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Opinions of Monday, 7 April 2014

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Does Asantehene really understand Asante traditions ...

..& Their Implications?

This publication is informed by a General News item I read on Modernghana on 4 April 2014 titled, "Antoa chases UFP leader, Odike". It is understood that the former flag bearer of the United Front Party (UFP), Kwasi Addai, aka Odike, invoked the river deity Nana Nyamaa of Antoa on two colleagues. He felt the two persons, Kwadwo Bonsu (the Kumasi Mayor) and Nana Fe- Baamoah II (Asokwahene), have duped him over the sale of a parcel of land in Asokwa, a suburb of Kumasi.

 To my best intentions and knowledge, people since time immemorial use curse invocations in attempts to establish the truth about situations. In so doing, they invoke any known powerful deity they are sure will in a way or the other oblige the person on whom the invocation has been made to come forth with nothing but the truth. If the person has actually committed the act of which the invoker is seeking to establish, but they fail to tell the truth as sought, the deity can in such situations inflict death or other punishments on them. If the person on whom the deity has been invoked has not committed the act as thought, nothing will happen to them.

If the above explanation stands the test of time with all its presumptions, then curse invocation is a vital component methodically incorporated into our traditional way of not only seeking to establish the truth but also, preventing people from committing crimes in the first place.

 Therefore, for Asantehene to ban the custom of invoking river deities or deities in general, in the Ashanti region, for whatever reason, is as unfortunate as it is questionable. It becomes more dubious when the one seeking the truth is threatened by the very people entrusted to ensure justice and truth prevails at all times.

 The case of Odike with the concomitant threats by both the traditional heads and the overseers at Antoa raises eyebrows. Something fishy is going on behind the curtains. Two things also come to mind. It is either the deities are not as powerful and capable of anything as we have contrary believed them to be since all these centuries, or, they are intrinsically corrupt like those human beings they work with.

 I will advise Odike to ignore the incessantly unnecessary pressures and threats brought to bear upon him by the traditional heads. Why should he, the victim of some corrupt persons, be the one to be castigated and haunted by needless demands and threats of reversal of the curse upon his head? He now looks like the one who has duped the others but he was rather the one duped.

 If he has done anything wrong, why not leave it to the Antoa deity to deal with him without all the human brouhaha? If the deities are able to allow victims to reverse curses invoked on them without the knowledge or consent of the invoker, then I am afraid, the whole idea of deities and how presumably powerful they are, is all farce, indeed much ado about nothing.