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Opinions of Sunday, 21 April 2019

Columnist: Oheneba Akwasi Abayie

The Golden Stool; a symbol of Asante power and unity

The Golden Stool is the highly revered, sacred and physical symbol of Asante power and unity.
The Golden Stool was conjured from the skies by Komfo Anokye, the fetish priest and counsellor of Opemsuo Osei Tutu, the first Asantehene, over three hundred years ago.

The Golden Stool belongs to Asanteman.

It is the Golden Stool which legitimises the rightfully chosen royal occupant as the Asantehene.

The Golden Stool is the priceless treasure of the Asantes which was coveted by the British in their numerous colonial wars with the Asantes in the 19th Century and the very beginning of the 20th Century.

In March 1900, the British Governor of the Gold Coast, Sir Frederic Hodgson, personally the Golden Stool.

In his speech to the assembled chiefs at a meeting held in front of the Kumasi Fort on Wednesday, March 28, 1900, Sir Frederic Hodgson asked Nanamon:

“What must I do to the man, whoever he is, who has failed to give to the Queen (Victoria), who now is the paramount power in this country, the Golden Stool to which she is entitled?

Where is the Golden Stool? Why am I not sitting on the Golden Stool at this moment?

I am the representative of the paramount power; why have you relegated me to this chair?

Why did you not take the opportunity of my coming to Kumasi to bring the Golden Stool and give it to me to sit upon?”

He was ignored. He never got it. It took a woman, Nana Yaa Asatewaa, the Queen mother of Ejisu, to galvanise the chiefs and people of Asante to stand up, fight and repel the British contingent in their most sacrilegious adventure.

Subsequently, a long-lasting period of mutual respect and friendship was established between the British and Asantes, culminating in a special and monarchical relationship between the British Crown and the Golden Stool.

In the course of her long reign, commencing 1952, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh have visited Kumasi.

Their children, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, Princess Anne and Prince Edward have visited Manhyia Palace, Kumasi.

Indeed, His Royal Highness Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, were the special guests of honour at the Akwasidae festival held at Manhyia Palace, Kumasi, on Sunday, November 4, 2018.

By way of reciprocity, their Royal Majesties, Otumfuo Opoku Ware II and Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, have visited Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham in London.

The writer is known in private life as Lovelace Prempeh, Otumfuo’s Akomforehene