institution. The reports of murder and mayhem at Nsoatre in the Brong Ahafo region where a protracted chieftaincy dispute threatens the stability and peace in the town must be condemned by the authorities, and action taken to rectify the situation.
Additionally, the traditional authorities must not recognize any individual who usurps a traditional Stool or Skin by virtue of his riches or influence. It seems to me that such a situation is akin to a coup d'etat where the wrong person uses brute force to assume power.
Nananom, if Ghana has rid herself of the coup-making gratification, by embracing democracy and good governance; it stands to reason that, through your beneficence, you must equally reject individuals whose royal antecedents are shallow, yet assume power through bribes and influence.
This is part of the BBC correspondent's report taken From the BBC Internet Website:
"But the event was dominated by a powerful and passionate speech by the chief himself who summed up the problems facing Ghana and the continent as a whole and pointed the way forward.
This is a hugely child-centred country and, unsurprisingly, the chief time and again referred to the need to create a better world for his nation's children.
He referred to Tony Blair's party conference speech in which the prime minister spoke of his determination to forge that better world for future generations.
From other lips the words may have sounded fawning, coming from this man they sounded much more like a powerful reminder of a commitment given that must not be forgotten."