The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has sent a high-powered delegation to the Manhyia Palace in response to Chairman Bernard Antwi Bosiako’s invitation over remarks he made against the Asantehene.
The delegation, includes the National Chairman of the party, Stephen Ayensu Ntim; the National Secretary, Justin Frimpong Kodua; the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah; the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Member of Parliament for Suame, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu; and the Minister for Chieftaincy, Stephen Asamoah Boateng.
The Asanteman Council, has acknowledged their presence, but a confidential meeting by the traditional council is underway before they officially meet with the NPP delegation.
Last week, a picture of the Ashanti Regional Chairman, in an unknown hospital emerged on social media, with him looking very defrocked amid his ongoing battle with the Manhyia Palace.
No one knows what illness he is suffering from. The Ashanti Chiefs are waiting to show him his ancestral home outside the region after challenging the status of Asantehene.
The photo, shared on social media by Wontumi Online, Chairman Wontumi’s media house yesterday, January 25, 2024, depicts a stark departure from the man.
He looked like a sick child whose mother had abandoned him in a hospital; a very unusual sight of a man who is known for being boisterous, vile and vitriolic towards his political opponents.
Lawyer Maurice Ampaw, who attacked the chiefs on Wontumi TV, owned by the NPP regional chairman, over the summons had within hours beaten a retreat and issued an apology to the chiefs for his derogatory remarks.
The disparaging remarks, including accusations of thievery, adultery, promiscuity, and fraud, were made in response to the chiefs summoning “Chairman Wontumi.”
In an interview with Aduanaba Kofi Asante Ennin on GhanAkoma, Mr Ampaw stated,
“We are going to talk law, and no one is above the law. I will honour the invitation; you will clap for lawyer Ampaw on Monday. I am going with the truth. Otumfuo supports the truth, and I am going to lay bare the facts.”
However, speaking in an interview on Asempa FM on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, Maurice Ampaw retracted his statement and called on the Kumasi Traditional Council to forgive him.
“I am using this platform to tell Nananom (chiefs) that if my utterances were extreme and they see it very offensive, I retract and apologize.
“I believe that let Asanteman move on, there is so much to do in the Ashanti Region and there is so much at stake in this political area and my love for Bawumia and NPP still stands.
“It is my prayer that we all support Chairman Wontumi to bring victory to the party and also support Otumfuo to bring development to the Ashanti Region and Ghana as a whole,” he said.
The General Secretary of the governing NPP, Justin Frimpong Kodua, had previously appeared before the chiefs at the Manhyia Palace to address alleged unsavoury comments made by Chairman Wontumi, during a vetting process.
The impasse between Chairman Wontumi and the Manhyia Palace began when he challenged the authority of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, during a meeting of the NPP parliamentary primaries vetting committee last week.
Wontumi reportedly said that he had built his own kingdom, that he had his own police and military, and that he would speak his mind to Otumfuo if he disagreed with him on any issue.
His comments angered the chiefs of the Asante Traditional Council, who have since summoned Wontumi to appear before the Asanteman Traditional Council to explain his disrespectful remarks against the Asantehene or risk the shutting down of his TV and radio station.
However, Wontumi has denied making any such remarks and has claimed that he can never insult Otumfuo, even though he has not honoured his summons by the Manhyia Palace.
Instead, a delegation of NPP executives went to the palace and pleaded on his behalf.
The photo of Wontumi’s alleged sickness has raised speculations that he might be trying to avoid his summons by the Manhyia Palace or otherwise.
At the palace members of the Kumasi Traditional Council (KTC) disclosed their regret about going to the Jubilee House in one of their trips to Accra over lack of respect to them by the security detail at the Presidency.
Otumfuo’s respected linguist Nana Kofi –Wusu disclosed this to Justin Koduah Frimpong, General Secretary, National Organizer, Henry Nana Boakye, Ernest Owusu Bempah among other Ashanti regional executives of the party when they responded to summons the Palace sent to them over an alleged disparaging comment the Ashanti regional Chairman of the party allegedly made against Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II during the party’s parliamentary vetting ahead of 27th January 2024 primaries.
He said “there’s too much disrespect in how you guys are conducting your political activities even though some NDC and NPP members accord us the needed respect.
“Nana B and General Secretary Kodua we will not allow you to use politics through which you have acquired wealth and bought good vehicles, to destroy our respected Chieftaincy institution which we inherited from our Nananom’’ he warned.
Nana Kofi-Wusu disclosed “last time we came to your place I mean Jubilee House, the President had traveled then, so we decided to visit the Vice President. When we got there this was our treatment hay!! Don’t pass here, pass here, go! What they did to us in the Jubilee house oh. But you come here with pride, we even facilitate your coming to Manhyia without any frustration’’ he said.
He added” The treatment was very bad and humiliating. Most of you come to Manhyia with your cameras to even take pictures in Manhyia with Otumfuo including when shaking hands with Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and us when you come here don’t we allow you do all this easily’’ he asked the Kodua-led delegation.
Kyeame Kofi-Owusu told the New Patriotic Party’s General Secretary that the Kumasi Traditional Council will not sit unconcerned for the NPP to destroy Ashanti under their leadership as national leaders of the party.
“So Nana B, Koduah and all of you here, do you think we will allow you people in the time ahead of you to destroy Asanteman through NPP’s political activities? No, it will never happen. Kick out the odd one who wants to destroy your party and the relationship between Manhyia and the NPP. My proverb for you is that don’t allow one groundnut to destroy thousands of your groundnut. Remove the rotten one and throw it away for your peace’’ he counselled the NPP delegation.