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Opinions of Monday, 31 May 2021

Columnist: Raymond Ablorh

Gomoa Akyempim Omanhen facing distoolment charges from his kingmakers

Traditional leadership has played and will always play a significant role in the development of communities and people in Ghana. Nevertheless, there has never been a surer way to spark a heated discussion than to raise the issue of Chieftancy challenges and the role of Chieftain in the country before and after independence.

Before Ghana's independence, the British smartly used chiefs as custodians of the land to practise their indirect colonial rule. After independence, the State took a lot of power from them and Kwame Nkrumah, the first President changed the narrative rather harshly to the chagrin of many traditional leaders and their people.

Today, as much as the relevance of traditional leadership is unquestionable, the character, attitude and conduct of many chiefs and queen mothers have brought the aged institution of Chieftancy to disrepute in many traditional areas causing young people to now speak anyhow about and to chiefs who were once revered and adored.

Of course, it is not untrue that some chiefs were beneficiaries of the slave trade and the atrocities that the slave masters and colonialists visited on our ancestors. It is also true that, today, many chiefs are involved in the sale of lands to galamsey operators who are destroying our land and water bodies selfishly in our collective interest.

Recently, the revered King of Asante, His Majesty Osei Tutu II bemoaned the involvement of chiefs in the galamsey challenge facing the nation. Many young people, the most popular of them on social media, Twene Jonas, thereafter exhaled the frustrations of younger generations to the annoyance of some conservatives who adore what they consider respect for the aged no matter what they did.

But, should kingmakers, communities and people allow their chiefs and queen mothers to rule at their collective expense? Should they give them blank cheques to trade their collective destinies without question?

It is obvious the answer to from the Elders and Kingmakers of Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Area is "Hell No!"

They have raised serious charges against their Omanhen, Obirifo Ahunakor Ahor Ankobea II and demanding that he be distoooled immediately.

On Wednesday, 26 May at Apam, Obaatanpa Ama Eduwa I, Paramount Queenmother of the about 152 - community Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Area and various elders and kingmakers including the prominent chiefs of Apam, Gomoa Ojobi among others called on the Traditional Council to distool him for going against their customs and for engaging in activities which, are inimical to the development of their people.

Earlier, they had sent a petition outlining various charges against the Omanhen and requesting his appearance before the Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Council to respond to them which, he declined requesting them to take their petition to the Central Regional House of Chiefs or to court.

As the traditional area boils, many young people are rising to join in the protest against the Omanhen because, to them, instead of seeking development for his people or helping the communities acquire meaningful development, he is rather engaging in conflicts-breeding and fraudulent activities that are setting the area back.

Even though the Omanhen, as expected, has responded in a press conference at Gomoa Assin that all the charges levelled against him are not true, it is obvious he has sadly lost his legitimacy, kingmakers and people already.

As the traditional process to distool him continues, all other chiefs and queen mothers must take serious lessons from his predicaments and quickly come to the inevitable realisation that their constituents are not sitting silent anymore. Many young people are beginning to question the status quo.