Akuapem chieftaincy c’ttee members dissolve body for fear of their lives

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson
Otoobour Djan Kwasi II (in black smock) -Chairman of the committee
Otoobour Djan Kwasi II (in black smock) -Chairman of the committee

A committee, set up by the Akuapem Traditional Council to resolve the Akuapem chieftaincy crisis, has been dissolved.

The committee was disolved by its own members, who have vowed not to get themselves involved with the crisis.

At an extraordinary meeting at Aburi in the Eastern Region last Friday, the committee members comprising prominent chiefs from various towns in Akuapem, said the crisis had taken a dangerous twist.

“Our lives are in grave danger in our bid to ensure that Okuapeman reverts to its peaceful state,” the chairman of the committee, Otoobour Djan Kwasi II, the Aburihene and Adontenhene of Akuapem, stated.


Raid

The dissolution of the committee comes after about 50 armed national security operatives stormed and ransacked the Okuapehene’s palace at Akropong last Wednesday.

Information gathered by the Daily Graphic revealed that some national security operatives entered the palace over suspicions that a large cache of arms had been kept there.

After the exercise by the security operatives, the palace became a scene of broken doors and windows, ransacked rooms and floors littered with chieftaincy paraphernalia.

Even the room of the Okuapehene was not spared as it was also ransacked and turned upside down.

The national security operatives, according to sources, are still keeping guard at the palace.

Reasons for dissolution

According to Otoobour Djan Kwasi, the “desecration” of the Okuapehene’s palace by the national security operatives, coupled with verbal attacks and threats on the lives of the committee members, informed the dissolution of the committee.

“Sadly, in our bid to be objective, truthful and incisive, some of the members of the committee have had personal verbal and written attacks visited on them.”

“It is in this vein that we the members of this seven member committee, assigned to help resolve the Okuapeman chieftaincy dispute, have unanimously decided to step aside,” he explained.

Despite the dissolution of the committee, he said, all seven chiefs will continue to serve Okuapeman in their various capacities.

“When the Okuapehene is finally installed, we will give him our full support,” he pledged.

Committee

The seven-member committee was formed on December 22, 2017 to resolve the chieftaincy impasse that had deprived Akuapem of a paramount chief since 2015.

Apart from Otoobour Djan Kwasi, other members of the committee were Odeefour Oteng Korankye II, the Berekusuhene; Osabarima Ansah Sasraku II, the Mamfehene; Nana Sakyi Amoako, the Adawsohene; Okatakyie Kusi Oboadum Amoyaw V, the Aseseesohene; Osabarima Opese Konadu II, the Awukuguahene, and Osabarima Asiedu Okoo Ababio III, the Lartehene.

Background

Since the death of Oseadeyo Addo Dankwa III in 2015, the process to select a new Okuapehene has been fraught with dispute.

The Sakyiabea House, the gate in the Asona Royal Family with the current mandate to select a new Okuapehene, has been divided, with either faction having its own preferred candidate.

Currently, Odehye Kwasi Akuffo, a 63-year-old retired journalist, and Odehye Kwadwo Kesse, a young man believed to be in his mid-30s, are being processed simultaneously to be installed as the Okuapehene.

Odehye Akuffo is said to be backed by the Okuapehemaa, Nana Afua Nketia Obuo II, and other kingmakers, while Odehye Kesse is believed to have the backing of the Baamuhene of Akropong, Nana Afari Bampoe, and the rest of the kingmakers.