03.02.2024 Feature Article

Why making fools of ourselves because of lack of knowledge about the powers of chiefs in our contemporary Ghana?

Why making fools of ourselves because of lack of knowledge about the powers of chiefs in our contemporary Ghana?
03.02.2024 LISTEN

Many a time have we had ourselves backed into a corner, looking complete fools, all because of some hasty actions we take, in out of ignorance and lack of knowledge.

Once in the Ashanti region, a late Alhaji Moro of blessed memory, residing in the Asokwa district of Kumasi, gave a one-week ultimatum to the management of Kessben TV/radio station to vacate their premises or else, they would have to face his wrath.

He threatened to march his guys to the premises of their building to close it down should they fail to render sincere apology to the Asante overlord for allowing people to express their varied open condemnatory views about Otumfuo Osei Tutu II reportedly losing some precious Ashanti crown jewels in a Norway hotel. This was in October 2012. I recollect this incident very well since I placed out a publication condemning the unilateral machismo, but completely illegal stance taken by the Alhaji.

What power had that late Alhaji to issue that unsolicited ultimatum to the radio station? Was it because of his affiliation with the Manhyia Palace or his then well-established political connection with the ruling NDC government and party? Could he take that unilateral illegal decision and hope to get away with it? No!

Again, we have recently had an Ashanti sub-chief ordering the leaders of the ruling NPP to make themselves available at the Manhyia Palace along with their Ashanti regional Chairman, Bernard Antwi Boasiako aka Chairman Wontumi.

Wontumi, a delusional individual who believes to hold the NPP in his hands like an egg that he can let break at any time hence has to be pampered and worshipped to keep it intact, had made an audacious but demeaning statement against Ghana and Ghanaians. He had said that he has his own military and police force in the Ashanti region and would tell his mind to Otumfuo on any subject he happens to disagree with him ,without hesitation.

Some chiefs in Ashanti region and a group calling itself “Asante Youths” were quick to not only condemn Wontumi but threaten him with banishment from Ashanti region, he, Wontumi, failing to comply with their order. They wanted him to appear before the Kumasi Traditional Council with the leaders of NPP within a given timeframe. Passed that time, he should consider himself a persona non grata in the region.

I am concerned about the fact some individuals think they are above the laws of the land hence can at any time stand up to issue orders against others on any least provocation. The other time it was late Alhaji Moro and today it is some Kumasi Sub-chief and youth association.

Let me be emphatic with all such individuals who subserviently, sycophantically, or behaving as stooges to be seen in the favourable eyes of their leaders that there are laws in the country to be obeyed. No chief in contemporary Ghana has the power to banish anyone from their traditional area let alone, a sub-chief or youth association in that matter.

From the 1952 Local Government Ordinance, one could see how the powers of chiefs have been drastically curtailed. They are now simply the shadow of what they used to be in the 14th to 18th centuries where they had the powers to behead and or banish, their subjects.

March 27, 1952: Local Government Ordinance reduces role of Chiefs in local and municipal affairs — Edward A. Ulzen Memorial Foundation

Wontumi, although as pompous, stupid, and unlettered rich person as he is, has no right to see himself as above the law of the land hence could open his mouth to utter any nonsense that comes into his mind.

There is no more any Kingdom in Ghana since the abolition of the Asante Kingdom upon the capture and deportation of Nana Agyemang Prempeh I to the Seychelles in 1896. How then could Wontumi form his Kingdom within Ashanti region?

The political power he is insanely wielding in the country because of the weakness, short-sightedness, and corruption-infestation of the ruling party, should not deceive him to see himself as having the right to say what he wants, and acts how he wants, all the time.

If those people going their own way to issue what may be “Islamic fatwa” against others in the country knew that laws exist to forbid from committing such irresponsible acts, I hope they wouldn’t do it. They should not see the chiefs they act in their behalf as being above the law. No, they ain’t.

In both cited cases, the stooges couldn't have their way; the "Ashanti Overlord" never sided with them.

Have I become your enemy because I have told you the truth,o ye absolutist or overly traditionalist?

Rockson Adofo