Ahafo ’Manhene Is a Bully Who Deserved the Beating He Got
The Assemblyman whom Ogyedom Nana Appiah-Kubi (Pambuor?) Katakyie, IV, claims to have organized a group of youthful thugs in the traditional Ahafo regional capital of Sankore to assault him and some of his sub-chiefs, says that he absolutely did no such a thing (See “Omanhene Beaten in Public” DailyGuideNetwork.com 3/16/19). And I believe the version of the story by Mr. Stephen Akowua Acheampong, the Ahafo Assemblyman, because a critical analysis of the report of the issue that allegedly sparked the violence, in which Ogyedom Appiah-Kubi claims to have been assaulted, together with some of his sub-chiefs, does not put the plaintiff in a good light. You see, just because one is a Paramount Chief does not make the holder of such noble title the Supreme Overlord of everything under one’s jurisdiction, including the very air which one’s subjects or citizens breathe. This kind of monarchical tyranny did not even exist in feudal times.
So maybe The Asantehene, His Majesty, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu, II, needs to inform his Ahafo regional right-hand man to sober up and recognize the fact that among the Akan people of Ghana, of whom the Ahafo people are only a minute fraction, our land tenure system revolves around the various clans or extended families. He may be the overall custodian of the lands on which his people live; still, it goes without saying that aside from lands that are not under usufruct or legitimate cultivation, absolutely no Omanhene or Paramount Chief can lay arbitrary claim to lands legitimately allocated to any individual citizen or subject, in particular if such lands also traditionally belong to any of the legitimately recognized Akan clans under the stewardship of any particular Paramount Chief or even a Sub-Chief.
If, indeed, Mr. Akowua Acheampong had legitimate ownership of the land which the Ahafo Assemblyman legally rented out to a telecommunications company for the establishment, or the raising up, of a mast, then whatever fees accruing from such rental property clearly belongs to the landlord. At best, for governance purposes, Nana Appiah-Kubi may demand that periodic taxes be paid to the Ahafo Traditional Council; he cannot, however, insist that all rental fees accruing to the primary owner of the land, that is, Mr. Akowua Acheampong, must be promptly and summarily handed over to the Ahafo Traditional Council. Such order is patently absurd, which is why the court ruled in favor of the Assemblyman. As well, being an Omanhene or Paramount Chief does not authorize Nana Appiah-Kubi to arbitrarily determine who gets buried on Ahafo lands or who does not qualify for the same, especially when such decision is unconscionably predicated on a personal grievance or vendetta that the Omanhene has against the Ahafo Assemblyman, of which the deceased relative of the latter is not known, at least from the news report on which this column is based, to have played any significant part.
Even so, short of seasonal and occasional taboos or customary edicts and prohibitions, the Omanhene has absolutely no right, constitutional or customary, to impose his personal and private will on any bona fide citizen of the Ahafo Region. The era of chattel slavery is well behind us, and I am certain that once the Asantehene steps into the fray, Nana Appiah-Kubi is very likely to lose his case, once more, barring any unforeseen circumstances or facts that the Dear Reader and yours truly were not privy to as of this writing. It is also quite clear that Ogyedom Appiah-Kubi was not fully and/or properly instructed in what the true functions of an Omanhene entailed prior to him being inducted as such. Could the Sankorehene be offered any comprehensive remedial lessons in monarchical leadership here?
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
March 18, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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