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Opinions of Sunday, 20 October 2013

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Is Asanteman Getting Weaker

...and Disintegrating under Otumfuo Osei Tutu II? ? It is a well established traditional fact that Ashantis owe allegiance to the potent unifier – the Golden Stool, but not specifically to any individual Overlord. This is the reason why the various Amanhene within the Asanteman Kingdom swear oath of allegiance to the Golden Stool. The extension of their allegiance to the Asantehene is by way of respect earned by the Overlord through his personal comportment, respectability, respectfulness towards the subjects, but not by anything commanded or imposed by an act of tradition or whatever. ? ? The Asantehene is there to ensure the inviolable sanctity of the Golden Stool, the cohesive role it plays to bring all those owing allegiance to it under one powerful spiritual umbrella. Asantehene can guarantee and protect the role of the Golden Stool only by his judicious adherence to tradition, demonstration of integrity at all times, dedication of service to the people he rules and respect for all persons he interacts with regardless of their age, tribe and social status. ? ? I have been compelled to put this short write-up out because of the audacious declaration by Daasebre Dr Oti Boateng, the "Omanhene" of New Juaben Traditional area in the Eastern region. He says, "Asantehene has no authority over New Juaben". I read this on Ghanaweb under their General News of Saturday, 19 October 2013. Has New Juaben all along not been part of the Asanteman? Has her Amanhene before Daasebre Dr Oti Boateng not been swearing oath of allegiance to the Golden Stool? Are the inhabitants of New Juaben not mostly the direct descendants of Old Juaben in the Ashanti region? Did their forefathers not migrate from Old Juaben or to be more precise, flee Old Juaben with the then chief, Nana Kwasi Boateng, when Otumfuo Osei Yaw Akoto, Asantehene, sought to fight or kill the chief? ? ? I do not want to discuss this "Akwantu Kese" history in details, the sad repercussions it has had on Kumawu chieftaincy until today. ? ? I am more concerned about how Asanteman is getting weaker and gradually disintegrating without people noticing it except those of us who care most. It is certain that if Daasebre Dr Oti Boateng is pushed any harder by whoever, he will quit Asanteman Council for good if indeed, he had even ever attended any of the Asanteman Council meetings. Not long ago, under Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Atebubuhene pulled out of the Council. Can we afford to have two Amanhene pull out their traditional Council areas from the sphere of influence of Asantehene? Will the Asanteman Kingdom not collapse in the end if such unfortunate trend continues? ? ? What forced Atebubuhene to pull out of the Asanteman Council? Was he not treated with utmost disrespect at one point or the other by someone who erroneously thought he is all-powerful and therefore could do whatever he likes when and as he decides? I am just asking. ? ? I suggest as following if indeed, we expect Asanteman not to disintegrate but to remain solidly firm in her bigger numbers. ? 1. The Asanteman Overlord must be honest, respectful and approachable not only to a few of the supposedly powerful Amanhene but to all.

2. The Amanhene must learn to have respect for their colleagues-in-chief irrespective of their positions on the Council

3. Problems brought before the Council must be resolved justly and on time. There should not be intentional delays with perceived intention to cause miscarriage of justice. There should not be any bribe taking. There should not be collusion with one party or the other to scupper justice. Fairness, firmness and friendliness must be the pivot on which justice revolves.

4. The chiefs with their queens in Asanteman should not underrate the intelligence of their subjects. Times have changed so much that current generations have moved away from the stringent traditions of the olden times where chiefs and queens could scream at, and maltreat, their subjects with impunity. Even in those days, I think the chiefs and queens were more respectful, honest, sincere, dynamic and dedicated to their duty of service to their subjects than the chiefs and queens of today. The current generation are of the view that respect is reciprocal, so "Nananom", please take note.

5. Could the Asanteman not generate funds, place them in a Common Fund from which they can remove money to carry out development projects within Asanteman depending on the urgent needs of each traditional area within the Kingdom? This is better than having the Amanhene selling lands and pocketing all the proceeds as though they descended from the womb of their mother with chunks of land attached to their umbilical cord. Once various traditional council member areas begin to feel the positive impact of belonging in the Council, dissenting Amanhene may find it hard to pull out of Asanteman without incurring the wrath of their subjects. However , if nothing is gained from belonging in the Council but insults and disrespect, then they can easily pull out with their subjects patting them on the back for a job well done.

6. The gold proceeds in form of royalty, the hefty sums collected or being collected for the renewal of buildings whose land leaseholds have expired in Kumasi should not be Asantehene’s alone. It should profit the entire Asanteman. If Otumfuo could do this, it would solidify the unity among the Asanteman Council members. ? ? ? I am not happy to read about the audacious stubborn stance taken by Daasebre Dr Oti Boateng that clearly indicates he may pull out of Asanteman Council or he has not any respect for, and allegiance to the Golden Stool at all. But who knows if he is not within his rights? As the Council is of loose membership like the European Economic Area countries, where each member can pull out as and when it decides, it is up to the leader, Otumfuo, to act prudently to ensure Asanteman remains intact in membership, grows stronger and becomes more prosperous. Not force can be used but tact and diplomacy to keep Asanteman whole.

? "A word to the wise is enough". ? ? HATE ME, BUT FOR A GOOD REASON! ? ? Rockson Adofo