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Opinions of Thursday, 12 August 2010

Columnist: Akoto, Akwasi A. Afrifa

The Asantehene’s award to Chairman Rawlings and the Subsequent Fall Out.

On the 10th anniversary of the installation of Otumfour Osei Tutu II, the King recognized certain distinguished personalities with awards at the Durbar held at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, this past April. Among the recipients of the awards was the Chairman of the P-ndc, Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings.
Still, I do not know the personal feelings of non Asantes in our Beloved Country. But among the Asantes, the feelings ranged from outrage, through travesty, down to betrayal and finally ending up in total confidence of the actions of the Monarchy and resigned understanding.

Truth be told, my initial reaction fell into the outrage category, so did the Asante youth. The older Asante, on the other hand, sided with the King without reservation. Even among the youth, a third sided with the King albeit mild protest registered through a silent groan.
Since then, I have overcome my initial reaction after a debate with the village Elders.

An Elder, my Uncle, indirectly, put it in a different perspective with a brief lecture on internal successional “norms.”
(Hopefully, I will be able to reproduce it here in an intelligible manner as espoused to me)
There is no riddle, no puzzle, no dispute, no pain, no travesty that Time cannot solve, resolve, heal or make right. He said because of the powers of Time “to heal all wounds”, Asantes prefer to let a case linger on as long as it takes. He said that is why Chieftaincy issues last that long. It is the only way to arrive at the right judgment.

He explained that, “hindsight is twenty twenty”. That Time allows the next generation to adopt a detached view which helps, in most case, in refocusing the scope of objectivity. This comes about, he said, due to the new generation’s indirect participation and non-emotional involvement in the evolution of the “case”; which in turn makes it more likely to successfully lead the Blind Lady of Justice.

He went on to say that Otumfour is a new King and represents a new generation in a new era; that the hallmark of a new King is the capacity for magnanimity. In this case, all ill, perceived or otherwise, visited upon his wards, prior to his ascension, must be relegated to the after-thought of History but subjected to the conditions of Time. And in this case, once again, “the recipient” had acted appropriately, over time, towards the Stool.
He finally concluded that, the Golden Stool represents a Social order in a part of the country and only acts as a supplement and complement to the National order. The award then was conferred on, ultimately, in the social sense. To top it off, my Uncle, the Elder said that, in life, every man is always confronted with two” philosophical “situations as soon as He is born: to fight his fathers’ fights or to try and reconcile with his fathers’ “opponents”. The latter should always be the preferred act “nine out ten” situations. Because of the odds in favor of reconciliation in most cases,” in our part of the world”, the latter is held sacred. That was his “lecture”.
I immediately understood Otumfuo’s gesture in the “social sense” after my Uncle’s indirect lecture. Overall, many an Asante sided with the King. Maybe they were already privy to the “Wisdom” of my Uncle. I certainly was not and thus, my initial reaction. My reservations towards the award have since “evaporated”.
But this does not mean that given the chance, I will not haul the tail of – his jet plane, get it? – the Chairman to the Courts to answer for his political charges. (This is a personal wish, as a Ghanaian, and not as an Asante)
Akwasi A. Afrifa Akoto