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Opinions of Thursday, 20 February 2014

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Would Asantehene Please Explain His "Apae" Verdict?

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Many a discerning Ghanaian, especially those of Kumawuman descent, finds it a herculean task deciphering what Asantehene really meant by his "apae" verdict. They cannot until today make heads or tails of that enigmatic verdict probably pronounced without much thought on the Kumawu chieftaincy dispute brought before him for adjudication.

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Asantehene at the end of over six tortuous years of intermittent deliberation on Kumawu Chieftaincy dispute, instructed the member-chiefs of Asanteman Council to retreat to investigate whether or not, the Kumawu Ankaase "royal family" is a descendant of the late warrior chief, Barima Tweneboah Kodua I.

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When the chiefs returned a few days later, all they could shout in repeated unison at the Council sitting was, "Dasebre, kan won bom".They were asking Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to join both the truly established descendants of Barima Tweneboah Kodua I (the Ananangyas) and the Ankaase (dubious claimants of descent to Barima Tweneboah Kodua I) together. I am very conversant with the history of Kumawu on this issue, being a native and studious person.

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Subsequently, after a lengthy vainglorious oration, Otumfuo pronounced his now questionable and infamous verdict of "apae". – meaning, there was neither victor nor vanquished. His verdict was as inconclusive as the chiefs failing miserably to live up to expectation.

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Both Otumfuo and all the chiefs would have been marked down if it was an examination. Was it a deliberate deviation from the question they were tasked to answer? Does that "apae" verdict make the Ankasses blood relations of the Ananangyas? Tongues are wagging for credible answers.

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Failing to tell the truth, one will always have to endeavour to come up with flimsy excuses that will in the end make the person a laughing stock in the eyes of intelligent persons. This is the case that we are dealing with today. The truth is the chiefs have ganged up to "create, loot and share" the wealth of Kumawuman. They cannot dispute this accusation.

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Anyway, Asantehene has the second opportunity to redeem his dwindling reputation as far as this Kumawu chieftaincy case goes. He has to demonstrate his integrity this time around if he is desirous to court the respect of Kumawuman citizens. This is a judgment call to him to make a sensible decision that will calm tempers that are at the moment flared up.

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He should note once again from me that "respect is earned but not commanded". No matter how threatening Manhyia Palace becomes, invoking the gods and the river spirits of Asanteman, the departed souls and the Golden Stool, it will not wash if the people decide to react angrily insultingly in the unlikely event of Asantehene allowing his heart, but not his head, to rule him.

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He should feel morally obliged to tell the truth than to be instigated by his special relationship, be it sexual or casual friendship, to Kumawuhemaa, and the goading by other corrupt chiefs to deliver a verdict of the nature of "apae", cunningly intended to empower her.

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As at writing, it is on record that the "Kumawu Ahenenananomhene", a great supporter of Kumawuhemaa, made a bold public declaration after the failure of the gangster-like plan by Kumawuhemaa to install one Dr Sarfo as the paramount chief ("Omanhene") of Kumawu. He told people, "Will the invocation of Asantehene Ntamkese not be reported to or brought before Otumfuo? I tell you, nothing will come out of it. Nana Hemaa will still emerge the winner as long as Otumfuo will be dealing with it"

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This same "Ahenenananomhene" is the one going round in Kumawu telling people there is a huge sum of money sitting in Kumawuman’s bank account that Dr Sarfo will share among the people. He says each person will get a share so they should support him.

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I would have preferred to hear him say, Dr Sarfo will use the money to develop Kumawuman as Nana Otuo Serebour II has developed Juaben in the Ashanti region, rather than he sharing the money while Kumawu, especially, still remains ruined without public toilets, without potable water and without jobs for the youth.

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What the so-called "Ahenenananomhene" is expressing is the greater view of Kumawuhemaa and those Asanteman Chiefs vigorously supporting her. They have all been promised a share of the money which any right thinking chief or queen would use to develop their area of jurisdiction. They want to share the money at the expense of suffering masses of Kumawuman.

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People are dying in their numbers from preventable diseases yet; these myopic traditional leaders without heart do not give a hoot about it. Kumawuhemaa and Ahenenananomhene and their connivers in crime have all lived in the Whiteman’s land before yet, they do not see the essence and beauty in developing their towns but selfishly misappropriating money is rather their main objective.

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I shall robustly oppose this wickedness of theirs. Therefore, those with that evil intention should gird up their loins for a showdown with me irrespective of their status. I will defend the interest of Kumawuman to the hilt. Posterity will judge me if I am wrong in fighting for justice for the people of Kumawuman.

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I hope Asantehene has not prejudged the case even before he hears it as made known by Ahenenananomhene but will endeavour to do the decent thing to salvage his reputation which is precariously on the precipice as events of the last few months indicate. We live to see.

I respect elders who respect themselves. I am not insolent but I do not kowtow to people anyhow, especially, when they take you for a fool and would not reciprocate your respect for them. Why should Kumawuman, especially Kumawu, continue to suffer under the hands of ignorant but insatiably greedy traditional leaders – the queen and her colluding cronies?

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Rockson Adofo

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