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Opinions of Thursday, 4 March 2010

Columnist: Fosu, John

When God Decides on Kumawu Chieftaincy

, His Majesty Otumfuo OseiTutu II is faulted

"Justice delayed is justice denied", so the Sage says. "Procrastination is the thief of time" and "Time and tide wait for no man". Do the just quoted adages mean anything to you? May I entreat my readers, the citizens of Kumawuman, friends, sympathisers and anyone having some sort of affiliation with Kumawuman, to lend me their ears? I have come to pronounce God's judgment on the deliberately, tortuously, foot-dragging Kumawuman chieftaincy dispute. God in His infinite wisdom has appointed someone after His own heart to be crowned the next paramount chief of Kumawuman. Same as He appointed Saul and then David to become Kings of Israel, so has He appointed a particular person to succeed the late Barima Asumadu Sakyi II, the paramount chief of Kumawuman who was from the Ankaase royal family.

I am going to present the summation of the case leading to God's final decision, consequent upon which the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II will be faulted, thrown a challenge, and invited to fight God in a duel. God has decreed that no weapon formed against Him shall prosper, and any immortal being who tries to prove Him a liar shall be condemned. The contradictions in Kumawuhemaa's statements, both written and verbal; the contradictions in Abenaa Wurukye's statements, both written and oral; and the intentionally deceptive nepotistic attitude of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II as witnessed before, during, and after the deliberations, will be cited to justify God's decision.

Kumawuhemaa for unknown but egotistical reasons, had refused to tow the traditional line, or laid down procedure for selecting a replacement paramount chief when the sitting chief abdicates, dies or is destooled. She had/has intended to impose her son or her choice of candidate from the Ankaase royal family as the succeeding paramount chief on Kumawuman contrary to traditional formalities. She verbally insulted the Ananangya/Odumase representatives that had called on her as per traditional obligation to seek to allow their family member to succeed the late Barima Asumadu Sakyi II. She insulted them, accused them of being slaves who are illegible for ascending the paramount throne. She was slapped with "Asantehene's Ntamkese" (Asantehene's Great Oath) there and then, for treating them so disrespectfully. The Head of the representatives who invoked the Asantehene's Ntamkese was accused by a palace linguist, "Kyeame" Osei. He was accused of acting recalcitrant by Kyeame Osei at the behest of Kumawuhemaa. He was charged a number of sheep and bottles of schnapps. He slaughtered one sheep in recognition and affirmation of both the charge and the oath

The issue was reported to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. Otumfuo summoned both the Kumawuhemaa and the one who had invoked the oath to explain the circumstances leading to its invocation. Hardly had Kumawuhemaa attempted to play down the insults heaped on the Ananangyas/Odumases, and sought to retract the accusation of slavery directed at them when she was slapped with another oath. She had said before Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, "Me nnua ne mo Ananangyafo3, yen nyinaa ye annuanom" (The Ananangyas are my brothers and sisters). Just at this pronouncement, an oath was invoked on her countering her statement. In the invocation of the oath, it was stated thus, "ye nnim wo, wo nye yenua, mo bewuraa mu". Simply put, "we don't know you, you are not our sister, and you (Ankaase family) forced yourselves into, or were co-opted into the Kumawu paramount royalty". Barely had he finished when one Abenaa Wurukye, a "supposed outcast" from the Kumawu Adomako Pim's family, stood up and slapped both the Kumawuhemaa and the Head of the Ananagyas/Odumases with the "Asantehene's Great Oath". She invoked the "Asantehene's Ntamkese" on them saying, "the Kumawu paramount throne is mine, I gave the queen's throne to (name mentioned - the current Kumawuhemaa). I see no reason why both of you, (referring to the Kumawuhemaa as the leader of the Ankaase royals and the Head of the Ananangyas as the representative of the Ananangya/Odumase royals) should be fighting over what is not yours. She further buttressed her contention by insinuating that they were both thieves fighting over what did/does not belong to them, by quoting the "Akan" proverb, "nkokohwede mmienu nk3ko obi afuo ase". "It is not appropriate for two bush fowls to fight over spoils whilst in someone's farm, in the false assumption that the farm and everything therein belong to them"

The Ananangya/Odumase's head controverted Wurukye's statement by slapping her with Asantehene's Great Oath at which instance they were both obliged by tradition to slaughter a sheep each. Kumawuhemaa did not challenge Wurukye even though Otumfuo Osei Tutu II did point out to her how serious Wurukye's allegation was. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II asked Kumawuhemaa, "Have you heard what the woman is saying? She says, the throne is not yours but hers, and that she offered it to you. This goes to conclude that if she ever loses the fight over its ownership to the Ananangyas/Odumases, that very day, you will lose your seat and will be going with her" After being prompted thus, Kumawuhemaa said, "When the time comes, I shall speak for myself". She refused to challenge Wurukye's ominous assertion made under oath. Why? It is because she had conspired with her Ankaase royals to secretly employ Wurukye to come in to play delay tactics on the case which she has earnestly, perfectly done to their anticipation.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, for unknown reasons except those bordering on libidos as tooted and touted by his girlfriend, Kumawuhemaa, has since accorded priority to Wurukye's allegation. He has completely brushed under the carpet the two oaths slapped on Kumawuhemaa aimed at not only refuting her accusation of slavery against the Ananangyas/Odumases but also, challenging her family's eligibility as royals, if not paramount royals of Kumawuman. Wurukye was allowed about eighteen months to manipulate the traditional systems in place to deciding the case. It has been over six months now since the hearing of the case came to a conclusion. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the sitting Asantehene, has once more decided to keep mute over it, without showing any sign of ever pronouncing the verdict. He is never perturbed about the adverse repercussions of his nonchalant lackadaisical attitude to formally concluding the case. Kumawuman is continually being denied its share of the national cake. There are no living chiefs in most of its townships to fight for their share of the national essential developments. Tension is building up in the entire Kumawuman owing to the vacuum created by the deaths of some of their traditional rulers. These deaths have deprived them of any proper traditional direction and administration. Kumawu Ankobeahene passed about three years ago. Nkwantahene who doubles as Kumawu Adontenhene, Worasohene who doubles as Kumawu Benkumhene, Temaatehene, Pepeasehene who doubles as Akyeamehene, another sub-chief from Besoro and many others have all died for years and are yet to be replaced. They can only be replaced if and only if, Kumawu has a living paramount chief. This is the immensity of the harm Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is causing Kumawuman all for the sake of his selfish sexual gratification with an old woman, Kumawuhemaa.

Kumawuhemaa and her Ankaase relatives are sauntering through Kumawu, Accra and other cities confidently reassuring their sympathisers that Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is going to decide the case in their favour. Kumawuhemaa has of late questioned one of her friends who interrogated her about the outcome of the pending chieftaincy dispute saying, "Who would ever be stupid to decide a case against his/her lover, in the circumstance of having a lot to lose?" She is never the least ashamed but gleefully telling people Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is her sexual soul mate. Be that as it may, why is she being unfaithful to him by having one Mr.Amoah from Kumawu-Woraso and other men lurking in the dark, enjoying sexual relationship with her?

Anyway, assuming Kumawuhemaa is a mere braggart, why is Otumfuo Osei Tutu II not declaring the verdict to the "Wurukye versus the Ananangys/Odumases" case, about seven months into concluding the hearing? He finds himself sandwiched between a hard surface and a rock. He is in utter dilemma. However the verdict goes, the Kumawuhemaa with her Ankaase royals is a goner as pointed out by Otumfuo when Abenaa Wurukye slapped her and the Ananangyas/Odumases with an oath as aforesaid. Silence in the face of doubtful challenge thrown has always been taken for consent. Kumawuhemaa by her failure to counteract Wurukye's imperative claim on the throne, but to choose to sit in absolute silence even after Otumfuo's prodding, is an act of consenting. Would Wurukye's family permit her to cede with the throne once more to Kumawuhemaa was she to emerge victorious? I hope not.

Wurukye had the following to say in her written plea to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, when she alleged her distrust in the chiefs appointed to hear the "Wurukye versus the Ananangyas/Odumases case" * "That members of Your Petitioners' said family has since time immemorial been one of the royal families or lineages at Kumawu eligible for nomination for the occupancy of the Kumawu Stool any time the stool became vacant" * "That it further came to Your Petitioners' notice Nana Sarfo Agyekum II and Opanin Nti Kwaakye had alleged that it is the Odumasi, Ananagya and Ankaaase families of Kumawu that are the three (3) principal royal families eligible for nomination for the occupancy of the vacant Kumawu Stool" * "The Queenmother admitted having had knowledge of the said allegation and intimated to Your Petitioners and their family that she cannot deny Adomako Pim Family's status as far as the Kumawu Stool affairs are concerned and will thus accept our customary drinks relative to the nominations if we presented same"

Concluding from the above, will Wurukye foolishly once more part with the stool to the Ankaases was she to be declared the winner in the case against the Ananangyas/Odumases? Did she ever part with the stool to them at all as alleged in her "Akokohwede" story when invoking the Asantehene's Great Oath on the Ananagyas/Odumases and the Kumawuhemaa? If she did part with the stool, why did she, how and when? Why does she not take what belongs to her by force but rather choose to solicit for it by presenting customary drinks to the very queen to whom she bequeathed the stool? Anyway, God finds Abenaa Wurukye inconsistent, a liar, a colluder, a perverter of the course of justice and hence guilty. None of her family members had ever ascended the Kumawu Kodua Stool.

Should the case be decided in favour of the Amnanangyas/Odumases, the Kumawuhemaa is still a goner. Why has she still not been able to challenge the oath so invoked on her, denying her eligibility as a true Kumawuman royal? Those who live in glass houses should not dare throw stones at their enemies. When they do, the enemies will fight them to the hilt. They will hit their glass houses with stones. Also, a pot should never ever dare call the kettle you are black. Kumawuhemaa out of greediness had sought to sideline the matrilineal lineage of Barima Tweneboa Kodua 1. She had called them slaves by which status they are illegible to ascend the Kumawu Kodua Stool, the paramount throne. Interestingly, she had the following to say among many others, in her Defence Statement submitted to the Court in refutation of the injunction placed on her, restraining her from nominating and installing a successor chief to the late Barima Asumadu Sakyi II.

* Paragraph 3 - "The Defendants say that the 2nd Petitioner is the Odikro of Aanangya. But 2nd Petitioner is not a blood descendant of Seni Fontom who was the originator of the Kumawu Royal Paramount Stool" * Paragraph 5 - "The Defendants say that 4th Petitioner is Abusuapanin of the Odumase Aduana Clan, but he is not eligible for the Paramount Stool of Kumawu" * Paragraph 6 - "The Defendants say that Akosua Hema, a descendant of the said Seni Fontom, settled at Ananangya where there were other members of the Aduana Clan, such as the ancestors of the 2nd and 3rd Petitioners. The descendants of Akosua Hema came to be known as the Ananangya branch of the Kumawu royal Stool family and they alone are the members of the Ananangya Aduana family who are eligible for the Kumawu Paramount Stool. * Paragraph 18 - " In denial of paragraph 5 of the "facts and particulars" alleged by the Petitioners the Defendants say that: (i) There are only two royal houses that are eligible for the Kumawu Paramount Stool: the Ankaase and the Ananangya royal houses. (ii) In about 1941 Barima Kwabena Kodua of Ananangya royal house was enstooled Kumawuhene. (iii) Upon his destoolment Ohemaa Adwoa Serwaa of Ananagya royal house, nominated Barima Otuo Acheampong of Ankaase royal house; he was installed Kumawuhene.

God has directed that the following questions are put to Kumawuhemaa.

a) Are the Ankaase royal family members of whom she is one, descendants of Seni Fontom? b) How did the Ankaase royal family earn their royalty? c) Where are the current descendants of Seni Fontom or Akosua Hemaa? d) Where are the members of that branch of the Ananangya royal family that can ascend the Kumawu Paramount Stool? e) No mention was made of Barima Tweneboa Kodua 1 in her Defence Statement. Does she know of this chief, and if answered in the affirmative, who are his current descendants? If any, are they eligible to ascend the Kumawu Stool? f) Who at all are the Ankaase royals? Do they know of one "Ayo", and if they do, how are they related to her? g) Was "Ayo" not a slave girl purchased at Ejisu market, and introduced to Kumawu palace? Had her daughter Okomfo Yaa Mansah not married to Nana Osei Yaw Akoto, the Asantehene? h) Was not Yaw Dabo, the son of "Ayo" a traitor, a subverter, a schemer, a villain and an opportunist? Was he not the first ever supposed Ankaase royal to ascend the Kumawu Stool as a regent? i) Were the circumstances leading to Yaw Dabo's ascendancy to the throne not shrouded in doubt? Did he not ascend the throne as a regent, a caretaker of course? How did he become a confirmed royal, gaining a Kumawuman paramount royalty for his matrilineal descendants? Royals indeed! j) How justified can a descendant of "Ayo", treat the descendants of Barima Tweneboa Kodua I with that much disrespect, alleging that they are not eligible for the very Stool of which they are the originator? k) In the estimation of the sitting Kumawuhemaa, Tweneboa Kodua I was a slave? Was he?

Concluding from the fact that Kumawuhemaa is scared of seeing her lies exposed in public in broad daylight, hence, failing to challenge the oath thereby invoked on her, she is guilty of not being a true Kumawuman royal, says the God Almighty. The Ankaase royals' failure to compel Kumawuhemaa to counteract the oath, but rather choose to hide behind the queen's sexual affiliation with Otumfuo Osei Tutu II makes them equally guilty. They are in fact not royals eligible to rule Kumawuman as by the understanding of the Asante traditions.

The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is Kumawuhemaa's boyfriend according as publicized by her, and given credence to by her Ankaase relatives. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has been unable to enforce the observation of the "Asantehene's Great oath" as invoked on Kumawuhemaa. Could this happen if he was not her boyfriend as she proclaims to the annoyance of many a Kumawuman citizen? Why is he dragging his feet on the Kumawu chieftaincy issue? Why is he not granting hearing to the case involving the Kumawuhemaa and the Ananangyas/Odumases? Why did he give priority to hearing rather the "Wurukye versus Ananangy/Odumase" case but still refusing to declare the ruling seven months after concluding the hearing? Assuming he is not fully authorised to decide who ascends the Kumawu Stool, why did he request that the instituted court case in that regard be cancelled, withdrawn, and brought to him for arbitration? Assuming it is the sole prerogative of an Asante's queen to nominate and install a candidate of their choice as chief when the position becomes vacant, what happens presupposing the said queen is discovered not to be a genuine royal after all, as it is in the instance of Kumawuhemaa?

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II by his dismally biased attitude as hereby exhibited has unfortunately rendered the once powerful "Asantehene Ntamkese" impotent. Is it not all for the derivation of sexual happiness and material wealth? God has from today declared Asantehene guilty. He has declared the Ntamkese none and void due to the deplorable attitude of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II towards it. Has Otumfuo Osei Tutu II any quarrel to pick with God on His declaration?

God has decreed that His chosen One will be crowned the paramount chief of Kumawuman regardless of any artificial impediments instituted by Wurukye, Kumawuhemaa and Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. Who then is the God's chosen one? He is the one the entire Kumawuman citizens have in mind.

John Fosu