As Akuapem & Ga Stools Boil Under “Nana Abudani”
Questions are beginning to emerge as to what magic wand President Akufo-Addo employed in resolving the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute in the Northern region, but has failed to employ same tactics in those involving his paternal hometown of Akuapem Stool and that of Ga Stool in the Greater Accra region, where he lives and works.
But the question is answered by accusations that, some of his appointees are using state power and getting deeply involve in the crisis, including deciding who the occupants of the two prominent stools should be.
On the lips of some indigenes in the two traditional areas are President Akufo-Addo’s Director of Research in Jubilee House, Victor Newman in the case of the Akuapemhene chieftaincy dispute, while Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson, a former Metropolitan Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and currently a Council of State Member, has been linked to trouble within the Ga Chieftaincy institution.
President Akufo-Addo, fully credited himself as having brokered peace in Dagbon, although it is on record that long before his emergence, Presidents John Agyekum Kufuor, late John Evans Atta-Mills and John Dramani Mahama, had separately engaged some eminent chiefs led by the Asantehene Otumfour Osei Tutu II, to bring amicable solution to the crisis.
But in a speech during a durbar to mark end to the dispute in 2018, the President said, despite bringing peace to the area, he belongs to no faction coining the name “Nana Abudani”, the fusion of the two factions, Abudu and Andani.
Interestingly, that cannot be said for the chieftaincy disputes in for instance, Akropong-Akuapem, where similar dispute has been raging in an attempt to find a successor to Oseadeeyo Nana Addo Dankwa III.
A faction supported by Victor Newman, on May 1, 2020, shockingly installed 34-year old Odehye Kwadwo Kesse Antwi as Okuapemhene with the title Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akuffo Ababio.
The installation has resulted in the new Okuapehene, together with his kingmakers, been dragged to the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi by the Okuapeman Paramount queen mother, Nana Afua Nketiaa Obuo II and others.
A document filed by Nana Afua Nketiaa Obuo II and three others namely, Nana Kwesi Omenako II, Asonahene of Akuapem, Okromansa Amoah II Twafohene of Akropong and Odehye Kwesi Akuffo, are challenging the installation, arguing that the Judicial Committee of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, erred in declaring Odehyi Kesse, as the eligible candidate.
The document sent to the National House of Chief and intercepted by The Herald, insisted that in nominating a candidate, the Queen mother alone, cannot select a candidate from the Royal House, without the involvement of the Abrewatia, was also an error in law.
Aside the single suit by the four, there is another by one Obaapanin ObuoYeboaa, also known as Georgina Yeboaa Akuffo, against Odehyi Kesse, who was paraded on the streets of Akropong-Akuapem, arguing that he is a “pretender” who should be prevented from holding himself as Okuapemhene and doubling as the Paramount Chief.
Last Monday, a Presidential delegation made up of the National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah, the Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo and National Security Coordinator, Joshua Kyeremeh, who were sent to Akropong-Akuapem in the Eastern region, were massively embarrassed in a new twist to the raging Okuapem chieftaincy crisis.
This happened, when some youth in the area, hooted at President Akufo-Addo’s delegation after the Okuapem Paramount Queenmother, rejected two vehicles loaded with sheep and other items to pacify her to accept Oseeadeyo Kwesi Akuffo II, as the new Okuapemhene.
According to insiders, the OkuapemQueenmother, Nana AfuaNketiaaObuo II, feels disrespected by some elements of the Akufo-Addo government from the area, who had used state power and armed state security men, including soldiers and policemen to install Odehyie Kwadwo KesseAntwi as Okuapemhene.
The tough woman rejected the pleas of the Presidential delegation and drove them out of her residence, telling them to go and do the right thing.
The rejection, led to the youth hooting at the National Security Minister, the Executive Secretary to the President and the National Security Coordinator.
The delegation, led by Mr Kan-Dapaah and Nana Asante Bediatuo, who is a sub-chief from the Akyem Abuakwa, had travelled to Akropong with some 62 rams and 62 bottle of schnapps, to among others, plead with the Queenmother to withdraw a case she filed at the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi, against the installation of OdehyeKesseAntwi.
Several videos in the custody of The Herald, showed the youth, as well as elderly men and women at the residence of their Queenmother, registering their disapproval at the presence of the Jubilee House delegation.
In one of the videos, the entourage was seen stepping out of Nana AfuaNketiaaObuo II’s house after their botched engagement with her, being jeered by the youth and their seniors, while walking to board their posh SUV cars amid the singing of war songs.
The charged atmosphere, also saw women chanting and pointed accusing fingers at Mr Kan-Dapaah and Mr Asante Bediatuo, who had their heads bowed, while being shielded by bodyguards to their cars. The delegation was also heckled by the angry youth.
Without a word, members of the delegation who wore face masks as result of the COVID-19, walked past the agitated youth with their eyes tightly fixed to the ground with shouts of “we won’t agree! “We won’t agree!! and “you have been disgraced” among others, the youth continued chanting until the President’s delegation disappeared from the scene in their various top speed cars.
While, Mr Asante Bediatuo, wore blue black political suit holding a walking stick, Mr Kan Dapaah, wore an all-white linen sleek attire.
The Presidency, has been accused of meddling in the chieftaincy issue with President Akufo-Addo’s Director of Research, Victor Newman, mentioned as playing a very vital role in the installation of Oseedeyo Kwesi Akuffo II, a charge they have vehemently denied, saying the installation was done solely by the kingmakers of the area.
However, one Lily Agyemang of the Newman House in Daakye, Akropong-Akuapem, said to be the “Abrewatia” was the one who dragged the Queenmother to the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, challenging her selection and installation of the Odehye Kwasi Akuffo as the Okuapemhene, as replacement for the late Oseadeeyo Addo Dankwa III.
Odehyie Kwadwo Kesse, was installed on May 1, 2020, as Oseeadeyo Kwesi Akuffo II, to the displeasure of many Ghanaians.
It happened in the midst of the President’s ban on social gathering as a result of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, and weeks after their action, government went begging for forgiveness for disrespecting the Queenmother, and asking that the case at the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi, be withdrawn for peace to prevail.
The delegation upon arrival went into a long meeting with Nana AfuaNketiaaObuo II, and her subjects. While in the said closed door meeting, the rams, schnapps and the rest of the delegation, waited in packed vehicles parked on the main Akropong-Akwapim -Accra highway.
One other video seen by this paper, showed the huge rams packed in an Eicher Truck with registration number GS479-10, and Toyota Hilux with registration number UE 11-14.
Two Toyota Land Cruiser’s registered 2459-17and NR 9912-17, respectively were seen parked in front of the house. Other cars, including a Toyota Prado, Nissan Patrol, Pickups, and so on, were seen at the residence of Nana AfuaNketiaaObuo II.
The delegation, was given a tight security escort by uniformed Police Officers and a dispatch rider. But from what has been captured in the videos, the meeting did not go as expected, and they have since returned to Accra with their rams and schnapps.
It is unclear, where the 62 rams and the other items are now. It is also unclear, whether state cash was used in their procurement.
In Accra, the people of Ga Mashie, days after the Okuapemhene installation, also inducted another claimant to the Ga Stool under tight police protection as the President of the Ga Traditional Council whereas occupant of the stool, King Tacjie Adama Latse II, is still alive.
King TackieTeiko Tsuru II, known in private life as Dr. Kelvin Nii Tackie, was inducted at the Ga Mantse Palace about three weeks ago in the presence of some major chiefs under the paramountcy.
Here again, the new king is being challenged as the Ga Dzaasetse, Nii Yaotey Oto-Ga, has stated that King Tackie Adama Latse II, is the true and current Ga Mantse. He said to have been gazzeted by the National House of Chiefs.
He has, therefore, urged the public to treat publications in both print and electronic media on the introduction of a new Ga Mantse with contempt.
“King Tackie Adama Latse II, the Ga Mantse, was nominated, elected and enstooled Ga Mantse to succeed the late Boni Nii Amugi in accordance with customs, traditions, conventions and usages of the Ga state in 2011,” a statement signed by Nii Oto-ga said.
It is alleged that on October 20, 2017, armed policemen and soldiers from the regional Security Council removed the Ga Mantse from the Ga Royal Stool House and planted Dr Kelvin Tackie in the house.
The statement said, Kelvin Tackie, had earlier been vetted and rejected by the Ga Paramount Stool Dzase in preference for King Tackie Adama Latse II.
“We have been battling the authorities of the Greater Accra Region since October 20, 2017 to have the Ga Mantse’s Palace and the Stool House re-opened to allow him to perform his functions as Ga Mantse and President of the Ga Traditional Council until Saturday, May 9, 2020 when the regional minister had his choice of Ga Mantse purportedly installed. As law-abiding citizens, we would take appropriate action,” it said.
Ex-AMA boss, Adjiri Blankson, who happens to be a Council State of member, is allegedly behind the confusion, drawing powers from government.