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07.05.2009 General News

Asantehene petitioned to help resolve 12 year old dispute

By The Statesman
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The People of Akwasiase, a farming community in the Ahafo-Ano North District of the Brong Ahafo Region, have petitioned the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to as a matter of urgency use his office to help settle the twelve year old chieftaincy dispute that according to them, has denied them their fair share of development.      

The township maintained that they were now leaving in absolute fear, panic and abject poverty as lawlessness has taken the most part of the youth as a result of what they believe is the absent of a chief to oversee the traditional administration of the area. 

According to them, the people have refused to pay levies meant for the development in the area on the grounds that their monies will not be accounted for because there is no chief.

They cited an instance where the community only needed GH¢4,000 to add up to GH¢13,000 that the former Member of Parliament for Ahanfo-Ano North, Mr. Kwame Owusu Frempong has contributed for the commencement of a Community Water Project but the people refused to raise the money "because there no traditional authorities to enforce that”.

 “We are always left out in any developmental projects and even projects that are suppose to be given to us by the assembly go pass us simply because we do not have a chief who will fight for us to get what is ours,” the people lamented.

Akwasiase has been without a chief for close to twelve years as a result of a long protracted court dispute between two factions who are all claiming rightful ownership to the Akwasiase Stool.

The Asantehene after ascending the Golden Stool requested that all chieftaincy court cases under his jurisdiction including the Akwasiase chieftaincy court case be settled out of court and subsequently set up a committee headed by the Bantamahene to investigate the cases and find amicable solutions to them.

At a press conference organised on Tuesday by The Akwasiase Youth for Development- a pressure group in the town, they expressed regret that after almost five years of the existence of the committee, the committee was yet to call the factions involved hear the case.

Theophilus Owusu Luis, an Assembly member for the Akwasiase west electoral area who acted as the spokesperson for the group noted that the long absent of a traditional leadership at Akwasiase have also paved the way for some miscreants in the town to use the name of the town to engage in some shady businesses for their parochial interest.

He singled out one Nana Ama Serwaa Bonsu whom he said has been going round claiming to be the Queen mother of Akwasiase and has been signing contracts and collecting royalties from companies operating in the area in the name of Akwasiase without their knowledge.

The Assembly Man said the elders and people of the area only recognized one Nana Abena Badu Pinaman whose forefathers established the town as their Queen mother and has therefore warned the general public not to do business with her in the name of the town.  

 ”The said woman has entitled herself as the Queen mother of Akwasiase whenever she operates outside the Akwasiase Township, but surprisingly this same woman always introduces herself as the Twafohemaa of this area when she operates within this town, this is enough to say that she is a fraudster” 

 The group have challenged her also to pay back all the monies collected as royalties on their behalf or face their wrath.

 Mr. Owusu maintained that they were aware that Nana Ama Serwaa Bonsu has in her possession a signed document dated the 4th of February 1994 by the then Senior State Secretary of the Kumasi Traditional Council which accredited her as the Queen Mother of Akwasiase but said they doubt the authenticity of the document.

The Spokesperson therefore cautioned companies and any other institutions dealing with the 'Queen' to immediately put a stop to it since the people do not recognize her as the Queen mother of Akwasiase, saying “anybody who go ahead to deal with her does that at their own cost.

Mr. Owusu  noted that all these sequence of events would not had happened if they had a traditional leader to preside over the administration of the area and reiterated their call on the Otumfuo"s committee to speed up their investigation to pave the way for rightful person to be enstooled as the chief to lead them.

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