Nana Mensah Acquah, a Legal Practitioner and Counsel for the people of Nzema, has called for the scrutinizing of chiefs with questionable credentials by their peers at both the National and Regional House of Chiefs, to help curb the mushrooming chieftaincy disputes in the country.
He stressed that their actions were wanton and reckless in a cultural milieu which abhors illegitimate royalty, hence sowed seeds of conflict and dissension, culminating in the present untenable state of affairs in the country's chieftaincy system.
Nana Acquah made the call recently at Sekondi while addressing the committee set up by the Western Regional House of Chiefs to address the chieftaincy dispute between the Nvavilley family, the rightful owners of the Nzema paramountcy and the current occupants of the stool.
He argued that the current occupants of the land were not royals and therefore could not occupy the thrown of King Kaku Aka I, who was betrayed by the current occupants of his stool.
He said the illegitimate royalty of the current occupants of King Kaku Aka's throne had sowed seeds of conflict and dissension in 1848, and the anarchy and strife which ensued had contributed to the present untenable state of affairs in Nzemaland.
“Through trickery and mischievous scheming, the usurpers have succeeded in perpetuating themselves on the throne in spite of the constant agitation by the elders of the Nvavilley family over the years for the return to normalcy,” he indicated.
According to Nana Acquah, the clarion call for the regularization of the paramountcy and the official reinstatement of King Kaku Aka II as the overlord of Nzemaland is being sounded by the ordinary people, whose will he said must be respected.
The eternal will of the people of Nzemaland, he stressed, must be respected and actualized to restore the pride of the people and to pave the way for economic development.
He argued that it was a travesty of justice for anyone to seek to perpetuate the destructive and evil “government” that the European invaders illegally established for the protection of European interest in the Gold Coast, such as the profits they enjoyed from the Slave Trade.
The Counsel noted that the traditions of Ghana, in general, abhor and resent impositions by outsiders, adding “the imposition of 1848 was and is still resented by all right-thinking Ghanaians in general and Nzemas in particular.
The cultural and traditional sensibilities of the people must be respected and upheld.”
He questioned that if the Whites abused these sensibilities, what justification do Ghanaians also have in modern Ghana to tolerate such flagrant insults?
“The lawless white officials sought to reward a collaborator with a royal position reserved for the Nvavilley family. Should we as Ghanaians continue to countenance this folly? Does one become a king or a chief by betraying one's state to an invader?” he asked.
According to the Counsel, after the invasion of the Kingdom of the Nzemas, also known as the Appolonians, 175 years ago by the Europeans, the Kingdom of Nzemaland is yet to be restored.
He said even though the people of Nzema in 2005 installed King Kaku Aka II who they regard as their leader to ensure that the stolen throne was brought back to the rightful lineage, his enthronement as the King of the land was yet to be legalized.
He therefore told the committee set up by the chiefs and members of the Western Regional House of Chiefs that it would be a disappointment and disgrace to them if they are not able to restore the kingdom of Nzemaland, since it was their core duty to promote peace and stability in the area.
The leader of the committee, Nana Atta Kwasi Brembi II, the chief of Soaman Dadieso assured the people that the committee would do its utmost best to ensure that peace prevailed in Nzemaland.
The Nzemas, historically, were believed to be part of the larger group of people termed 'Akans' who inhabited the borders of the Nile in the ancient kingdom of Sudan during the period 800 - 1200 A.D.
After the Arab invasion and the collapse of the kingdoms, the Nzemas migrated south-ward through the desertland (Anwia-Anwia) into forest areas to 'protect their culture and independence'.
They settled at the present location on the coastal belt, west-ward of the Asantes, Fantes, and Guans, bounded on the east by the Ankobra River (Sanwoma), on the west by Grand Bassam in La Cote d'Ivoire and on the north by the Tano River.
At the time of settlement the Nzemas were ruled by Awulae Amihia Kpanyili of the Nvavile clan, which was one of the seven clans of the Nzema ethnic community. In effect, the Nzemas had one supreme ruler from Nvavile, who ruled the people.
King Kaku Aka who was known as Nzema Maanle Belemgbunli, that is, King of Nzema (similar to the Asantehene), ruled from 1828 to 1849 in the lineage of Nvavile rulers of Nzemaland.
King Kaku Aka, whose headship was said to be high-handed, was captured on October 19, 1849 by the English, the colonial masters, from a hiding place at Gyamazo and subsequently imprisoned at the Cape Coast Castle on November 29, 1849.
The success in arresting King Kaku Aka and his entourage was the result of a betrayal by Ebanyile and his associates, relatives and clansmen and Ama Eyi, who were later entrusted by the colonial masters to be caretakers of the Nvavile stool.
The imprisonment of King Kaku Aka and all the Nvavile relatives at the Cape Coast Castle paved the way for the colonial masters to impose on them the current rulers as overlords of the land and the people.
Source: Daily Guide