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Opinions of Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Still Baffled at Asantehene's Uncompromising Stance ....

...and Exercise of Undue Overlordship on Kumawuman


The more I desire to slow down on exposing the hollowness of claim to overlordship on Kumawuman and Asanteman by Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tuitu II, the more his detrimental intransigence or obstinacy to lord himself over Kumawuman augments conspicuously. Not being disrespectful to him and the always concurring docile Asanteman Council, I would like to inform all those of Asante or Akan extraction of the following vital information or history.

Any Asantehene since the abolition of the Asante Confederacy on the capture and exile of Asantehene Nana Agyemang Prempeh I in 1896 to Seychelles via Sierra Leone, and its later restoration in 1935, is PURELY Kumasihene. They ceremonially exercise the functions of Asantehene by extension of their occupancy of the Golden Stool through the respect for, and the the allegiance our paramount chiefs (Amanhene) swear to, it. The Golden Stool is the embodiment of Asanteman unity, but not the occupant (the Asantehene), as it is wrongly the belief of some traditionally unknowledgeable Asantes.

Their occupancy of the Golden Stool does not bequeath to them the right to exercise despotic rule over Asanteman, especially, Kumawuman which is traditionally, at par with Kumasiman irrespective of the inequality of size, and abundance of commercial activities in one over the other.

Let us ASSUME for the purpose of better comprehension of the history narration I am about to make that ALL OTUMFUOS are Asantehene. Before any Otumfuo, who is indeed Kumasimanhene, can become Asantehene, he has first to swear the oath of allegiance to their Kumasiman kingmakers at PAMPASO. It is only when he has been accepted as Kumasihene-elect that he can proceed to Manhyia Palace to show himself to his fellow Amanhene by swearing an oath of allegiance to them and the Golden Stool, and they in turn swearing an oath of allegiance to welcome him into their fold.

Without his acceptance by his Kumasiman kingmakers, there is no way that he can go to Manhyia and be accepted as Asantehene, although a Ceremonial Head of the Asanteman Confederacy or Council.

Manhyia means "Aman ahyia". It means all the Divisions or States within Asanteman, especially their heads called individually as Omanhene (paramount chief), have congregated. Every Omanhene is deemed important and must be accorded his due respect by his fellow Amanhene.

The Manhyia land used to belong to Kumasi Tafohene. He released it to the Amanhene to enable a palace or a place to be raised where all the representatives of the various States can meet to deliberate on issues and concerns of common interest to Asanteman.

Going back to the main motive for this write-up, it must be stressed that unless the kingmakers of a particular Division have elected somebody of their choice as their Omanhene, putting him through their particularised local, or generalised Akan, laid down traditional procedures, the person cannot be presented at Manhyia before their fellow Amanhene.

When a Divisional Chief-elect e.g. Kumawuhene-elect, Kumasihene-elect, Juabenhene-elect, Mamponghene-elect or Bekwaihene-elect is presented to Manhyia Palace, he does not go there to show himself to, or swear an oath of allegiance to, Asantehene, the occupant of the Golden Stool. He goes there to swear an oath of allegiance to the Golden Stool and to introduce himself to his other fellow Amanhene as one of their kind, an incoming fellow Omanhene.

Without acceptance of one at Pampaso as Kumasihene-elect by the Kumasi kingmakers, one cannot proceed to Manhyia to de facto become Ceremonial Asantehene by introducing himself to his fellow Amanhene as one of their kind. Similarly, one not fully accepted by Kumawuman in accordance with Kumawu traditions, customs and usages, should not be able to present himself at Manhyia in any capacity.

As it is not the right of other Amanhene to appoint or select a chief for any of the Divisions, so it is not the prerogative of anyone, be they fake Asanteman overlords, colluding Asanteman chiefs or policemen, to select or impose any chief on Kumawu as her Omanhene.

Therefore, the action taken by Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and the Asanteman Council on 24 February 2014 and as captured on a video posted on YouTube titled, "Asantehene involves in corruption" is totally wrong, if not completely illegal.

I hope Asantehene will realise the magnitude of his mistake; the seriousness of the faux pas he has made. If he withdraws without making further provocative attempts with intent to underestimating the intelligence and the resolve of Kumawuman citizens, I shall cease further publications of my research work on Asanteman and Asantehene.

Let us blame Kumawuhemaa Abenaa Serwaah Amponsah for this chieftaincy impasse in which Kumawuman inextricably finds herself. Her greediness, selfishness, myopia and deplorable quest for "quick buck" have brought us this far – discussing Kumawuman, Asanteman and Asantehene unmannerly in public.

Asantehene had better advise DCOP Kofi Boakye, his tool of oppression, being wielded against Kumawuman, to stop. He will never succeed in his attempts to intimidate the Kumawuman people who are resolutely determined not to allow themselves to be ruled by Barimah Sarfo Tweneboah Koduah (Dr Yaw Sarfo), but rather to be served by Barimah Tweneboah Koduah V in the capacity of Kumawu Omanhene.

Lest I forget, MANHYIA does not belong to any Kumasihene or the Kumasi Division. It belongs to the entire Amanhene of Asanteman. It has got that unique status of collective traditional eminence. It is similar to Vatican City State which is a walled enclave within the city of Rome in Italy, founded on 11 February 1929 on approximately forty-four hectares of land. It is internationally recognised independent State, the smallest in the world both by area and population. Therefore, no single Divisional Chief has the right to prevent any locally officially accepted Divisional Chief in accordance with their laid down traditions and procedures, from coming there to swear an oath of allegiance to the Golden Stool. If anyone for a reason or the other so stubbornly exercises any obstructive role in a colluding manner, then the affected Division can pull out of Asanteman Council or Confederacy where the majority of their inhabitants are supportive of that move.

A WORD TO THE WISE IS SUFFICIENT.

Rockson Adofo