Asem beba dabi
It is a fact that one can always forgive but not forget. But when the offender shows no remorse but justifies his action by adding insult to injury, one can hardly forgive.
When the friends met in Togbe Koblaie s Dzakuma s house last Sunday afternoon, they took the former Omanhene to task for the unguarded statements he made at a recent visit to a neighbouring Traditional Area.
"This is utter nonsense. It reminds some of us of the pains we went through during the dark days' of the Kowa Traditional Area. You see, any time we try to forget those heinous days, the Otofo reminds us and brings back the memories of the chaotic periods; why?" Opanyin Yaw Boakye intoned, as he poured tots of the favourite Schnapps Bitters into his glass.
Agya Kow Dadzie took the liquor and filled his glass. He noted: "Indeed, we're all unhappy about these references but I think he was forced into making those harsh remarks about the past Kowa events by the newspaper people, who wanted him to clarify certain points".
"What're you telling us, Kow?" Togbe snarled at him. "He could have found a more sensible way of reacting to the questions. Look, this man is really a nuisance. He's always been provoking us. How can he justify the heinous crimes he committed against Kowaians? That, the killings were 'very painful and regrettable but there was no other way out'? Is he saying that only one or two of the former Amanhene and Stool Elders should have been beheaded? And what happened?"
Daavie, in a smiling mood appeared at the gate. "Hei, my brothers, you're already in. Sorry, I'll soon prepare your favourite kyinkyinga", she assured. "Hope today's discussions are not about your FRIEND?".
"Who is our friend?" Togbe yelled at her.
"She is merely pulling our legs, Old Boy. Yes, she is aware that our meetings are always centred around that man", Agya Kow tried to defend her.
Opanyin Boakye, in a scything attack at the former Omanhene, said: "My brothers, you remember how we suffered during the Abongo days, eh? And for this man to be making these stupid references should be taken very seriously. Some of us knew him before he forcibly seized the Kowa Ahenfie. He was as slim as a sewing pin. Now, just look at how bloated he is. Is he not enjoying at the expense of Kowaians, who are paying for his and his family upkeep? Does he know the pains the kids and relations of those he beheaded are going through? Where're his kids? They're enjoying the best of life in Aburokyire. Indeed, I'm very sad today. When I remember when we were made to sleep like domestic animals in their pen for almost 12 months, I feel like crying like a baby".
"Oh yes, we're all in tears today", added Togbe, who repeatedly sipped his liquors. "Some people say we must forgive him. Indeed, we can forgive him but we'll never forget the atrocities meted out to the people of Kowa. And the worst of is that, he's fond of justifying why he and his bunch of Abongo boys committed those crimes against the people of Kowa.
"Does he think we've forgotten those chaotic days when our dear mothers, wives and young women were publicly whipped at their bare buttocks and made to go through the eye han exercises? How does he justify the hundreds of Kowaians who vanished through thin air? Is he saying that the one-man one tiafi policy is justifiable when today he's living freely in about four well fortified houses? Is he showing any kind of remorse when he says, if those criminal acts against the Amanhene and Stool Elders had not been carried out some hundreds of Abongo big men would have been beheaded? These are all Kwaku Ananse stories that must be condemned by us", Togbe added and quickly gulped a glassful of the liquor.
Agya Kow, quietly chewing the kyinkyinga, being served by Togbe's wife, noted: "Old Boys, as you've already said, we just can't forget but we can forgive. Personally, I strongly believe that the only way to forget some of those horrifying events is to merely ignore these foolish utterances by the former Omanhene. After all, it's almost two decades ago when these crimes happened. And for how long do we have to keep mourning those who died and …."
"What's the matter with you, Kow?" Opanyin Boakye interrupted angrilly. 'Se kekre kekre no gyae a, kyere kyere no be gyae', so goes the adage. If he doesn't want to be referred to as a murder, he must also stop justifying his crimes against the Kowa Traditional Area".
Togbe, angered by Agya Kow's submission, shouted: "You know something, Kow? Kowaians are fed up with these silly utterances. As for him, he's happily enjoying himself — globe-trotting all over the places. He's lucky to be alive today and breathing the fresh air. What about those who were brutalised, maimed and beheaded because of his desire to be the monarch of all he surveyed. Let him not forget that, so long as he does not realise his crimes and pray to God for forgiveness, he'll some day - either in his present life time or some day in another life time - pay his debt. Old Boys, let's end with the warning: ASEM BEBA DABI.