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19.09.2008 Feature Article

RE: ``Winneba marks Black Stool Festival``

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Thank you for providing me space in your esteemed paper to react to the publication cited above which was published on, September 8, 2008.

To be sincere to the reading public, Winneba and for that matter the Effutu State has no such festival as a Black Stool Festival. What is true is that on the second Wednesday of September each year, the elders of Ayirebi House, (the house built by and used by King Ayirebi Gyarteh, the 8th King of Winneba), as the custodians of the Royal drums of the Effutu Paramountcy, perform rites signifying the ban on traditional drumming for a season of three weeks ending the first week in October.

This ceremony that has been so nicknamed in your publication that it involved the whole of Winneba was an insignificant event. It is simply cheap press propaganda to mislead the unsuspecting general public and to make the so called celebrant popular among men. Unfortunately, this man Dr. Kofi Essilfie Taylor who self styles himself as Nana Ayirebi Acquah V was convicted of contempt by an Accra High Court on May 5, 2004. He has not yet purged himself of that contempt for his purported installation.

What is more serious is that he managed to persuade the Magistrate court here, to indicate that this was the time that he goes to his father's house to perform special rites. Indeed his father known also in private life as Kofi Essilfie was Mr. Samuel Antobam Taylor of Anomabo and Saltpond. So how come this going to father's house business of Dr. Kofi Essilfie Taylor in Winneba?

Let me also say that by the ruling of the Central Region House of Chiefs on 30th June 1977, one that has not been overturned by any appellate court to date, there is only one ruling house and only one black stool at the Otuano Royal House (the Bondze ebi stool) on which King Acquah I was installed. This black stool which is the spirit and soul of the people of Winneba belongs to the Royal Otuano family. Therefore, King Acquah I was placed on this stool the only one Royal Otuano Stool, as it were, lent to him. This is the one from whom he Dr. Taylor purports to derive his name.

Nana Ayirebi Acquah III as a condition for his enstoolment in 1919, had to sign an undertaking, this was the final conditions given to him by Honourable J. T Furley, then Secretary for Native Affairs. This document was signed by the Colonial Administrative officers and Nana Ayirebi Acquah Ill's mother Elizabeth Sackey, Akosua Kwaaba and other chiefs as witnesses on May 22, 1919. There has never been any Nana Ayirebi I in the history of Winneba as reported in your publication.

Winneba is an ancient town. Being a Guan community and therefore one of the very early settlements of present day Ghana. The earliest Europeans started writing about Winneba in 1602. The untruths and distortions of facts will just not make Kofi Essilfie Taylor a chief.

With the informed historical facts now stated, we believe that all and sundry will have the sacred facts of history in their right perspective. I therefore have no doubt that Dr. Taylor who expects “a fair reportage”, now has the correct picture of the other side of the coin for a fair and balanced reportage.

Mr Billiard A. Ghartey PRO FOR EFFUTU OMA ODEFE

The Chronicle
The Chronicle, © 2008

The author has 68 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: TheChronicle

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