A brewing offensive between Chiefs and people of Ashanti origin and the Akyems in the Eastern Region is threatening to escalate into full scale offensives following the assault on the Ashantehene’s representative by the Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II and his subjects during the funeral of the murdered Member of Parliament J.B Dankwa at Akyem Tafo last week.
In an exclusive telephone conversation with this paper, the Nana Kweku Dua, spokesperson of the Ashantehene delegation at the funeral said the incident has forced the Ashanti royals to “advise themselves” on further relationship with the people and chiefs of Akyem. http://ghanapoliticsonline.com
Already, some livid Ashante youth are spoiling for a face-off, declaring the Okyehene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II persona non grata, saying should the Okyehene step foot on Ashante soil “worse of such shall be meted out to him in return.”
The Akyems and the Ashantis are the most powerful Akan tribes with an age-old rivalry over supremacy. Their rivalry is also reflected in the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) formed by gurus from these two tribes.
But their rivalries have often resulted in heated confrontations, particularly among its chiefs who are always jostling over seniority. The incident at JB Dankwa’s funeral was one of such confrontations.
“This occurrence if one can recall happens to be the second time in some few years aside some minor unruly and rude manifestations on the part of this same chief (Akyem Abuakwahene) and his subjects, the former occurring at Amanokrom…the youth of Asante authoritatively warn the chief that he risks his subjects and himself as a chief of Abuakwa,” a group known as the Ashanti Youth Association stated at a press conference organized on Tuesday.
The chaos started, according to sources when the representatives of the Asantehene at the funeral led by Asamponhene, Oheneba Kwadwo Afoduor failed to stand on their feet during the arrival of the Okyenhene at the funeral grounds, an occurrence which infuriated the bodyguards and sub-chiefs of Kyebi who started hurling pure water and offensive items at the entourage of the Ashantehene.
However, narrating the incident to this paper, Nana Kweku Dua said the situation escalated because of an apparent disrespect from the Okyehene’s composure. He said prior to the visit to Tafo for the funeral, the sub-chiefs of Ashnati had undertaken the appropriate traditional procedures by informing the Tafo Chief about their intended visit.
They sealed this formal notice with traditional drinks and gifts which the Tafo Chief duly accepted, paving the way for a cordial visit to Tafo for the funeral. He said, at the funeral grounds, the Asamponhene, Oheneba Kwadwo Afoduor was seated for almost an hour before the Oyehene himself arrived and started greeting upstanding subjects and visitors. Nearing the seated Asamponhene, the Okyehene is said to have signaled that he would not greet him [the Asamponhene] if he did not stand up to receive him like all the others.
According to Nana Kweku Dua, traditionally, the Okyehene did not have such authority over the Ashanti royal, since the hierarchy of chiefs put them at about the same level, besides, being the Ashantehene’s representative at the time, he commanded more authority than the Okyehene, whom in Akan tradition is lower ranked than the Ashantehene. So he remained seated, a situation that allegedly infuriated the Okyehene who stormed away without greeting the Ashantehe’s representative.
“Asantehene, His Royal Highness Otumfuor Osei Tutu II in his wisdom delegated power to Asamponhene(Oheneba Kwadwo Fodjuor). And in accompaniment was an entourage to represent him at the final funeral rites of the late MP for Abuakwa North. This in effect makes Asamponhene(Oheneba Kwadwo Fordjour) the Otumfuor at the said event as far as custom and tradition is concerned and as such any action he undertakes represents the might of Ohenekese Otumfour Osei Tutu II. Common sense simply teaches everyone this simple extrapolation,” stated the conveners of the group: Nana Yaw Brenya (President) and Barima Tweneboa Kodua (National Secretary).http://ghanapoliticsonline.com
The action of the Okyehene is said to have inspired his bodyguards who confronted the Asantehene’s entourage and threatened to remove the crown on the head of the Asamponhene sparking the scuffle. The crown eventually dropped to the ground in the scuffle.
Dropping of crowns in traditional culture is a high level abomination, a situation that irked the Ashanti representatives into a near-retaliation that took the Police to quell.
A later attempt by the Otumfuo’s Asamponhene to broker peace with the Okyenhene proved futile as he was snubbed by the entourage of the Okyenhene, this paper gathered.
By-The RepublicNewspaper /GhanaPoliticsOnline.com