By: Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has lived the biblical accolade of King Solomon by moving to cleanse the township of Juaso in the Asante Akim South district of the Ashanti Region, where two persons had held themselves as the substantial chief.
The 18 plus-year-old- protracted chieftaincy dispute has ended with the de-stoolment of Nana Owusu Achaw Prempeh II as chief of Juaso early last month. Nana Owusu Achaw Prempeh had all that period of dispute claimed he was the legitimate chief of Juaso, and that Nana Sarpong Safrotwie was a self-styled and unrecognised rebel chief.
Nana Owusu Achaw Prempeh, who had all the time claimed the prerogative to de-stool and enstool, which mandate was vested in the kingmakers of Juaso, was ordered to hand over the black stool and release other stool regalia of Juaso in his possession to the kingmakers, and report to him (Asantehene) on April 19.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu indicated that Nana Owusu Achaw had since February 17, 1994 remained de-stooled, and that the decision affirms the one taken by his predecessor, the late Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, who banned him from setting foot at Manhyia as a chief.
In his final pronouncement, Otumfuo Osei Tutu indicated that he and the late Otumfuo Opoku Ware were one and the same, and, therefore, could not overturn the decision of his predecessor, because that would be unpardonable.
Since the banning orders some 17 years ago, Nana Owusu Achaw had battled his way right through to the Supreme Court, but without success until his fate was finally determined recently.
The Ashanti King, on Monday April 23, 2012, also asserted his authority and annulled the purported installation of Nana Sarpong Safrotwie during a sitting of the Asanteman Council.
Barima Safrotwie Sarpong, known in private life as G. M. Sarpong, alias Nana Gyeabour Sarpong, had been recognised by the National House of Chiefs as Juasohene since September 10, 1998.
It followed the affirmation of the Judicial Committees of the National and Ashanti Regional Houses of Chiefs of a decision by the Juaben Traditional Council on March 21, 1994, which declared Nana Owusu Akyaw de-stooled.
Meanwhile, Otumfuo has explained that Nana Safrotwie, whose earlier installation was not proper, has the liberty to contest for the stool if he so desired.
A five-member committee, headed by the Akwamuhene of Juaso, Nana Opuni Mensah Ababio, was to take inventory of the Juaso stool regalia, and submit the report to the Asanteman Council by April 16, 2012.
Other members of the Committee were Nana Frimpong Manso, Kyidome; Nana Yaw Oppong, Gyasehene; Nana Oduro Kankan, Adontenhene, and Nana Ofori Yentumi, Benkumhene.
Otumfuo has also directed that all ten gates to the Oyoko Stool of Juaso meet and appoint a new Abusuapanin (family head) to facilitate the nomination and installation of a new chief to ensure peace and harmony.
By the royal order, Prof. Ken Attafuah ceases to be the Oyoko Abusuapanin of Juaso.
The move has thus stalled claims and counter-claims by the two de-stooled personalities as chief of Juaso, and paved the way for the nomination, installation and en-stoolment of a new chief, but with the co-operation of the Queenmother and stool elders.
Having thus cleansed Juaso of the chieftaincy dispute, the Asanteman Council is now faced with the determination of the Essumeja, Kumawu and Adansi stool affairs.