Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi
THE Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has threatened to sue the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs and the National House of Chiefs over their refusal to give automatic recognition to paramount chiefs in Brong Ahafo who swear the oath of allegiance to him.
He said the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs had constituted a “research committee” which had resorted to scrutinising the paramount chiefs from Brong Ahafo who swore the Great Oath (Ntamkesie) to him before considering their admission as members of the house, a situation which, he said, ran contrary to tradition.
Besides, he said, the National House of Chiefs had not taken immediate steps to enter the names of such paramount chiefs in its register when they were forwarded to it, stressing that the situation tended to put the affected paramount chiefs in an uncomfortable situation.
Addressing the first meeting of the Asanteman Council for 2008 at the Manhyia Palace on Monday, Otumfuo Osei Tutu expressed regret that four stools in the Tano-Subin area of Brong Ahafo, for instance, which the late Otumfuo Opoku Ware II elevated to paramountcies more than 10 years ago, were yet to be recognised by the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs.
The Asantehene tasked the Standing Committee of the Asanteman Council to draft a formal letter to the Brong Ahafo House of Chiefs to remind it of the consequences that its action could bring about.
He noted that there was no question about the fact that much of the land in Brong Ahafo traditionally belonged to him, and that no one had the right to reject any chief who swore the oath of allegiance to him.
“People should not make the mistake that Brong Ahafo is not part of Asanteman. It is, and I, the Asantehene, represent the authority of Asanteman,” Otumfuo said.
He said he would not sit down for any chief from the Brong Ahafo Region to usurp his powers as the Overlord of Asanteman.
The Asantehene said one important aspect of chieftaincy was authority and pointed out that any chief from Brong Ahafo who rebelled against him should not be entertained.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu said the Asanteman Council was going to resolve chieftaincy disputes before it to enable peace to return to the affected areas.
He mentioned some of the areas as Mim and Banda, both in the Brong Ahafo Region, where there were two chiefs in each town, and Goaso, also in the Brong Ahafo Region, where there was a dispute between the Abusuapanin and the queen over who to enstool as chief.
Other areas include Jamasi, Adwafo, Adansi, Kumawu, Esumeja, among others.
The Asantehene said he would not sit down for people who were not royals to ascend stools, only to bring trouble to the communities and Asanteman in the long run.
“We have to follow Asante culture and tradition in the nomination, selection and installation of chiefs to eliminate litigation,” Otumfuo said.
He pointed out to chiefs in his domain that chieftaincy was not all about swearing the Great Oath, but how to lead the people to bring about the development that would enhance living standards.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu also touched on the confusion resulting from the siting of the capitals of some newly-created districts and said a way must be found to address the problem,
He disclosed that the Asanteman Council would write to the President to invite the Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment to brief the council on the creation of new districts and the selection of their capitals.