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16.11.2011 General News

Essumeja Royal battle rages on

By Ghanaian Chronicle
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene(left), The late Odeneho Oduro Numapau, Essumejahene(middle), Barima Offe Kwasi Okogyeasuo, Kokofuhene (right)Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene(left), The late Odeneho Oduro Numapau, Essumejahene(middle), Barima Offe Kwasi Okogyeasuo, Kokofuhene (right)
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The Omanhene of Kokofu  Traditional Area in the Ashanti  Region, Barima Offe Kwasi  Okogyeasuo II, has incurred the wrath of the youth of Essumeja for his alleged role in the stalemate in the Essumeja chieftaincy dispute.

According to the spokesman of the youth, Mr. Kwaku Asare, but for the chief's intervention at the Asanteman Council in November last year, the Essumeja stool dispute would have long been settled, to pave the way for the installation of a chief at Essumeja, to the address the stalled  development of the town.

Mr. Asare said the chief's intervention was unnecessary, because he only succeeded in helping the embattled Queenmother, Nana Pokuaa Nyankronpon, dribble the Asanteman Council with her tricks of buying time at the expense of the development of Essumejaman.

The absence of a chief at Essumeja, according to the youth leader, had stifled the development of the town, and wants the Essumeja Stool elders, who are not doing anything about the near stalemate of the Essumeja Stool Affair pending before the Asanteman Council, to assert themselves, and ensure that the Essumeja Chieftaincy dispute is determined without delay.

The youth leader said by the interference, Barima Offe Kwasi Okogyeasuo had robbed the Asanteman Council of the opportunity to install an Essumejahene, to set the stage for the celebration of Odwira by Asanteman, which has been the preoccupation of Otumfuo Osei Tutu, the Asantehene.

Nana Pokuaa Nyankronpon is currently contesting her eligibility as Queenmother of Essumeja before the Asanteman Council, after her role was challenged by another royal, Madam Adwoa Aboraa, for which a five-member Judicial Committee was appointed in May 2008.

When it became evident in November last year, during a meeting of the Asanteman Council over three days (November 15, 16, and 17, 2010), that Nana Adwoa Obro Pokuaa Nyankronpon was not eligible to the Essumeja stool as Queenmother, it was the Kokofuhene who pleaded on her behalf, and asked to mediate and advise her against her position.

But, the much-anticipated resolution in December 2010 could not come on, as the Queenmother rejected the mediation efforts by Barima Offe Kwasi Okogyeasuo, insisting that she contests the claim that she was not a legitimate Queenmother, to which Otumfuo obliged.

The Kokofuhene was then asked to bring Nana Pokuaa Nyankronpon to the next sitting in February 2011 to defend her case, but she failedto turn up, because she claimed sick.

When contacted, the Kokofuhene, Barima Offe Kwasi Okogyeasuo, declined to comment on the issue, because the case was still pending before the Asanteman Council, and that the determination of the case did not rest on him.

On March 16, 2010, the five-member Committee established in its report that Nana Pokuaa Nyankropon was not a royal, and that she was imposed on the people some 31 years ago.

The Queenmother raised an objection to the findings of the committee, before the Asanteman Council could endorse the decision, insisting that she was a royal of the stool, as a result of  which the Asanteman Council agreed to re-examine evidence, including video recordings of proceedings in three days (March 29 to 31, 2010), against the Committee's report.

When the Council met on April 1, 2010 to pronounce a verdict, 16 chiefs overturned the Committee's report by siding with the claims of the Queenmother that she was eligible to the   stool, while a few others supported the stand of the Committee.

April 8, 2010 was then fixed for the final determination, but the Queenmother failed to turn up, because she was indisposed, according to a medical report presented by a special aide, one Akwasi Dwomoh.

When the Asanteman Council resumed sitting on Essumeja over three days (November 15-17, 2010), Nana Nyankropon allegedly failed to convince the Asanteman Council, presided over by Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

The Queenmother's challenger, Madam Adwoa Aboraa, through her spokesman, was however, unblemished with her family tree to convince the Council that the late Odeneho Oduro Numapau hailed from Tikrom, and therefore, was not of Essumeja royal blood. Consequently, his installation of the Queenmother was absolutely improper.

She said, because the late Oduro Numapau was not from the royal house, the elders invoked Otumfuo's Ntamkesie (Great Oath) against him, but it had to be absorbed by Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, and he allowed to be on the stool, for which reason Nana Oduro Numapau never saw eye to eye with the then Queenmother, Nana Frema II.      It was narrated that it was on the death of Nana Frema that Oduro Numapau installed Obro Nyankropon as the Queenmother, even though she was not a royal, hence the Ntamkesie against the Queenmother to regain their rightful possession.

After listening to the evidence, the Kokofuhene intervened and pleaded for a two-week period to enable him advice the embattled Queenmother, which was granted.

But, the much-anticipated resolution in December 2010 could not come on, as the Queenmother rejected the mediation efforts by Barima Offe Kwasi Okogyeasuo.

She told Otumfuo that she wished to give her testimony and contest the claim that she was not a legitimate Queenmother, which Otumfuo obliged.

When the Asanteman Council met on February 17, 2011, the Queenmother sent in an excuse-duty from a Bekwai hospital, to the effect that she needed one month rest.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, had no other alternative, but to grant her wish, which turned out to be the end of the case.

It was in view of these developments that the youth are pointing accusing fingers at the Omanhene of Kokofu for the stalemate.

They have called on the Asanteman Council to speed up the determination of the Essumeja Stool affairs without any further delay, and uphold the report of the five-member Judicial Committee, headed by the Achirensuahene, Agyewodin Adu Gyamfi Ampem, to bring the dispute to an end, and pave the way for the installation of a chief for Essumeja.

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