The Asantehene, yesterday rejected the nomination of Dr Kofi Kodua Sarpong, as the Offinsohene, sparking wild jubilation among the residents. It was an embarrassing spectacle for his supporters.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, mince no words, as he chastised those who presented the ex-Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) boss to him for his blessings, saying they were influenced by dishonesty, money and materialism, although full aware that Dr Sarpong, was not qualified to occupy the vacant Wiafe-Akenten stool.
He advised the Queen Mother, Nana Ama Serwaa Nyarko, who made the selection to go back and in consultation with her elders select someone who is qualified for the position and capable of working to foster peace and development of the area.
The new candidate, Otumfuo, said, must be done as quickly as possible, adding he was ready to ensure that the right thing is done.
The powerful stool became vacant, following the death of Nana Wiafe Akenten III, Paramount Chief of Offinso Traditional Area in the Ashanti Region.
Speaking at his regular Thursday meetings with the chiefs and elders of Asanteman at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, the Otumfuo, exhibited massive degree of knowledge about the Offinso and the Wiafe-Akenten stool, mentioning names, dates, ancestry among others, portraying a man, well vested in tradition and various stools under him.
The 72-year old Otumfuo’s rendition of events dating back to 1930, won him thunderous applause with linguists several times prevailing on the gathering to keep quiet and allow him to speak.
He told the gathering that Dr Sarpong, whose ancestry and tradition, he traced to Beposo, was not qualified to occupy the Wiafe-Akenten stool, although by social stature and other achievements, he was qualified.
Sounding rather angry, he blamed the Queen Mother and the one family head for desperately trying to twist the facts and tradition to force Dr Sarpong unto the Wiafe-Akenten stool, insisting that he would not countenance wrong.
He absolved the ex-GNPC boss of any blame, insisting that people tried to take advantage of his lifetime achievements.
Yesterday’s gathering was Otumfuo’s final pronouncement on the matter, following the protests and a petition by residents of Offinso over the selection of Dr Sarpong by the Queen mother and others.
Otumfuo, after receipt of the petition, set up a five-member committee to investigate the matter and eligibility of Dr Sarpong and report to Asanteman.
Ahead of the report last week, there were claims of money exchanging hands among some people.
After the report was submitted, Otumfuo rejected its content that said Dr Sarpong, was qualified to occupy the stool, and postponed his verdict to yesterday.
Most townsfolk see Dr Sarpong, who recently built a plush mansion in the town as a usurper, insisting he is from the Beposo Asona Royal family and not from Dwamena and the Wiafe Stool of Offinso.
They asserted that he is from Beposo, a town in the Bosomtwe District of the Ashanti Region, where his parents and other relatives are buried, and where he stands a better chance of becoming a chief.