Thursday, March 5, 2009


THE new Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, has had the baptism of fire over his statement that the Asantehene is a super chief.
He had the baptism at the Manhyia Palace last Thursday.
During his vetting before the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Mr Opoku-Manu was questioned by one of the members of the committee as to whether the Asantehene was a chief and in his answer, he described the Asantehene as a “super chief”.
But when he paid a visit to the Manhyia Palace to introduce himself to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Mr Opoku-Manu came under criticisms for the statement he made.
The Akyempimhene, Oheneba Adusei Poku, who raised the issue, said it was wrong to described the Asantehene as a chief or super chief, pointing out that the Asantehene was the King of Asanteman and should be described as such.
Oheneba Poku explained that the Asantehene was far above a chief, stressing, “In our tradition, a chief is the traditional ruler from paramount chief and below”, he said.
The Akyempimhene, a lawyer by training, said by the Chieftancy Act, it is only the Asantehene who had the power to create a paramountcy in the country. “How then can you call the Otumfuo a chief”? He questioned.
The Akyempimhene said the Asantehene had 66 paramountcies in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions owing allegiance to him and that depicted his greatness.
He advised the regional minister to always consult the Manhyia Palace for advice so that his administration would be successful.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu told the regional minister that he had a herculean task before him since he would be working in an opposition stronghold.
He was, however, confident that the regional minister would succeed if he moved to bring all on board.
He urged the regional minister to deal firmly with the security issues in the region to give the people the peace to do their legitimate business.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu also advised him to initiate new projects and continue with the ones started by the previous government.
He spoke against haphazard development in Kumasi and other parts of the region, stressing that that practice must be seriously addressed.
The Asantehene called on the government to transfer issues bordering on chieftancy and land to chiefs to deal with them since it was easier for Nananom to settle matters of that nature.
For his part, Mr Opoku-Manu said he was at the palace to seek the blessing of Otumfuo because without that, he could not succeed in his work.

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