SOME prominent chiefs and traditional priests have expressed their discontentment at the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Daniel Ohene Agyekum's public invocation of the Antoa River god, in an attempt to prove his party's innocence, following an allegation of bloody attack on some members of the NPP.
The NDC Regional chairman's action has been condemned and described as untoward, unnecessary and a very bad example of political leadership in the country.
Barely 24 hours after the Regional chairman's action, opinions of some traditional rulers and fetish priests were sought as to the relevance of Mr. Agyekum's action and its devastating consequences on the nation's quest for a more vibrant, democratic and political maturity.
The Nsumankwaahene, chief in-charge of spiritual matters for the Asantehene, Baffour Domfeh Gyeabour III, told various radio stations in Kumasi, yesterday, that the NDC Chairman's curse was borne more out of hatred rather than a desire to establish innocence.
According to the Chief, who is responsible for overturning curses and sanctioning of people who unduly invoke spiritual gods in an attempt to defend themselves, Mr. Agyekum's incantation could be described as a deliberate attempt to cast a spell on people who are not far from being easily identified.
In the view of the Asantehene's spiritual protector, the habit was not a good one and should be discouraged, adding that Mr. Agyekum could have settled for a better option of clearing his party's name than to invoke the Antoa River god.
Baffour Gyeabour, however, denied the notion that the practice was a typical Asante custom, saying the practice under normal circumstances, calls for harsh sanction.
He, however, ruled out any possible move by the Asanteman Council to summon the NDC chairman and bring him to order, to deter other people against any future occurrence.
Assessing the spiritual consequences on matters of that nature, a powerful fetish priest at Atwima Atwedie, Komfo Eric Nana Subruku, observed that the gods do not act in haste in such instances, but instead conduct an extensive investigations before arriving at a decision as to whether to grant the request of the person who cast the spell or not.
He, however, did not see anything wrong with the NDC's chairman's action but pointed out that the invocation of gods should have been the last option.
Meanwhile, callers and text messages into radio programmes in Kumasi have condemned the act and accused the NDC of wrongful act. The former Ashanti Regional Minister, in a bizarre conduct, last Monday, publicly invoked the powers of Antoa River god and 34 other deities of Asanteman, to prove the NDC 's innocence of a reported bloody attack on some members of the ruling New Patriotic Party, at Anlo-Sobolo in the Subin constituency.
On his part, the Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Subin, the area where the clash occurred, Hon S. K. Boafo, expressed bewilderment at the attitude of the NDC Chief Scribe, reports George Kyei Frimpong.
“I'm really surprised, I'm shocked to hear that Ohene Agyekum indeed made those statements, he has been a Regional Minister before, and no amount of provocation should make him want to kill somebody,” the Minister stressed.
According to Mr. Boafo, Mr. Agyekum's statement suggested that he had the intention to kill, adding that he should do the gentlemanly thing by apologising to the public for the sake of peace.
The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, however, jumped to the defense of Mr. Agyekum and justified the option he took.
He argued that the NDC Regional Chairman also invoked the Antoa god on himself (Agyekum), the NDC. and those who had lied against the party, and so the public should stop accusing the Regional Chairman falsely.
He maintained that it was important that sometimes agitated people used the deities to settle contentious issues, adding “What then are the gods for if not for justice?”
Reacting to calls that Mr. Agyekum could have used better means to settle the issue, Mr. Asiedu-Nketiah noted, “there were several options for him, but he has decided to go for this one. If he had gone to court, someone would have asked him why he didn't resort to Antoa for justice.”
He explained that the gods were there for justice, and that the people of the Ashanti Region usually consulted the oracles for justice, since it was the most effective way of securing it.
“I'm surprised that the Nsumankwahene could be condemning the use of invocations. He should rather be happy that people are using his god for justice,” he concluded.