‘Otumfuo is overlord of Ashanti Kingdom’

A principal member of the Ankaase Aduana Royal Family of Kumawu, Nana Kwame Afram, alias Dr. James Charles London, has stated that the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, is the overlord of the Ashanti nation, and by the powers vested in him per the Asante Confederation, is supreme.

He has stated for the records that Otumfuo’s power is derived from the formation of the Ashanti Confederacy.

Nana Akwasi Baffoe II, Wonoohene and Akwamuhene of Kumawu, Nana Sarfo Agyekum II, Aduanahene, and Nana Okyere Krapah, Akyempemhene have challenged their destoolment on the orders of the Asantehene, and described their purported destoolment by the Ashanti King as arbitrary and without any effect.

They have described their purported destoolment as arbitrary and without any effect, saying Otumfuo Osei Tutu has no customary right to destool any chief of Kumawu, because Asanteman, over which he presides, is a confederate state.

The embattled chiefs have also threatened to break away from the Asanteman Council, but Nana Kwame Afram, reacting to their threats, has dared the destooled chiefs to break away and make his day.

According to him, it is worthy to note that the Akyempimhene, Bodweasehene and Aduanahene are not active members of the Kumawu Traditional Council to even have the moral right to influence a break away from Asanteman.

The Ankaase Aduana royal explained that Kumawu is one of the five prominent states, including Kwaman (Kumasi), Mampong, Essumeja and Juaben in the Ashanti Kingdom, which came together to form a union (Amantuo Num) to accept the Golden Stool as a symbol of unity, and to swear the Oath of Allegiance to Opemsuo Osei Tutu I, the then Asantehene.

He said following the poor showing of the coalition forces of Ashanti against the Denkyiras in the War of Independence, Barima Tweneboa Kodua, who showed bravery, was asked by Komfo Anokye to sacrifice his life to ensure Asantemasn’s victory, to which he (Tweneboa Kodua) obliged for the sustenance of the Ashanti Kingdom, and for which the title of Barima was awarded to successors of Tweneboa Kodua.

He said Asanteman was founded and built by Opemsuo Osei Tutu, Tweneboa Kodua and Okomfo Anokye, and that there was no way Kumawu would break away from the Asanteman Council.

Responding to the claims of imposition and arbitrariness by the destooled chiefs, Nana Afram said the Queenmother has the prerogative to nominate and install a chief for a vacant stool as enshrined in Ashanti custom.

According to him, the Queenmother of Kumawu, upon the demise of the late Kumawuhene, did due diligence to ensure the enstoolment of the Kumawuhene.

He said, on Friday November 1, 2013, the Queen sent Akyeame to inform the various heads of the Aduana Royal Family, including Ankaase, Anananya and Odumasi, to present their candidates to contest the Kodua and Okyere Stool.

Between November 5 and 8, 2013, seven candidates, who had duly been screened by their families, were presented to the Queenmother for consideration.

On Tuesday November 26, 2013, Nana Serwaa Amponsah convened a meeting of heads of families, and informed them of her selection in the person of then Dr. Yaw Sarfo Asante, and subsequently presented him to the Gyasehene.

Nana Afram, aka Dr. London, continued that on December 9, 2013, the nominee was accordingly presented to the kingmakers, namely, the Krontihene, Akwamuhene and Bodomasehene, at the residence of the Krontihene, in the presence of the Gyasehene and the Queenmother.

None of the kingmakers present objected to the nomination of the nominee, and gave him the nod.

The occasion was nearly marred by the objection of some members of the royal family, who invoked the Great Oath of Asante, that the nominee was not an Ashanti, which fact had been disproved at a sitting of the Asanteman Council on February 24, 2014, when one Mr. Asante of Nsuta turned out to be the father of the then Kumawuhene-elect.

The Asanteman Council thus accepted the candidature of Dr. Sarfo in the presence of the three kingmakers, who vetted and confirmed the nomination of Dr. Sarfo.

Not satisfied with the position of the Asanteman Council, based on the approval of the kingmakers, the malcontents brought a case of corruption against the Otumfuo, the Asanteman Council, the kingmakers, queenmothers and the Kumawuhene-elect in court, after the queenmother had stated that she had customarily presented the kingmakers with their drink money.

The Human Rights Court, however, dismissed the application, and cost of GH¢5,000 awarded against the plaintiffs.

As a result, the stage was set for the swearing in and installation of the Kumawuhene-elect, and the Asantehene invited all kingmakers, including the Queenmother, to Manhyia Palace on October 28 and confirmed the necessary rites and processes for the swearing in and installation ceremonies of Dr. Sarfo as Kumawuhene at Kumawu.

At this meeting, Otumfuo directed that all kingmakers and stool elders must be present at the swearing in and installation of the Kumawulhene-elect at Kumawu on October 30, and that anyone who absented himself from the event was to consider himself destooled.

As a sequence to the Manhyia meeting the previous day, the then acting President of the Kumawu Traditional Council, Nana Koduah Peprah, the Krontihene, convened a meeting on October 29 to deliberate on the ceremony, which was billed for October 30.

Ironically, all the kingmakers and Kumawu elders attended this meeting, during which the Krontihene reiterated Otumfuo’s directive.

Come Thursday October 30, however, the embattled chiefs chose not to be part of the ceremony, in opposition to Otumfuo’s directive.

Otumfuo’s representatives, in the persons of Nana Yaw Mensah and Baffuor Antwi Boasiako, found out that the absence of the Krontihene was genuine, because he had been taken ill and exempted from the destoolment order by Otumfuo.

During the swearing in ceremony, the Bodomasehene and the Gyasehene, as well as a representative of the Bodweasehene were present, but the Akwamuhene was absent.

On November 3, 2014, when Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua swore the oath of allegiance to the Asantehene as Omanhene of Kumawu, the Asantehene directed further that those chiefs who did not partake in the swearing in of Barima Tweneboa Kodua be destooled, which directive had accordingly been carried out with the involvement of the families of the destooled chiefs.

Nana Afram further explained that the Akyempimhene and Aduanahene are not kingmakers, as they claimed in a media report, and said members of the public should disregard the claims of the destooled chiefs with the contempt they deserve, since traditional norms and process had been duly followed to ensure the installation of Barima Tweneboa Kodua as Kumawuhene since November 30, 2014.

Meanwhile, Baffour Atta Kwasi Amooh, also known as Ommenennadua, a veteran broadcaster and grandson of the Golden Stool, has expressed his disquiet at the ignorance of the destooled chiefs about Ashanti culture and customary practices.

He corrected the impression that the Kumawuhene was installed at Manhyia, and explained that the Kumawuhene was installed and sworn in at Kumawu on November 30, 2014, after the due processes had been duly followed.

Baffour Kwasi Amooh stated the position of the Asantehene in direct relation with Kumawu, and explained that as far back as 1774, Otumfuo Osei Kwadwo, then Asantehene, had caused Oduamse royals to be separated from the Kumawu Stool during the reign of Katre Fenin as Kumawuhene, for an infringement.

He said, but for the fact that they were the descendants of Tweneboa Kodua, they were spared a death sentence.

Aggrieved Baffour Kwasi Amooh also said in 1944, Barima Kwame Afram created the Aduana Stool to appease the Odumase Family, in order to bring them closer.

He said it is wrong for anybody to think that the Asantehene has no customary right to destool any chief of Kumawu.

source : The Chronicle