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Opinions of Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Do Our Highly Educated Ghanaian Chiefs Justify Their Stewardship to…

Their subjects in a creditable manner by applying their intelligence acquired through formal education? Let us not be mistaken to believe that intelligence and wisdom are the same and one inseparable thing. No, they aren't. They are two completely separate entities regardless of whichever way we go about explaining them, be it by the Akan expression, "Esono efie nyansa, na esono sukuu nyansa" or by the Whiteman's understanding of the words as defined in their English dictionaries, thus, wisdom is the ?ability to use ?your ?knowledge and ?experience to make good ?decisions and ?judgments whilst intelligence is the ?ability to ?learn, ?understand, and make ?judgments or have ?opinions that are ?based on ?reason. Whilst intelligence can mostly be acquired through formal education, wisdom can be endowed.

There is a belief among the current Ghanaian generation that our chiefs must be highly educated to be better placed to help or serve their people and communities. Without acquiring University degrees, one may not be capable of handling successfully the demands of their office as the traditional chief of an area. I beg to differ from this school of thought.

What makes one a successful traditional chief of their division or community? Is it merely by their acquisition and possession of higher University degrees? Is it by their manifestation of selfless dedication to serve their people and community through transparency, accountability, probity, dynamism, respect for the people and readiness to involve the subjects in decision-making process for their collective welfare?

I will always go for the second option were I given the above two options to choose from. Whether a person has a formal higher University education or not, provided the person possesses the qualities in the second option, I will go for him without hesitation.

What is the use of a chief to the people and his community if he possesses all the highest University degrees from the best Universities in the world but turns out to be a crook who robs his people and community in the broad daylight with impunity? What good is a chief to his people and community if he possesses the legendary wisdom of the biblical King Solomon but turns out to be a complete cheat, authoritarian and lawless in his conduct? What good is a traditional chief who possesses higher education qualifications but cannot take decisions based on facts and truth as made easily available, but will rather choose to condone and connive with criminals to lie in the hope of duping others?

What prompted this write-up, one may ask? It is simply instigated by what I see as the despicable action taken by the Asanteman Council presided over by Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at Manhyia Palace on Monday, 24 February 2014 as captured on video posted on YouTube under the title, "Asantehene involves in corruption"

From my understanding, most of the chiefs who had gathered there to assist with the adjudication of the Kumawu stool dispute are higher University degree holders – BA, BSc, MA and PhD. This fact is ascertained by Kumasi Manwerehene Nana Baffour Osei Brentuo Hyiaman V in a video posted on YouTube that I chanced upon about a week ago.

If these chiefs are highly educated as asserted, having acquired intelligence through formal education, they almost all lack wisdom if I am not afraid to say, deducing from their submissions made in collaboration with Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to imposing Dr Yaw Sarfo on Kumawu as their Omanhene. Check this YouTube link https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=asantehene+involved+in+corruption

Did they not know the Kumawu history? Did they not know that no Asantehene since the formation, dissolution and restoration of the Ashanti Confederacy, exercises power over the throne and the stool lands of Kumawuman? Did they not know that no Asantehene has the power to enstool or destool any Kumawuman sub-chief let alone, their Omanhene (paramount chief)? Did they not know that offering and, or accepting bribe during the process of nomination and selection of a candidate as chief-elect when a stool become vacant is a crime that breaches not only Section 13 of the Warrington Notes but also, Ghana Criminal Code 1960 (Act 29)?

Had some of them, especially Mamponghene alias Saint, not met behind closed doors to coach Kumawuhemaa on how to induce the Kumawu sub-chiefs financially to get their support? If it was not so, how could Mampong say in public without feeling the least shame that Kumawuhemaa was going to give each of the four sub-chiefs (Akwamuhene, Nifahene, Kontrihene and Gyasehene) a brand new car if they helped her enstool Dr Yaw Sarfo as Kumawuhene? When Mampong was being spunky with his contribution, threatening and casting aspersions on Kumawuman citizens, citing academic achievements as prerequisite or criterion for becoming Kumawuhene, punching his fist in the air, made him a complete joke in my eyes. Little did he know that he was exhibiting his lack of wisdom or his total ignorance of Kumawu traditions and the regulating conventions of our Asante's customs and traditions?

With all their education, they are unable to help their people and communities but themselves. How do their subjects profit from their acquired higher paper qualifications if they are not for exploiting them to the hilt? Upon all their acquired higher formal education, do they not corruptibly accept cars from the government in a way of buying them over, especially during election time?

I will reiterate my respect for the late Nana Yaw Ampong, the Odikro of Asiampa for his love and respect for his subjects and community. Even though he had had no formal education, he was able to manage the people and the community as best as he could to the appreciation of all. He was selfless, wise and had the collective interest of his subjects at heart. Unlike the current supposed educated chiefs with paper qualifications reaching the outer stratosphere, who are selfish and complete crooks and do reap from where they have not sown, he was honest, caring and dedicated to the duty of serving his people and community with distinction.

I would like to see my Asanteman chiefs behave as proper educated people who will not feel intimidated by Otumfuo or sell their intelligence and wisdom for money to try to twist the truth. They are all having bloody nose by now when they happen to watch the video in which they were making their condemnatory remarks about the sub-chiefs and Kumawuman while simultaneously making supportive submissions to get Otumfuo impose Dr Yaw Sarfo on Kumawu as their Omanhene. I hope they will from today forward look before they leap or else, they will fall into a heavy duty metal trap with all their higher paper qualifications.

They do not serve their people but themselves. What then is the benefit of their higher paper qualifications to their subjects if it they are not there to be used to rob them in broad daylight as Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II had intended to do to Kumawuman of which he is facing a stiff resistance by God and His vessels?

Don't play with Kumawuman people for if you do, FIRE WILL BURN YOU! Owam ee! Owam ee! Yeeee Owam ee! Owan kese brekuo ee! .......

Rockson Adofo