Stop fuelling Okuapeman chieftaincy crisis — Otoobour Gyan Kwasi

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson
Sheikh Dr Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu (left), the National Chief Imam, exchanging pleasantries with Otoobour Djan Kwasi II, Aburihene. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo
Sheikh Dr Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu (left), the National Chief Imam, exchanging pleasantries with Otoobour Djan Kwasi II, Aburihene. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo

The Aburihene, Otoobour Djan Kwasi II, has appealed to politicians and chiefs fuelling the Okuapeman chieftaincy crisis to stop and rather allow due process for the selection and installation of a new Okuapehene to take its course.

 Speaking at the 30th anniversary of his reign in Aburi in the Eastern Region last Saturday, he said the chieftaincy crisis that had bedevilled the enstoolment of a new Okuapehene was an affront to the peace and unity of Akuapem.

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Otoobour Djan Kwasi, who is also the Adontenhene of the Akuapem Traditional Area, said the laid down procedure for enstooling the Okuapehene was clearly known and should be enforced.

“Let all of us respect due process. Akuapem has suffered enough. There is peace in most of the divisions of Akuapem, it is therefore my appeal that we allow peace to prevail at the paramountcy and the whole of Akuapem,’’ he said.

30th-anniversary celebrations


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The 30th anniversary of the reign of Otoobour Djan Kwasi was held at the Aburi Botanical Gardens and it attracted the best of the best of Akuapem culture and tradition.

It was on the theme: “The Role of Traditional Authorities in the Sustenance of Democratic Governance and Security.’’

Drumming, traditional dancing, firing of muskets and a display of Kente clothes characterised the joyous celebrations.

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Some of the dignitaries at the event were: the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye; the Chief Imam, Sheikh Usman Nuhu Sharubutu; the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Eric Kwakye Darfor; Member of Parliament for Aburi, Mr O.B Amoah; a former Minister of Finance, Professor Kwesi Botchway, and the acting Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, Nana Kwaku Dei, known in private life as Mr Ransford Tetteh.

Also present were the Okuapehemaa, Nana Afua Nketia Obuo II, the Chief of all Igbos in Ghana, Eze Jude Chukwudi Ihenetu, who was the Chairman for the occasion, as well as many chiefs from towns in Akuapim and other areas.

The highlight of the celebrations was the unveiling of architectural works for the construction of the Akuapem Adontenman Youth Centre which will serve as the anniversary commemorative project.


Chieftaincy crisis

After the death of Oseadeyo Addo Dankwa III in 2015, who ruled for 41 years, the process to enstool a new Okuapehene to succeed him 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 split into two, with each faction having its own preferred candidate.

Odehye Kwasi Akuffo, a 63-year-old retired journalist, and Odehye Kwadwo Kese, a young man believed to be in his mid-30s, have been 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.

The dispute got to a head on December 7, 2017 when the process to enstool Odehye Kesse led to clashes at the Okuapehene’s Palace at Akropong.

But for the timely intervention of the police, the situation could have turned bloody.

In January 2018, some armed National Security operatives took over the Okuapehene’s Palace at Akropong to avert what the Eastern Regional Security Council said were imminent clashes between the two factions.

Support

Otoobour Djan Kwasi II thanked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and all former Presidents for their support throughout his reign and the numerous development projects in his area and the whole of Akuapem.

He lauded the government for its social intervention programmes such as the Free SHS, one –district-one factory and Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo) and called on the public to support the government to make them a success.

He also said the proposed creation of new regions was a step in the right direction, as it would help in the development agenda of the government.

“We must come together as a people and help the government to solve the challenges associated with these policies,’’ he said.

In his address, Professor Oquaye praised Otoobour Djan Kwasi for his sterling leadership throughout his 30-year reign and the positive impact on his people.

He said the government was committed to improving access to education for all children in the country.

“That is why the government came up with the free SHS policy. A country that cannot provide education for its people is not worth dying for,’’ he said.

Cultural unity

For his part, Eze Ihenetu said it was important for Africans to cherish and protect their culture.

According to him, culture was a rallying point for unity, love and respect for one another.

“African culture is not about paganism. If we do not promote our culture, it will soon die out and we will lose our identity,’’ he said.

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