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Opinions of Sunday, 17 April 2016

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Has Asantehene let his subjects down?

From all indications, and empirical observations, one can say without doubt that Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has let his subjects (Ashantis) down.


Truth hurts but it brings comfort in the end. However, the element of hypocrisy, if not cowardice, in the Akan tradition and custom demands that one has to respect their traditional leaders or their elderly no matter how irresponsible they turn out to be. This is where I have an issue with the tradition.


How do you as a sensible person, continue to pay homage to, and prostrate to, a King or a chief who takes you for a fool? If an elderly person continues to underrate your intelligence, always robs you and insults you, will you continually respect the person because your tradition obliges you to? When will the person change if you do not do something to show him/her that you do not appreciate their untoward attitude towards you?


The current Asantehene in my estimation has not only let his subjects down but also, tarnished the image of the Golden Stool that he occupies by his questionable behaviours that are at variance with both the Akan conventions and the laws of the land.


He reaps from where he has not sown. This is a fact! He sells lands belonging to other divisions within Asanteman where the existing laws and conventions normally bar him from initiating, let alone, undertaking such moves. He takes money from ineligible persons who are not royals to give to them some paramount stools in which case he denies the true royals of their heritage.


I see him as a complete selfish individual who does not give a damn about the collective interests and welfare of his subjects but the satisfaction of his insatiable greed.


When Ashanti region in the purposeful wisdom of the late President Atta Mills to harm the people was selected for the NHIS Capitation pilot project, many were the Ashantis that died because it affected the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) so badly that many hospitals and clinics refused to accept or treat patients on the scheme. Even though the project was meant for an initial trial period of three to six months before its expansion into other regions, it rather lasted nearly three years by the end of which many Ashantis had died prematurely or died from otherwise preventable diseases or illnesses. All this while, Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the best friend of President Mahama, as legend will have it, was sitting down in his Kumasi Manhyia Palace doing practically nothing.


I was compelled by his callous or nonchalant attitude to publish some views about him on the internet. I wondered how, and still cannot get my head around the fact that being the best friend of President Mahama; he would sit down with mouth agape, saying nothing, whilst his subjects were subjected to this official inhumane treatment.


Is his friendship not only there to profit him as an individual (person), flying aboard the Presidential jet to South Africa and the United Kingdom?


All the factories, shoe, jut, breweries, timber etc. in Ashanti region, especially in Kumasi, have all folded up. This has resulted in joblessness to the youth hence the increase in violent crimes, e.g. armed robbery in the region.


Does the devil not find work for the idle hand?


Again, the people of Agogo for almost the last five years have been suffering fatal confrontations by the nomadic Fulanis who have come from nowhere to occupy their land. With all the publicised death being inflicted on the indigenes of Agogo traditional area by the Fulanis, Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the supposed Overlord of Asanteman, has kept mute as though nothing is happening.


Is it a quality of good leadership to sit down nonchalantly while your subjects are butchered day in day out by foreigners (nomadic Fulanis)? Presuming you are not aware of their plight, what do you do when they come to complain about it to you? Will you continue to sit on your backside doing nothing but give flimsy excuses like, I have just returned from South Africa so give me a few days to rest before I act; I have first to receive some foreign dignitaries who are coming to see me in the next few weeks; I have to celebrate my Akwasidee etc. before I can deal with your situation?


The above stated flimsy excuses typify Otumfuo Osei Tutu II’s behaviour towards the people of Agogo. He does not give a hoot about their plight, for that I can confirm. However, can a leader who does not care about the welfare of their subjects let alone their safety and security be a leader that the subjects should respect in the name of tradition and custom? I beg to differ!


I will rather have such a leader booted out of office if I had my own way. I pray the people of Agogo will read the following web link: http://www.modernghana.com/news/678910/helping-the-people-of-agogo-to-liberate-themselves-from-the.html


I hope our leaders will serve their subjects rather than seeking to be served all the time through intimidations, corruption and enforcement of authoritarian principles as presumably demanded by our Akan traditions and custom.


A word to the wise is enough!


Rockson Adofo