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Opinions of Saturday, 7 January 2017

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Cogent advice to Mpasaaso Omanhene Nana Minta Dwansa III

By Rockson Adofo

Since it does not belong to he who is leading to redirect
> their steps, I feel obliged after a day or two of thoughtful
> cogitation to come back to offer the paramount chief
> (Omanhene) of Mpasaaso, Nana Minta Dwansa III, some cogent
> advice. I shall be doing him no favours if I pointed out his
> disgusting behaviours presumably bordering on theft and
> exploitation of the so-called tenant cocoa farmers on his
> land without offering him advice, suggestions and solutions
> to redeem himself in the eyes of the public and the farmers
> by retracting his forceful request or to reframe his demand
> in a more acceptable and appealing manner.
>
>
> Before his predecessors or he himself leased or sold the
> farmlands to the cocoa farmers otherwise called the tenant
> farmers, did they enter into any written or oral contractual
> terms with them to extract money from them on a whim? How
> often and on what occasions could he or his predecessors
> call on the farmers to make forceful, but not voluntary,
> financial contributions to him to part-finance his expenses,
> some of which may be deemed ridiculously irresponsible?
>
>
> Compelling tenant farmers to part or pre-finance his funeral
> obligations is completely nonsensical in my view. However,
> he could appeal to the farmers for financial assistance to
> fund or finance some development projects in the area that
> could be of collective benefit to the inhabitants of
> Mpasaaso traditional area. Even such a request for financial
> assistance should not be an obligation with fixed sums of
> money demanded from the individual farmers but rather, be a
> voluntary request with each farmer contributing how much
> they feel they are capable of without putting themselves
> under any financial constraints or stress.
>
>
> Most cocoa farmers are not among the rich people in Ghana.
> Most of them do have bad crop yields in some years. How can
> these farmers who may normally pay yearly or periodic
> royalties to the chief, or to the Mpasaaso traditional
> Council from time to time be obliged to pay towards the
> unexpected expenses by the chief as one person commenting on
> my earlier publication on this chief seemed to justify? He
> even went further to warn me not to bring my Kumawu
> negativities to the Ahafo Ano North Constituency where
> Mpasaaso is.
>
>
> The same commentator said, “Asanteman are fed up with you,
> Ok?” Let it be known to him and Asanteman that until the
> chiefs behave themselves responsibly, cease to exploit their
> subjects and stop stealing from them; stop reaping from
> where they have not sown and stop to steal lands to sell as
> though the lands were their bona fide property they came
> from their mother’s womb with, they have not seen anything
> yet.
>
> Asanteman Council will continue to be castigated by me
> until I see positive changes in them. The chiefs must stop
> their excesses and corruption. They must respect the laws of
> the land both constitutionally and conventionally. They
> should not see themselves as living in the era of total
> monarchy as it is the belief and view of the Asante
> “Overlord” Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. They should not be
> selling lands to the Chinese to do surface mining (galamsey)
> to spoil our lands and water bodies or to be more precise,
> to damage or deform irreparably our ecosystem to the extent
> of even killing some of our Ghanaian compatriots with
> impunity. Why should I respect chiefs of such wicked and
> myopic mentality or calibre? Finally, Asanteman Council
> should STOP meddling corruptibly in the Kumawu chieftaincy
> dispute. Period! I am from Kumawu and I know the history of
> my land and place of birth. I know the roguish ploys
> Asantehene and the Asanteman Council are up to to
> short-changing the subjects of Kumawuman but I shall resist
> them vehemently whether they like it or not and they can do
> me fuck all.
>
>
> I shall advise Mpasaasohene not to demand fixed sums of
> money from the farmers to enable him attend funerals,
> especially that of Asantehemaa Nana Afia Kobi Serwaah Ampem
> II, from 13 January 2017 to 19 January 2017. He can appeal
> for funds where willing farmers or tenant farmers will have
> to voluntarily contribute. He should not be asking money to
> attend funerals but for carrying out essential
> developments.
>
>
> Does he give genuine receipts to farmers when he forces them
> to part-finance his expensive, self-imposed funeral
> obligations? I shall advise that he issues official
> receipts to those from whom he obtains those compulsory
> funeral funds, donations or whatever.
>
>
> Nowadays, some educated persons are going into farming or
> are sponsoring cocoa farmers. These persons who are
> conversant with both the constitutional and conventional
> laws pertaining to farming may challenge the chiefs when
> they perceive them not only to be playing on their
> intelligence but also, trying to exploit or dupe them for
> their personal convenience. Everything must be done
> within and according to the law with all acts of abuse of
> position and corrupt practices as are being exemplified by
> Mpasaaso Omanhene eschewed.
>
>
> Could it not be that the emissaries may demand more than the
> chief has requested them to take to pocket the difference
> for their personal use? How does the chief ensure that such
> malpractices do not occur?
>
>
> I have not been to stay at Oseikrom in the Mpasaaso
> traditional area since mid 1960s. The last time I remember
> going there for two days was when I took one Opanin Kwasi
> Nyadu from Kumawu to go to show him one of my father’s
> cocoa farms for him to become a caretaker of it in 1977 or
> 1978. I can’t tell if Nana Minta Dwansa III was already
> the chief of Mpasaaso which I hope he wasn’t. He could
> either be an old man or one of these younger chiefs who have
> become so materialistic and corrupt hence always seeking to
> exploit their subjects to feed their insatiable quest for
> overnight riches.
>
> I do remember some people like Opanin Kwame Tawiah, a then
> very old man with her beautiful daughters. Opanin Kwabena
> Asuo, Opanin Kwabena Quansah, Opanin Owusu Ansah, Opanin
> Kwadwo Fordjour, Maame Akosua Nnuro, Opanin Kwadwo Boahen
> etc. all of whom are dead. I knew them at Oseikrom in the
> mid 1960s.
>
>
> In my first or previous publication about Mpasaaso Omanhene
> Nana Minta Dwansa III, I promised to explain the proverb,
> “Se nnie nantwie dua annka nnantwie to no, saa nso na
> nantwie bodua nnka okomfo3 nsa mu” – literally
> translated as, “as the tail of a cow/bull never remained
> permanently at the bottom or rear of the cow, so shall the
> dried cow-tail (swish) never remain in the hands of the
> fetish priest”. Why this proverb, one may ask? It is
> simply that since the demise of my dad in 1981, the eldest
> son, Kwaku Osei, of his brother, former Warrant Officer
> Class 1 Kwasi Siaw who inherited him, has become
> the-all-powerful man (“gangaria”) over the cocoa farms
> and lands belonging to my late father at Oseikrom.
>
>
> It is alleged he has always been threatening to massacre any
> of my father’s relatives who would dare visit the farms or
> the lands. Since issuing such bold threats, none of them has
> ever visited Oseikrom and he does not account for anything
> to anyone. He has become the absolute owner of the farms and
> lands of my father. As my father’s wives, children and
> relatives could not possess the cocoa farms and lands but
> had to forfeit them on his death, so will this seeming macho
> man Kwaku Osei will be chased out of the land on the day of
> the death of his father by my father’s relatives. He
> should mark my words hence the adage as mentioned above. As
> we were chased out by his greedy and myopic father, so shall
> his fate be in future.
>
>
> Again, the other proverb I decided to explain was, “Owuo a
> mewu nnye me ya se, ebia na mmanya nipa pa bi amma wani
> mmadeE, na sika kakra a mede agya me mma no, na 3de aye ne
> ho yie, na watwa me mma no agya, na wama me mma no aye
> mm3bo” – The only thing that pains me is, I may not get
> a responsible person to inherit me on my death. And that the
> little money I shall leave behind for my children, he may
> use it for his selfish ends, leaving my children behind for
> them to become very miserable” Yes, this had, and has been
> the situation of my father’s children since his death in
> 1981. His brother who inherited him has been such a knob
> without adding anything to all the things my father
> bequeathed to him but he has rather ruined everything and
> maltreated his children.
>
> What goes around comes around and one day, his children will
> suffer the consequences of his dastardly actions. My father,
> Akwasi Acheampong, Yaw Sarpong, Kwasi Boateng, Yaw Opoku,
> Nana Yaa, Yaa Pokuaah, Nana Amma, Monica Gyamfuah, Kwabena
> Emmanuel, Kwadwo Duah, Afua Nkrumah, Kwasi Badu, Kwadwo Ben
> and our three mothers etc., may your souls rest in perfect
> peace.
>
> The narration of this story is reducing me to tears so I
> shall call it a day.