An otherwise affectionate relationship which existed between young boys in the Palace of the Bantamahene; Baffour Owusu Amankwatia IV in Kumasi, who would grow up to be the occupants of the powerful Golden Stool of the Ashanti Kingdom and its second in command, is being destroyed by rumours, gossip, self-interest and outright lies.
This is said to be affecting the smooth development of the Asanteman, particularly the Kumasi Metropolitan area and its environs, The Herald, has learnt.
Oral history, has it that the Bantama stool first occupied by Baafoɔ Amankwaatia, which is the second in command in the Ashanti Kingdom, is a well-respected stool with its occupant designated as commander of the military wing of Asante Kingdom, is an embodiment of steel and valour answerable only to Asantehene.
But The Herald’s findings are that, Baffour Owusu Amankwatia VI, the current Bantamahene known in private life as Sylvester Asare Owusu and Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, have had a very excellent relationship, leading to the former twice being appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Kumasi Asante Kotoko Football Club, owned by Asanteman.
Baffour Owusu Amankwatia VI, is said to have occupied the stool almost seven years ago, following the death of his elder brother, Baffour Asare Owusu Amankwatia V, there is suspicion that people are desperately working behind the scene, trying to destroy the admirable relationship which has existed between him and Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
Indeed, there are reports that, some individuals within the Asanteman Council, have collected money from someone in Canada to eventually become the Bantamahene, stooled by the Asantehene for the Canadian resident to assume the position.
The rumours, gossip, self-interest and outright lies, The Herald learnt is said to have stalled many projects in Kumasi, including the construction of the largest lorry terminal in West , which was to raise revenue into the coffers of Asanteman to augment what central government provides through the KMA development goals.
A 12-page document sighted by The Herald, had Baffour Owusu Amankwatia VI, painstakingly responding to several allegations levelled against him before the Kumasi Traditional Council headed by the Asantehene.
The allegations, included claims that the Bantamahene, had hijacked a Ghana Health Service Building facility, that he had sold a parcel of land opposite the Metro Mass Transit at Abrepo Junction, the sale of some 140-acre land known as the Asare Farms at Aduwomase, dispute of the Asare Bediako deity at Adawomase, the sale of a 57-acre land known as the Pentecostal Estate by one Opoku Mensah, who claimed to have bought it from the late Baffour Asare Owusu, to be used for real estate, but being sold to private individuals.
From the document in the custody of The Herald, land and leadership squabbles, have been the source of the allegations against the Bantamahene, particularly the Aduwomase area. But he has denied the claims with the document served on the Kumasi Traditional Council, insisting that he had rather sought to straighten things by fighting land theft through misrepresentation and fraud.
Some of the land disputes, including the Bantama Gyasehene’s mother’s land at Asenemaso used for Goil Filling Station is currently before Otumfuo’s Land Secretariat and resolved by Nana Apagyahene. One other issue dealt with by the Asantehene, is the Race Course matter which has an aspect of it in court with a case titled: S. Avoka Co. Ltd. VRS KMA & 2 Others.
Aside allegations about the lands, including one about the Nkoransa land leveled by Nana Nkoransa Odiko, there was also allegation about Dumakwai lands which was subsequently denied by the Odikro, The Herald also sighted dispute over the Kokoben Odikro Enstoolment, the Bekwaime and Moseaso town issue.
Interestingly, Otumfuo himself, was late last month, quoted as expressing worry about the activities of Bantamahene, which he said disgraces him as the overlord of the Asante Kingdom and the traditional stool that Baffour Owusu Amankwatia VI occupies.
Bantamahene, was said to have appeared on February 20, 2023, before Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and the Kumasi Traditional Council (KTC) over double sales of land to one Mr Amponsah and a church, creating confusion between the two.
Otumfuo, was said to have allowed Baffour Owusu Amankwatia VI, less than five minutes to speak at the durbar, other chiefs at the council had less than three minutes to speak, butMr Amponsah and his wife, Bantamhene’s accusers in total had over 50 minutes to speak.
Interestingly, the history of the land was that it was leased for a poultry farm which had ceased operation and the residents wanted Mr Amponsah kicked out from the place for a nurses’ training school built by the state.
Bantamahene, had given it out to them until an order from the Otumfuo’s land secretariat. The order from Manhyia, revised the initial plans for the land by the residents.
However, this was not properly captured. Bantamahene, was reported to have faced several criticisms over the decision to take back the land from the residents for their Nurses’ Training College, but he is reported to have told them there was nothing he could do about the directive from Manhyia.
Remarkably, the said Mr Amposah, was given back the land, although the residents wanted him out because his poultry farm, had ceased to operate and had failed to carry out any corporate social responsibility in the area, but rather selling the plots to others to build houses to the annoyance of the residents.
Media houses have quoted the Otumfuo to have resolved the land dispute between Bantamahene and Mr Amponsah, and directed Bantamhene to release all documents on the land to Mr Amponsah, whom he first sold the land to, and again directed him to return the money he took from the church within 14 days, as he promised before the traditional council.
Otumfuo was further quoted to have instructed Bantamahene to ensure that by 10 a.m. on February 21, 2023, all documentation on the land should be released to Mr. Amponsah.
Otumfuo, who did not mince words with Bantamahene, said, “Baffour, with the stature of the stool you occupy, if such cases come before me, it means you are disgracing me. This is not the first and second time, Baffour, be careful. If you don’t repent you will supervise your own destoolment; tomorrow I will not forget to dismiss you. Bantamahene don’t deserve this prosecution. You are lowering the stature of the Bantama stool.”
“Baffour, what are you looking for in this world, how much debt do you owe for this too much rush for money, why? Because of your father, you are making things very difficult for me,” Otumfuo stressed in anger.
Otumfuo further stated that “this is the same way your elder brother came to disturb me until his demise; you are also repeating the same. You are making me regret something. This is not how your father managed things when he became the Bantamahene. Your father was never petitioned before the Kumasi Traditional Council, but why always you? So I gave you the inheritance because I knew you would walk in the path of your father. Now look at what you are doing. As we are speaking, there’s another pending charge against you now: on land, you used my name and sold it out.”
Otumfuo stated that Bantamahene doesn’t know the value of the Bantama stool he occupies, saying “the stool you sit on as Bantamahene you don’t understand the meaning and the value. If you don’t take care, the stool will sack you. You lose your reputation any time you appear before the traditional council for such wrongdoing.”