13.04.2010 Feature Article

Historical background to the present Tuobodom dispute

Historical background to the present Tuobodom dispute
13.04.2010 LISTEN

The people of Tuobodom are Akans and their ancestors like all Akans originated from the Chad-Benue Region. The earliest ancestors who migrated from the Timbuktu were believed to be members of the ancient Ghana Empire founded in about 3000AD. The movement of the ancestors to the south like other Akans took place in 1076AD when the Almoravids conquered Ghana. According to the late Dr. J.B. Danquah the first wave were the Nta people. Among these were the ancestors of Tuobodom and Techiman. The ancestors of Tuobodom and Techiman broke away from the Nta group and sought a shelter in a large cave called AMOWI now in the Nkoranza state. This was about 1280AD (A6) Tuobodom as well as the people of Techiman left for comparably better place and settled at Bono Manso which later became the capital of the Bono Chiefdom. The ancestors of Tuobodom under the leadership of Chief Drobo settled at a place near Bono Manso called BEIMA. Mrs. Heyerowites in her book, “Akan Traditions and Origin” affirms this statement. The people of Beima were hunters whose chief weapons were clubs and primitive guns called Tuo. During the fifty-seventh year of his reign, Nana Drobo, the first Chief of Tuobodom decided to find a new land for cultivation of millet, maize and other crops.

The Chief and his people wandered about for many days without reaching and river. His people were Hungary and thirsty and cried for water. The Chief became worried. It is believed that at this juncture he pierced his powerful spear in the ground and he himself change into a river now called River Drobo. When Chief Drobo change into river Drobo he was succeeded by his brother called Tuo. Tuo proved to be powerful ruler and reigned for nearly eighty years. During his reign there was pieces and order in the state and it was he who succeeded in establishing Tuobodom by transferring his capital Beima to old Tuobodom not far from the present Tuobodom. He ancestors of Chief Drobo linage belong to the beads. Thereafter the people were referred to as Bodomfoo because of the beads. The etymology of Tuobodom is therefore took place between 1300 and 1400 AD. These proper Tuobodom people are now referred to as Abromanmufoo.

Later in the 1390 another group of people who belong to the Kona clan whose origin is not Chiefdom join them. After the necessary negotiations with Nana Adu Ameyaw II, they settled at the outskirts of Tuobodom town now known as Krotia. The people are also called the Krotia people. It is believed that when Twimpuro became the state God because of its power many people many people wanted to draw near it in order to seek protection and to get a share of the numerous gifts presented to it daily.

The history of Twimpuro as a state God is that one day Chief Tuo on a hunting expedition entered the Tono forest to his surprise; he saw a stream flowing from the tusk of an elephant and near it was a great god Tano clothed in a large brass. Tano ordered him to take an “insome” leaf and make a knot with it and then burry it. Tuo did as he was instructed by Tano. When he was returning home, he found to his surprise, an elephant dead near the place he had buried the “insome” leaf. He returned to Tuobodom to inform the other hunters and many people to come and work on the elephant.

When they were working on the elephant, Tuo's elder sister called Srew Amma fell into the trances. She asked for “Nsaa” blankets which she wanted to dance. These were immediately supplied and she danced on them for seven days. On the seventh day, she prophesized that Takyiman would be conquered by a certain warrior Chief some future. She added that if the Abodomfo wanted to escape invasion then they should draw near to Tano and establish their capital there. Tano would only be able to protect them when they moved near him (Tano). From this order we got name “Twipini” (draw near), now known as Twimpuro Kwadwo because that day was Monday.

Acting in accordance with his sister's prophecy, Tuo and his Bodoms left old Tuobodom and founded the present Tuobodom. Since that time, Twimpuro has become the state God or the soul for the town. This prophecy was fulfilled when Opoku Ware of Ashanti defeated Takyiman in a battle (around the 18th Century) in which the people of Takyiman were believed to have been advised by the chief of Nkoranza, Bafo to burry all their guns in a river. (Techiman and other surrounding towns, including Tuobodom subsequently became vassal states of Asantehene). After Ghana had become a Republic in 1960, Techiman seceded from the Asanteman through the unyielding efforts of Nana Akumfi Ameyaw (Prof. Akumfi Ameyaw's father).

Causes of the dispute
Chieftaincy dispute at Tuobodom started as far back as 1936. People involved in the dispute are the Abroman (the first setters) and the Krotia's (the second settlers). The causes of this litigation are mainly historical with some political undertones playing a small part. As pointed out, under the history of the Tuobodom town, the Bodom people who are presently referred to as the Abroman people are the funders of the town. The Krotia people are separate people at Tuobodom because of protection they could get from the state God Twimpuro Kwadwo. Before they were allowed to settle Chief Tuo gave them certain conditions to follow. These conditions were as follows:

That they would cook for the state God and provide substitute wives for the reigning Chiefs. The first substitute wife was give to Nana Ameyaw and the Krotia people played this role for a relatively long period of time.

From the reign of Nana Drobo the first Chief of Tuobodom to the reign of Nana Kofi Agyarko the 13th Chief, the Krotia's did not play any significant role in the affairs of Tuobodom until 1896 when Nana Kofi Agyarko created the Benkum stool for them. Later Chiefs created important posts for them. Noteworthy is the fact that the Krotia's (Nana Asare Baffour's family) have remained the minority group in Tuobodom from the day they were accepted in Tuobodom to this day!!

When Nana Kofi Agyarko died in 1898, all the males of the Royal family (Abroman) were too young to occupy the stool. This was 1898. Ameyaw Kwadwo who later came to the throne in 1902 had then travelled to an unknown destination. In fact, some people thought he had died. Agyei Korkor of Krotia a son of Nana Sofo Yaw I was a person of commanding presence and so he was highly respected by many people. Chief's sons and daughters are usually respected all over the world irrespective of their personality. In addition to his commanding personality, Agyei Korkor had previously been trained as a junior priest for the state God Twimpuro Kwadwo which is still regarded as the soul of Tuobodom and therefore could perform certain customary rites, such as pouring libation, receiving gifts from persons who in one way or other had received some form of help from the state God and acting as a spokesman. Coupled with these noble qualities, one could not deny him the regency, when it was suggested by the then Krontihene, Nana Yaw Fah I. Agyei Korkor was therefore enstooled as a new chief of Tuobodom. Since that time the Krotia's have laid an illegitimate claim over the Tuobodom stool. From the reign of Nana Kwasi Nyankomago in 1936 to the present 2008, there has been a continual sharp dispute over the Tuobodom stool between the Abromanmu people and the Krotias.

The first ever recorded dispute occurred in 1936 which resulted in an open fight between the supporters of both factions. In this dispute, Kwame Nsia of Abromanmu was shot by one Kwame Asare of Krotia. This dispute was settled in Asantehene's Divisional Court B in 1936. The decision of this court clarified the position of the Krotias in respect of the Tuobodom stool. The decision was that succession to thrones in Ashanti and Bono is not hereditary like the English Crown. This declared the Krotias as not part of the Royal entitlements because in Bono and Ashanti traditions, a chief was/is succeeded by either his brother or the son of his own sister. The Krotias did not appeal against the decision of this court, knowing that it was then the highest and most efficient court in Ashanti and Bono to deal with stool disputes.

There was no further dispute till 1948. If the Krotias had respected the decision of this court (the stool they are now hiding behind to commit illegalities), there would have been peace and prosperity at Tuobodom. The 1948 chieftaincy litigation between the Abromanmu and the Krotia people was similar to that of 1936. When Nana Kwabena Ameyaw died in 1945 he was succeeded by Nana Kwame Frimpong. After five years of reigning Nana Frimpong proved to be corrupt and was distooled. This time too there was no eligible person from Abromanmu to take over the throne. Kwame Asare from Krotia who was a reputable man was enstooled as a chief of Tuobodom. The reason was that he should take care of the stool so that when they get an appropriate person he hands over the stool back to the Abromanmu people. When Kwame Asare (reagent) died in 1950 the Abromanmu people could not get anybody from the Royal family so one Kwasi Agyei also of Krotia was enstooled. He became unpopular and was distooled. He was succeeded by Amo-Diabour also from Krotia as a reagent in 1956. Two years later the Abromanmu people thought that they were selling their stool to the Krotia people so they decided to distool him. Amo-Diabour proved to be powerful and had the support of all the Krotia people. This led to another open fight between the supporters of Amo-Diabour and the supporters of Kwame Frimpong. The dispute was settled at Wenchi Traditional Council now Wenchi District Grade II Court by the then D.C. in 1958. The decision of the said court cleared–off the Krotias from the stool perpetually. At all these times, there was no responsible male from Abromanmu to take over the stool so Kwame Frimpong after proper counselling by the Kingmakers was re-enstooled as a new Chief.

After nine months another dispute occurred; this was more or less political. When the late President Kwame Nkrumah after independence declared that Chiefs from different regions could choose to severe “all vassal” services chiefs from other regions, Nana Akumfi Ameyaw of Techiman advocated for BRONKYEMPIM. The aim of the Bonokyempin was to have a union of Bono states and also to withdraw all their services to Asantehene. Upon this note Nana Kwame Frimpong therefore signed documents at Techimanhene's palace to severe his ties with the then Asantehene, Nana Agyeman Prempeh. Nana Amo-Diabour on hearing of the action taken by Nana Kwame Frimpong did not hesitate to eavesdrop to Nana Agyeman Prempeh what Nana Kwame Frimpong had done. Nana Prempeh became annoyed on hearing such news. He sent for Nana Kwame Frimpong. Nana Frimpong did not tell any lie at the Asantehene's palace because he knew very what he was doing. The outcome of this was that Nana Kwame Frimpong was, without recourse to Kingmakers at Tuobodom distooled at Kumasi and Amo-Diabour (a person whose lineage had been banned from claiming rights to Tuobodom stool by the same Asantehene's Divisional Court B in 1936) was re-enstooled as a chief of Tuobodom in 1967.

The people of Abromanmu became frightened on hearing such a bad news and they never liked Amo-Diabour as a Chief of Tuobodom. Even among the Krotias, some of the people had become discontent with Amo-Diabour.

Three months later Kofi Ameyaw Badu from Abromanmu who was studying abroad returned home to Tuobodom. He was a man of personality, commanding presence and respect. Both the two factions (the Abromanmu and the Krotia people) liked him to become their Chief. He was enstooled in 1968. His reign was among the best of all. He was powerful; law abiding, energetic and everybody liked him. During the reign there was peace and order in Tuobodom and the town started developing. Besides his position as a Chief of Tuobodom he was also performing government duties outside the country. In 1972 he saw that because of the numerous government duties he was performing outside the country, he could not get time to do what is expected of him to his people. He therefore resigned from the throne. The Kingmakers thought after the government assignments he would come back and take up the throne. The stool was left vacant for ten years after which Osofo Yaw II who was staying at Anyinasu was called to come and take the throne. This was 1982.

Though Nana Osofo Yaw II belonged to the Royal family, he was not known by most of his subjects. The people did not like him. This brought another dispute between the Abromanmu people led by Nana Osofo Yaw II and the Krotias led by Nana Amo-Diabour in 1988. Subsequently, a committee of inquiry led by Goasohene at the time was asked to investigate into the dispute and find a lasting solution to it. From 1988 to the present day, the outcome of the research has not been given out. Table 1 shows the order of succession to the Tuobodom stool from the 1300s to the present day.


Materials for this piece were collected from Techiman Traditional Council and Wenchi District Grade II Court.

Matters Arising
The genesis of the present conflict has its remote cause from an action taken by Nana Opoku Ware II when he conferred the status of Omanhene on Tuobodom in February 1996. Since the Krotia people had shown some pretentious loyalty to the Asantehene some time earlier, they thought the Omanhene status was meant for them. A conflict subsequently broke out in 1996 from February 16–18 (Friday to Sunday) few days after late Asantehene's “supposed” promotion of Tuobodom to Paramountcy. Amo-Diabour died while in exile after he had fled from Tuobodom in 1996. Asare-Baffour (Koo Mfante) was enstooled parallel to the existence of Nana Barimah Obeng Ameyaw in 2006 by the Krotia Family.

The present dispute
While on his way to Tuobodom on 7th October 2008, Nana Akumfi Ameyaw was ambushed by the Krotia people around Tuobodom SDA School who had then barricaded the main Techiman –Tamale road. No arrest was however made since the then Minister of State at the Interior who serves as their counsel, Nana Obiri Boahen had “supposedly” ordered the Police not affect any arrest because the timing was politically tense. This writer can confirm that on the 8th October 2008, the Wenchi Divisional Police Commander was on Adom Fm shamefully saying that “the matter was a family misunderstanding and any arrest would escalate the tension”. The question is 'when did attempted assassination become a “family affair” in Ghana?

Back to the issue of whether Tuobodom is under Asante, the real issue has been missed by people who comment on the issue. The matter is about which family has the right to the Tuobodom stool; Abromam or Krotia? Now based on the facts presented no right thinking person would dare suggest Krotia's as the legitimate people. As to who owe allegiance, it is matter for the Abromam family (who the rightful custodians of Tuobodom) to decide. It is neither the prerogative of Techimanhene nor Asantehene. It is instructive to note that Ghana is a Republic and that apart from the Constitution of Ghana; NOBODY can cajole any person or group of persons to pay allegiance to him/her.

Credit: Yaw Adjei
Email: [email protected]

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