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Opinions of Monday, 1 September 2014

Columnist: Adofo

Forget Your History And Geography Will Teach a Lesson – Kumawuman

This publication perfectly exemplifies what one Edward Adusei Pianim, then a student and a Senior School Prefect at Kumawu Tweneboah Koduah Secondary School in 1973, used to say. He said and I quote, “If you do not learn history, geography will teach you a lesson”. What a similitude of the biblical saying attributed to God, “For lack of knowledge, my people perish”

One day, the current queen of Kumawu alleged that any money coming into the Kumawuman coffers, originating from payments of royalties on Kumawu Stool lands belongs to her. She can do whatever she likes with it as and when she wants, she said. Who are Kumawuman citizens to doubt her authoritative claim to the use of Kumawuman funds? Her brother, the late Barima Asumadu Sakyi II, the paramount chief (“Omanhene”) of Kumawu traditional area, used the entire traditional funds as his personal money. Can I say, “Like brother like sister” or I have to go for the normative, “Like father like son?”

It is an open secret how her brother treated, and squandered, every pesewa that came into the Kumawu Traditional Council’s coffers until his death in 2007. Subsequently, Kumawu, the seat and the headquarters of the paramount chief and the Traditional Council, has completely been neglected; ruined beyond reason, if not recognition. It lacks public toilets. It has fewer than normal number of home toilets. Children defecate in their backyards. It has not seen potable pipe borne water for over thirty years now. These are just, but to mention a few of the problems confronting Kumawuman, especially, Kumawu. What a disgrace?

With Kumawu lacking the provision of basic social amenities; confronted with infrastructural annihilation brought about by human neglect, the queen still has the shameless audacity to proclaim the entire Kumawu resources accruing from payments of royalties are hers and hers only.

When was that right bestowed on her? And if it had, who bestowed it on her? Since the very inception of the establishment of the Kumawu queenship institution, dating as far back as the era of Sene Fontom, the great great grandmother of Barima Tweneboah Koduah, the originator of the Kumawu paramount Koduah Stool, I have never ever heard anything like the sort of the queen’s assertive ownership of every pesewa coming into the Kumawu Traditional Council’s coffers.

She really means what she had said concluding from some recent past developments. She induced four sub-chiefs (Kontrehene, Akwamuhene, Nifahene and Gyasehene) with money to support the candidacy of a person after her heart for the position of Kumawuhene. Additionally, she has promised to purchase each of them a new luxury car, if they succeeded.

Where was she going to get the money to purchase them the cars? Where was she going to get the money to settle the debts she owes to the proprietor of Miklin Hotel in Kumasi? She borrowed the money to bribe the Kumawu kingmakers and other chiefs to support her cause. The four chiefs were given 570 Million Old Cedis (GHc57, 000) with the promise to pay them a further 430 Million Old Cedis (Ghc43, 000). That was part of the deal – bribery.

She was going to use the Kumawuman’s money sitting in the Bank of Ghana suffering persistent visitation of depreciation since 1975, when the Courts barred Barima Asumadu Sakyi II, from ever touching that money until access was granted to a new chief taking over the throne from him in future.

Going back to address the title of the publication, the queen with her family is getting away with blue murder. She is committing crime with impunity because the citizens of Kumawuman have not learnt their history. If they had, they would have known that never in any occasion was the queen authorized to have full ownership of the wealth of Kumawuman Stool, let alone, seeking dubiously to cede with one million acres of Kumawu Afram Plains land to the Asante Overlord.

Once the Overlord succeeds in selling the land to a Norwegian as had already been mentioned in my previous publications, with the dubious surveying/demarcation of the Afram Plains lands carried out by him a few years back, Kumawu will be deprived of the land for ever. It shall come under the ownership of the Overlord and his Kumasi family forever. Would geography through the falsified demarcations with covering papers not have taught Kumawuman citizens a lesson?

I wonder why with the systemic abuse of power by the queen, not a true matrilineal descendant of Barima Tweneboah Koduah of course, is allowed by the elders of Kumawuman to destroy the area. Those in positions of influence are not living up to the expectation of the suffering masses from Kumawuman as long as the heinous intents of the queen go.

Let us all roll up our sleeves to face her squarely; telling her enough is enough with her authoritarian incivility. She is dishing out the wealth of Kumawuman to the chiefs of other traditional divisions in Asanteman while her own division suffers constant dilapidation. Is that wisdom? Is that what she learnt from her many years stay in Toronto, Canada?

I dedicate this article to Mr Edward Adusei Pianim for alerting me to the usefulness of learning history as well as to all Kumawuman citizens the world over. I hope they will start learning their history to avoid geography teaching them a bitter lesson.

Rockson Adofo