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Opinions of Sunday, 28 March 2010

Columnist: Sangaparee, Clement

Our Chiefs And National Development: The Case Of The Asante King

Chieftaincy epitomizes culture, and culture is the totality of life. Chieftaincy is a very important pinning for good governance. It retains its traditional role and at the same time has well defined avenues of participation in national affairs.

Chieftaincy as an institution for social engineering in Ghana also forms part of the process of governance, and will continue to play that role for a very long time to come because we have some patriotic, powerful, very influential and respectful chiefs before the white man came. We still have them today 2010.

The surest way of sustaining grassroots participation of democracy which is an important element in the pillars of democratic governance is to GIVE RESPECT TO OUR CHIEFS AND KINGS. This situation demands a complete rethink by Kingmakers and the people on one hand the chiefs as a collective body on the other hand, about WHOM they are, WHAT they are, HOW they are, WHAT roles they are to play and how the two bodies are seen by the people they represent. Therefore, Assemblymen and women who are royals and uses their positions as Assembly members to undermine and disrespect their chiefs must RESIGN and contest such stools and skins as ordinary royals and NOT hide behind the district assembly concept to cause unrest because whether one likes it or not the gong-gong or “daworo” is the natural and traditional authority of chiefs and no one else. Ghanaians were united under our traditional rulers and we did not know any multi-party politics. Strongly united as we were, we fought our colonial masters and won our political independence. REALISING the potency in our unity, the British found a means of disuniting us by introducing the multi-party political system where a son could look straight to the face of his father and insult him in the name of democracy and freedom of speech and get away with it. From that time, the strong united front of our chiefs and opinion leaders was broken and weak.

The nation was broken into political parties which were at each others throat as families became divided to the pleasure of our British colonial masters who succeeded in breaking our traditional united front in the Gold Coast now Ghana. The British colonial administration were using our chiefs against the people of the Gold Coast by introducing INDIRECT RULE which compelled those chiefs to sell out able bodied young men and women into slavery. Before the Whiteman came, Africans manufactured their own guns, their own spears, hoes, bows and arrows. Africans knew that God existed. Africans were smelting iron when Europe DID NOT even have the faintest idea of what a furnace was.


Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford or Yale Universities had NOT even been imagined at all when Africa’s Universities at Timbuktu, and Mali’s university of Sankore were educating scholars at a time Europeans considered WRITING as the work of the DEVIL, because black African scholars were writing their own history. These African scholars were already teaching Maths, Geography, Astrology, History Science and Astronomy up to date, we have Africans who can predict the movements of the stars, the sun, the moon, and even the movements of the clouds as well as the speech of animals and birds. Education, civilization and religion were NOT introduced to us by the Europeans because Africans are the MOST SPIRITUAL PEOPLE ON EARTH, so the IDEA that ANY PEOPLE came and showed us the way to God is laughable – you ask any highly educated African scholar. We pour libations to our ancestors and they respond positively or negatively through our chief priests and all these activities revolve around our chiefs and kings who are the custodians of our cultural heritage. However, Europe’s greedy and crude intervention in Africa prevented the continent’s forward march to progress because DR Congo alone is larger than 13 over developed European countries, yet what do you find there? Blood bath, they are killing thousands of innocent men, women and children with the support of western countries because of gold, iron-ore, cobalt, used in producing mobile phones, manganese, bauxite, and Uranium. They don’t want Africa to unite at all.


After ascending the Golden Stool ten years ago Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asante King did not sit idle but decided to encourage his sub-chiefs to be honest and disciplined and also serve their people well. He destooled a particular chief recently for the multiple sale of lands to several people to let Ashanti’ and Ghanaians know that he is an honest but a No Nonsense King who will never tolerate corruption and dishonesty from ANY of his subjects owing allegiance to the Golden Stool.


As a progressive King who always thinks about the next generation instead of his own well being, he has set up an Education Fund, and monies realized from that fund are NOT used in educating ONLY ASANTES’ ALONE but OTHER TRIBES residing permanently in the Ashanti Region and the fund has been set up to complement the efforts of the Government of Ghana. What else does his ENEMIES EXPECT HIM TO DO? I beg to ask? In the Ashanti Region, you can find every tribe and every race there. The Brong Ahafo region was created by the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in the year 1958, until then that Region was known as Western Ashanti.


This writer however, disagrees with all those who see the uncomplimentary remarks made about the Asantehene by one Kwamena Ato Dadzie as an Anti-Ashanti Agenda. An agenda against the Ashantis for what reasons? Is it because of their unity, hard work, their wealth, or the natural resources in their region? If such an agenda really exist, with whom is that innocent journalist planning it? The bottom line is that he has been insulting the chiefs of his home region as well as his own relatives by heart and nobody called him to order – that is the reason why he had the impudence and disrespect to write and insult the Asante King by heart. From my Training and Culture I will not insult an elderly man or woman or even an Odikro let alone a King of international repute like the Asantehene. My paramount chief is called Wanaa Pelpuo II of Wa in the Upper West Region. In Ghanaian culture, a young man can never insult an elderly person, even if the elderly person tells lies and the young man tells him that you are telling lies, it means that remark by the young man is deemed as an insult, on the other hand if a young man has a dispute to be settled between him and an elderly man –the young man will never win the case before the elders even if he is Right. This is part of our rich Ghanaian culture that must be preserved at all costs. Today, because of the Whiteman’s Empty multi- party democracy and its attendant so- called freedom of speech, anybody can get up to insult a King, a President, a Chief, a Diplomat, a Lawyer, and get away with it. Ghanaians would rather be prepared to rally round their Chiefs and Kings to bring speedy development to their communities to improve their living standards rather than following the so-called Western neo- colonial governments in Africa because we rallied behind our chiefs and Kings before the greedy and fraudulent white thieves invaded Africa. To the Asantehene, I want to remind him that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross together with two thieves for NO OFFENCE DONE- and this is exactly what is happening to him – Let them attempt to destroy you and we all see – They would be very surprised to see thousands of Non- Asantes including this writer RISING UP IN DEFENCE OF YOU, even if it means DEATH on the battle field. These enemies of progress must bury their thick heads in shame and get lost because No Force on earth can destroy the Ashanti Region and their King –when the white man brought his cannon to the bush during the war with the Ashantis –what did King Kofi Karikari tell him? He said “the white man brought his cannon to the bush, but the bush is stronger than the cannon” The white man COULD NOT operate the cannon to kill the Asante warriors, because the gods in the bush and their ancestors were backing the Asante warriors. Today, if you curse somebody, he quickly goes round to beg some elders to persuade you to revert it but people go to court and swear with the Bible or the Koran and continue to tell lies to the judge in order to free themselves. Anyway, the Bible said: For lack of knowledge my people perish. Please, for heavens sake, do not draw the Asante King’s name into the dirty politics in Ghana.

We say capital NO to the deliberate and disrespectful insults poured on our traditional rulers in the name of the so called Western imposed multi- party democracy with its accompanying freedom of speech which is limitless, there must be a limit to that freedom of speech if it is directed towards our traditional rulers, if NOT we must scrap this Western democracy and go back to our roots and govern through our chiefs and damn the consequences even though we have a Republican status. I have written this master piece which is factual to provoke debate but I am fully prepared for it. Ashantis and Bonos have the same culture so the value is the same. On this note, I am calling on the aggrieved members of the Brong Ahafo House of Chiefs to stop summoning the President of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs to answer any alleged charges about his conciliation efforts. Is any body listening?. This writer is NOT an Akan, but a Dagan from Wa in the Upper West Region who only wants the members of the House of Chiefs to support the President for lasting peace to prevail in all parts of Ashanti and the Brong Ahafo

Region Am I wrong or right? You can get PEACE if you really WANT, so try it and see. The writer is a Dagan from Wa in the Upper West Region of Ghana and have worked for 36 years in Obuasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. May God bless the Chieftaincy Institution in Ghana, Long live King Solomon, the Asantehene, and further bless all well meaning Ghanaians including this writer most abundantly. I am done.

……………………………… CLEMENT SANGAPAREE Municipal Organiser, United Cadres Front, Obuasi.

Distribution All Media Houses in Ghana