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Opinions of Monday, 10 February 2020

Columnist: Ahanta Apemenyimheneba Kwofie III

It's a must for the youth generation to revive Ahanta from leadership comatose

If you are a true son or daughter of Ahanta and knows how our forefathers and ancestors bravely and courageously fought their way to migrate Ahanta from ancient Nubic kingdoms to our present places of settlements, you will worry a lot if you look at how Ahanta lies in ruins and desolation and our leadership is in a critical comatose at the leadership ward.

It is very sad to say that even on our land, we have nothing to pride and boast of as Ahantas. We even shy away from our identity and many at times we do not want others to know that we are Ahantas. In fact, some of us get offended when they tell us that we are Ahantas. We sometimes want to curse our stars that we are born Ahantas but the fact is that we cannot change it. Some of us feel very ashame to speak our language but pride ourselves in how fluent we speak other languages that have no connection to our soul.

In recent years, leadership in Ahanta has brought us nothing apart from curse, shame, disgrace, and reproach. Ahantas, especially in Sekondi-Takoradi has become very irrelevant people whose pride and dignity are badly bruised. We have lost our pride and identity and anybody wants takes us for granted because our leaders have cheaply sold us out.

We are sharply divided among ourselves and the things that divide and separate us are more than what actually unite and bind us but our chiefs who are supposed to be custodians of our land and culture have themselves become social renegades and almost outcasts. The very people who are supposed to observe the sanctity of our rich cultural and traditional values are the ones desecrating it. Our chiefs and politicians have become nothing apart from disappointments and pains in our daily lives.

The only thing an Ahanta chief knows how to do is to sell his stool lands and litigate with the money when other chiefs elsewhere are releasing and leasing their lands for developmental projects to advance the socioeconomic cause of their subjects. Ahanta chiefs have nothing to offer their subjects in this era where chiefs and traditional rulers are establishing educational trusts and funds to offer scholarships to their needy and brilliant students. Chiefs and politicians elsewhere are building and developing the human resource base of their people to enhance their potentials, capacity, and capabilities but that is never the case in Ahanta as our chiefs and so-called politicians are actively involved pettiness and self aggrandisements.

In era where chiefs and traditional rulers are actively involved socioeconomic causes and poverty alleviation programmers, Ahanta chiefs and so called political leaders are in critical comatose. Elsewhere, leaders know that they will not be there forever as the hands of the clock continues to tick so they prepare the younger generation to take over from them. They groom, mentor and coach younger ones to step in their footsteps. They begin to trust their younger ones with leadership tasks and guide them about how to execute them. They are first people who the younger ones see as role models but leadership in Ahanta is just disappointments making our young ones to shy away from becoming leaders of Ahanta.

Ahanta has come a very long way to reach where we are now but seem to have lost it completely in recent years. We are fast losing our identity, pride and dignity as people and the earlier we wake up from our long sleep, the better for all of us. It is time to actually sound from mountain tops that leadership is very critical and it's only people are critically minded and deep thinkers can make meaningful impacts on Ahanta but not the straws we see around everyday.

Ahanta needs leaders who are prepared to sacrifice their personal interests and gains to build lasting legacies and not convenient people who won't suit themselves under the pretext of leadership. Ahanta actually needs leaders who are stubborn, scandalous, controversial but above all, with a very high sense of purpose and direction to keep them very focused on the agenda of change and development.

If leadership indeed is a cause and any other thing is the effect of leadership, then the current state of Ahanta tells much more about people who parade and carry themselves as leaders of Ahanta whether in traditional or political capacities. Instead of result oriented leaders who are pragmatic and decisive in handling matters of Ahanta which are of our common interests to all of us, we rather have leaders who are themselves packs of problems deepening the woes of Ahanta.

If today, Ahanta is disintegrated and full of divisions, bickering and unnecessary litigations resulting in conflicts and violence, then we should be very much ashamed of our political and traditional leaders. The fact is, Ahanta in recent years has lacked men of bravery and courage as far as leadership, whether political or political is concerned. We have only had straws who are easily blown away fashioning themselves as leaders of Ahanta in both traditional and political capacities and that is our bane. People who probably have no idea about how our forefathers and ancestors toiled and sacrificed everything they had to safeguard and protect our pride, dignity and identity are pretending to lead us when in actual fact, they know nothing about us.

Ahanta survived through the blood and toil of our forefathers and so if you see the current state of Ahanta in which we the daughters and son of Ahanta have rather have become drawers of water and hewers of firewood on our lands, we should bow our heads in shame for failing our forefathers and ancestors. Ahanta was built through responsible, selfless, committed and dedicated leadership. Leaders who were men and women of valour and were prepared to pay for every leadership price including death. They jealously placed their lives on line to safeguard and protect the Ahanta heritage. It took men and women who are brave and courageous to lead Ahanta all the way from the Nubic kingdoms to our current place of settlements.

No one needs to be reminded about how Badu Bonso II courageous and bravely faced off with the Dutch until he dropped dead. Though Ahanta has failed to place Badu Bonso II where he belongs, the stories and the legendary of Badu Bonso II still lives on more than any Ahanta leader emerged and that is because he stood and died for something.

No one needs to be told about the exploits of John Canoe, one man who led army of over 30 000 masquerades to fight the Dutch and other foreign forces who had invaded Ahanta. We need not to be reminded that Ahanta was actually the backbone of the Fante Confederation and also it was because of tensions in Dixcove and other places along Fante-Ahanta coast that led to the formation of the Fante Confederation though writers of Ghanaian history have failed to dully recognized us.

By 1229, from wherever we had moved from in the ancient Nubic kingdoms and we had reached the Pra River, crossed it and settled at our current places of settlements and that did not happen through magic or miracle but through very responsible leadership with high sense of purpose and direction. Our forefathers and ancestors knew where they took us from and where they wanted to send us. They had a sense of purpose and focus so for many years, they kept moving Ahanta from one place to another until finally we settled between the Ankobra and Pra Rivers because they found it suitable and convenient for our people.

The current leadership situation in Ahanta both traditional and political is just shameful and no leadership theory can be used to explain the leadership comatose we found ourselves in as Ahantas. There is a complete leadership failure in Ahanta, politically and traditionally and until we wake up as Ahantas to face the realities around us, we risk perishing. We risk losing our identity dignity and pride which our forefathers laid their lives down for. All our fortunes as people have been dwindled due to leadership impotence in and until we wake up from our slumber as people, we risk being robbed of our ancestral heritage.

Our problem has always been bad leadership exercised by some pretentious people who are very greedy and selfish . We are in very deep leadership crisis and until we have very strong personalities who are very unconventional with right sense of purpose, we risk losing our identity, pride and identity as people. Things have really fallen apart and we need leaders who are builders and critical thinkers to shape the course of Ahanta. Until we have leaders who charismatically stubborn and characterly defiant, nothing will change in Ahanta.

Ahanta needs leaders who are bold and courageous with the right sense of purpose in uniting Ahanta at all fronts but not leaders with character of straw who are blew away when no wind is actually blowing. We no longer need such people of convenience especially when it comes political and traditional leaders. In fact, Ahanta no longer needs leaders who are cowards and die many times before their death. We no longer need pretenders who lack courage but continue to parade themselves in capacities and positions leaders of Ahanta. Ahanta no longer needs leaders who cannot boast of single legacy after continously parading themselves as leaders of Ahanta but continously exploit Ahanta to enrich themselves and their families.

It is actually time that youths of our time must rise in our numbers to revive leadership in Ahanta which is in clinical comatose. It is time to rise to build Ahanta and restore the Ahanta pride and dignity. Stand up and be counted as a true son and daughter of Ahanta The pipers of Ahanta are here with tunes of hope to revive those in comatose. The pipers of Ahanta have come and this time we will ask our leaders especially politicians to account to us for their many years of stewarding and this time we will not tolerate any mediocrity and usuality as for as leadership in Ahanta is concerned.

It is the new dawn in Ahanta and the pipers are here to wake us up.

Ahanta Apemenyimheneba Kwofie III

dkwofie17@gmail.com

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