African-Americans in US and Ghana unhappy with Chieftaincy Minister’s actions

Some African-Americans in both the US and Ghana have expressed grave concern about the Chieftaincy Minister’s involvement in a dispute at Fihankra.

They say the decision to order the arrest of, and threats to prosecute, some members of Fihankra, the largest settlement of diasporans in the country is disturbing.

Myjoyonline has received phone calls from the USA and about six separate letters condemning the action since the Minister spoke about the developments on Monday.

These include letters from Dr. Mariama Ross, a former lecturer at the KNUST, one Seestah and another DMD who describes herself as “a concerned Black American Queen Mother who has been visiting Ghana since 1991 helping to improve rural education.”

DMD writes she is now afraid of the “repercussions and fall out … as a result of us innocently accepting those titles.”

Another concerned African-American, Earna Terfe-Kassa who says she first visited Ghana in 1981 following calls by government, wants decent treatment and protection of her “more than $400,000.00 investment” as she provides jobs and “pays school fees for more than 60 children” and also donating school supplies and providing over $6,000.00 in medical supplies to clinics in Prampram and New Ningo.”

Chieftaincy Minister, Dr. Henry Seidu Daanaa, is accused of waging a personal fight with the symbolic chief, Goloi Osakwe Akpan, by ordering his arrest last Friday together with two women from their Akwamu settlement where they have lived for decades on large spans of land acquired for those willing to return permanently.

On Monday, members of the Fihankra Community said they were left in fear and shock after the custodian of the symbolic stool and skin created by the National House of Chiefs in the ‘70s was held by the CID after he and the two others were picked up Friday for unstated offences.

The residents complained of incessant harassment, especially after an attempt by the Minister in April to have National Security operatives arrest and detain them was unsuccessful.

They alleged the Minister, who is currently facing a civil suit in the Accra High Court for his alleged unlawful acts including unilaterally declaring the Fihankra Stool and Skin vacant had been giving state security false information and wanting their arrest in furtherance of an agenda in support of his friend; a local who played a role in the creation of the Fihankra Stool and Skin and who is fighting the current custodian.

A copy of the writ available to Myjoyonline describes Fihankra as an Akan word literally translated: “when leaving home, good-byes could not be said.” It adds that: “it is an historic movement for the re-integration of Africa with its Diaspora.”

Their Lawyer, Samson Lardy Anyenini who has declined comments on the suit, told Joy Fm in an interview together with the Minister, on Tuesday one of his clients, Osakwe Akpan, was granted bail on Monday afternoon to join the two women who had been granted bail on the eve of their arrest.

He accused the Minister of “a massive lack of knowledge of the significant history and symbolic nature of Fihankra,” which has been at peace with its neighbours and recognised by various governments.

He noted the minister would not have taken the path he took if he had sought advice from the Attorney-General.

Dr. Daanaa, however, refuted all claims insisting he was only concerned Mr. Akpan was acting as chief contrary to law, a situation he wanted the security to deal with because it is a crime.

He confirmed tasking the house of chiefs to resolve a disagreement over the right occupant after seizing the articles of Stool and Skin in April which he says he handed over to the House of Chiefs because they created the entity.

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