13.06.2006 Regional News

Wenchi enstools new Omanhene

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The Wenchi Traditional Council on Monday enstooled Nana Abrefa Kwadwo Nketiah VII as Paramount Chief of the area.

Nana Abrefa Nketiah, known in private life as Mr K.N. Nketiah, is Managing Director of Esterino Packaging Company in Kumasi. He succeeded Osagyefo Ampem Abrefa Mbore Bediatuo VI who died two years ago after a short illness. He was 101 years.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Wenchi after the colourful installation, Nana Owusu Ansah Kokroko, Krontihene, explained that Nana Hemaa Toa Samagyedua II, Queen mother of Wenchi Traditional Area abdicated her responsibility to nominate a person from the royal family to be enstooled as the new paramount chief on three occasions as demanded by custom.

He said the queen mother did not give any tangible reason. This, Nana Ansah Kokroko said, was a breach of her oath as queen mother and this compelled the council to nominate Mr Nketiah as the new paramount chief.

He said after the nomination, the council consulted the "the great Drobo Kokroko", the state shrine of Wenchi, which gave the final seal for the enstoolment of Mr Nketiah after pacifying the spirits. "If the queen mother would not comply with the traditional council's decision, we would contact the other royal family to choose a new queen mother," he added.

In an acceptance speech, Nana Abrefa Nketiah said the council's major priority was to solve pending chieftaincy disputes in the area amicably and unite the chiefs and people towards development. He expressed concern about the low standard of education among the youth and announced plans by the council to establish a vocational institute at Wenchi to offer skill training to unemployed youth free of charge.

Nana Abrefa Nketiah said with the deplorable state of roads and markets in the area, the council would endeavour to help improve them.

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