I intend this brief column to be the last of its kind that I would be writing and posting, or publishing, on the raging impasse between The Omanhene of the New Juaben Traditional Area and The Omanhene of Akyem-Abuakwa, also known as The Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori-Panyin, II, vis-à-vis the reconstitution and expansion of the membership of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs (See “Book No Lie, Your Intent to Exclude New Juaben from EHRC Is Proven – Oti-Boateng Fires Back at Okye[n]hene” Ghanaweb.com 8/20/20).
Nana Amoatia Ofori-Panyin needs to come clear – or clean, as New Yorkers are wont to say – as Daasebre Oti-Boateng categorically states in his most recent rejoinder to the ongoing back-and-forth disputation between these two legitimately invested traditional rulers, as referenced above in the preceding paragraph. What is crystal clear to yours truly here is that there are no saints and devils here. What is presented here are the apparently genuine concerns and grievances of two traditional rulers who have both amply demonstrated a quite remarkable level of leadership and their willingness to have their grievances amicably and definitively resolved.
There is a palpable spirit of reconciliation here, which is the most salient ingredient and an indispensable prerequisite to meaningfully resolving the issues and concerns raised in the missives of these two traditional leaders. If, indeed, The Okyenhene also collected his full sitting allowances as a key member of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, even while neglecting to attend proceedings of the ERHC, for several years, in the 10-year period between 2000 and 2011, as Daasebre Oti-Boateng notes in his latest rejoinder, then such “tangential” matter ought not to have been raised as a major grievance in the letter written by Osagyefo Ofori-Panyin’s counsel and copied to the President of the National House of Chiefs (NHC), the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana, and the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament.
For such apparent factual contradiction, assuming that that is precisely what it is, only makes The Okyenhene seem like a hypocrite who recklessly deal in double standards and cavalierly presumes to live and operate over and above the law, which ought not to be tolerated under any circumstances whatsoever. Nana Amoatia Ofori-Panyin also needs to come clean on the question of why the New Juaben Paramountcy was glaringly and seemingly deliberately omitted from the allocation of divisional chiefly membership in the Legal Instrument (LI) that was recently submitted for approval and ratification by the membership of the National House of Chiefs. On the latter count, an apology may perfectly be in order, if, indeed, such an egregious blunder of conspicuous omission was committed.
But, of course, it is equally significant for the public to be apprised of the primary or proximate cause for such flagrant human rights violation of the New Juaben Paramountcy, which inexcusably redoles of a deliberate intent to both slight and hurt the feelings of the Omanhene of New Juaben and his citizens and subjects, as it were. The preceding notwithstanding, I vehemently beg to differ with Nana Oti-Boateng that divisional representation in the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, somehow, be obviated to synch with the principle of equal democratic representation. Now, such trend of logic is unacceptably sophistic because the reconstitution of the membership of the ERHC, as presently contained in the Legal Instrument authorizing the same, is irrefutably based on the universally acceptable principle of equitable representation.
I also resent the rather culturally and morally regressive idea that divisional chiefly members of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs must be precluded from sitting on or presiding over cases involving paramount chiefs. I would rather prefer professional and intellectual competence to be the applicable criterion. At any rate, the patently superfluous argument that at the assemblage of the United Nations Organization (UN), both China and Togo or Benin, each, has one representative does not apply here. The more relevant and applicable analogy here ought to be Ghana’s Parliament, whose membership representation is inescapably and more democratically based on population size and not nationality or national sovereignty, which clearly appears to be the case both at the United Nations and at the plenary assemblage of the African Union (AU).
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 20, 2020
E-mail: [email protected]