Feature Article of Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Columnist: Fosu, John

Asantehene Pulls a Fast one on Asanteman

You can change a leopard's name but can never change its spots. Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II can never live an unblemished life. His youthful wayward life lived overseas, especially in Canada, continues to manifest in his dealings as the Overlord of Asanteman. One would normally expect a young crook to turn a new leaf for the better, as he or she grows older. Nevertheless, this is not the case with the current Asantehene. The older he grows, the bigger the liar/crook he becomes.

On Monday, 24th September 2012, Asantehene held an Asanteman Council meeting. He had intended the meeting for adjudicating or arbitrating the Adansi Fomena chieftaincy dispute. The dispute has been pending for over a decade and a half. When the queen of Adansi Fomena rose to her feet, everyone expected her to give credible evidence to prove her case. She has all these years been trying to forestall the installation of a new paramount chief in Adansi Fomena. There are some royals challenging her legitimacy as a queen with the prerogative to nominate, elect and enthrone a new paramount chief. When she stood on her feet, she begged Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to allow her two weeks to search and produce a vital document that will substantiate her case.

I am not interested in the public show of bravados by Asantehene, in pretence of registering his disgust at the request by the queen. He asked her various questions, purporting how serious, he was to resolving the Adansi Fomena case come what may. Asantehene granted the two weeks request amidst warning. He warned that on the agreed date, if she turns up or not, if she produces the document or not, if she falls sick or not, he, Asantehene, will decide the case and pronounce judgment based on the sufficient evidence before him already.

The two weeks fell on Monday, 8th October 2012. The queen turned up. All the invited Asanteman paramount chiefs turned but the Big Boss himself, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, had recoiled into his shell like a tortoise. He did not turn up. He charged one of his many linguists to inform the seated guests or better still, the Council, that he is travelling to Norway tomorrow, Tuesday, 9th October 2012. Subsequently, he could not attend the meeting.

I wonder how Asantehene sees himself. I wonder how he relates to the feeling and suffering of the poor masses under his jurisdiction. I see his excuse for not attending the meeting as not only flimsy but also stupid. When did he know he would be travelling to Oslo, Norway? Why did he not inform the invited guests not to turn up as a matter of courtesy but to treat them so disdainfully?

He did the same silly thing to the elders of Kumawuman. When the young patriots of Kumawuman went on public demonstration against the abuse of power by Kumawu Kontrihene and Kumawuhemaa, Otumfuo acted the same way. He sent an emissary to invite the elders of Kumawuman to a meeting scheduled for the next day. The emissary went to Kumawu, informed the elders of an invitation to a meeting with Asantehene the next day at 10:00 hours. When they arrived at Kumasi Manhyia Palace a few minutes to the time, they found Otumfuo in a convey leaving to the airport to enplane to South Africa. It turned out he had actually scheduled the meeting for 08:00 hours. Why did his messenger go to tell them it was for 10:00 hours? Why did he schedule the meeting for a time he knew he would not be available? He had better cease all these irresponsible scheming geared toward underestimating the intelligence of people. I will tell him in his face any day, any time that his actions smack of bigotry.

He is flying to Norway to consult with one of the foreign companies to whom he has connived with Agogohene and Kwamanghene to sell nearly 800,000 hectares of Kumawuman stool lands. One of the companies is a Norwegian while the other is an American.

I personally believe Asantehene himself arranges with the queens to do what they do, incessantly offering flimsiest excuses to stay away from summons to appear before Asanteman Council. He arranges with them to send in messages of sickness all in an effort to delay the hearing of the cases indefinitely. By the time, he returns from Norway, believe you me, Adansi Fomena queen will send in a sick note when he reschedules the case for further hearing. What nonsense is that!

For the information of all those having aversion to corruption, prevail upon Asantehene to behave responsibly to save himself from needless castigations. His trickeries will not wash.

For all readers, Kumawuhemaa, his soul mate, with her Ankaase family is not a true royal. I know Kumawu history inside out although I do not aspire to be an authority on Kumawu history. Kumawuhemaa, unwise as she is probably a greedy bastard, has condoned and connived with some chiefs to dispose of Kumawuman lands. God is watching all these corrupt traditional elders.

John Fosu