I am deeply disturbed by an article written by Nkrabeah Effah Dartey and published on page 59 of the Daily Graphic of January 15, 2018. This article entitled “Earthquake in Akuapem – The inside story” is misleading.
This reaction is based on how the writer draws his conclusions and claims from history. For ease of reference, I shall try to use the headings used by him.
The Akuapem Way
The history of Akuapem is well documented and very clear, with precedents and a lot of legal interpretations. I will like to explain using the same facts that the writer relies on.
From the most recent, Oseadeeyo Addo Dankwa III was enstooled in 1974, and ruled for some 41 years until 2015. He was selected by the late Queenmother Nana Dokua I. This is in complete agreement with the full bench of the Supreme Court, presided by Justice Atuguba as quoted by Nkrabeah Effah Dartey, and in consonance with Akuapem history, traditions and customs.
He also refers to the Okuapehene Nana Kwame Fori II, who ruled from 1959 to 1974. (This was the second reign of Nana Kwame Fori II).
Nana Kwame Fori II was also selected by Nana Sakyibea, who was also the queenmother. When we go back further, we find that all our paramount chiefs have been chosen by the ruling queenmothers. Why will we do something different this time?
Nkrabeah Effah Dartey says that “under their custom, (Akuapem custom) when it is the turn of a ruling house to produce a candidate, the Abrewatia, or let’s call her the “ inner circle queenmother,” will nominate someone, then show him to the inner circle head of family, who will then escort the candidate…”
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This is very far from the truth. The rotation among the three royal ruling houses to the Akuapem Paramount Stool is gazetted and backed by LI 32 of 1960. (This LI 32 was originated and passed by the Akuapem State Council). This Act of June 7, 1960 does not mention Abrewatia, or “Inner Circle Queenmother”.
Before this Act of June 7, 1960, as Nkrabeah Effah Dartey, a renowned lawyer, is aware of, we did not practise a rotation and therefore could not have had an “Inner Circle queenmother,” role as he is stating. Why will we have an “Inner Circle Queenmother,“ when we have a Queenmother?
Also why will the “Inner Circle Queenmother,“ play a role in selecting an Okuapehene for the state and not the paramount Queenmother?
I have restricted the choice of paramount chiefs of Akuapem to the most recent paramount chiefs in line with the choices made by Nkrabeah Effah Dartey, and the LI 32 of June 7, 1960, since the last two paramount chiefs were the ones affected by the LI 32 if any. (This has been accurately cited by Nkrabeah Effah Dartey).
The way forward
When it comes to chieftaincy as Nkrabeah Effah Dartey has rightly stated, tradition is KING. Tradition will REIGN. I have refused to mention any names in the current scheme of things, since I know that tradition is KING, and will always REIGN.
The mention of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as interfering with this process is unfortunate. The only real evidence of political interference in this matter is an appointee of the Presidency going to bail the Banmuhene on December 5, 2017 when he was arrested for the criminal act of disturbing the peace of Akropong and breaking into the Okuapehene’s palace.
The Banmuhene’s role, we all know, is not a kingmaker and an Asona (Akyem) as Nkrabeah Effah Dartey correctly mentions. Do we have a place for strong men? Do we have a place for “busy Boddies”? That I leave to Nkrabeah Effah Dartey to answer as a lawyer. I thought we had a place for the law, customs and traditions.
Our kingmakers who have allowed busybodies to join the fray are to blame for what the writer describes as his shocking awakening on December 6, 2017, to hear the news of the installation of two chiefs in Akropong.
The facts are simple, busybodies have done something they call an installation which is not backed by our tradition, customs and the laws of Ghana.
(The Chieftaincy Act 57.1 defines a chief as one hailing from the appropriate family and lineage, having been validly nominated, elected or selected and enstooled, enskinned or installed as a chief or queenmother, in accordance with the relevant customary law and usage.)
Akuapem has only one Okuapehene in waiting who has been validly nominated, elected or selected and enstooled (as Oseadeeyo Nana Obuobi Atiemo II). His final installation process will be in due course, and we thank God for our elders who have stuck to our custom and traditions to achieve this.
Long live Okuapeman, and may these detractors who want to foment trouble continue to fail.