There is a developing conflict in the air which we must collectively, as a nation, quickly nip in the bud before it blooms out, or the word should be, booms out.
Recently, a faceless narrator on a social media video clip had all the bad words about the Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II, King of Asanteman, adding strongly that he should abdicate the throne or he would be impeached, sort of.
There seems to be some sections of Asantes, who, for reasons best known to themselves, would rather have another king. But, of course, that can be said to be normal. However, as things stand, there are no serious allegations to force the king to abdicate, except the unfounded rumours all over the place, some of which even were made against his married daughter and her alleged relationship with ex-president John Mahama, which, as alleged, resulted in pregnancy. The sins of the father were visited on the children you may say, for it happened not to be true.
Outside the Asante Kingdom, there seems to be another wave of attacks against Otumfuo from another Akan chiefdom. For firing into the umbrella of the king’s representative at a funeral could be a declaration of war against the Asantes; kidnapping of a chief loyal to the Golden Stool is another.
Then, what could be equally unacceptable was what happened when the king came to Accra to introduce himself to then President Jerry John Rawlings.
President Rawlings poked his fingers into the face of the new king, blaming him for a statement made on an Accra radio by someone who gave his name only as Anthony or something like that. How Jerry got to know that the caller was an Asante, and might have links with Manhyia, is a mystery to this day.
Having stated the above, it looks like someone is really bent on either deliberately or inadvertently breaking up Ashantis for political gain. As it is now, there are three blocs perceived to be attacking the King, and hence, the Golden Stool. The first, which is the most dangerous, because they cannot be seen, are the faceless propagators of rumours and half-truths just to whip up the sentiments of the subjects against their King; then there are also allegations of the Akyems doing their own thing against the King, and now it is alleged that the government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), led by President Nana Akufo-Addo, is also attacking the King. The Akyem factor is all the more serious, for whether it is true or not, it looks like someone wants to bring the Akyems and the Asantes onto the battlefield. And the sad thing here is that it is only one paramountcy of Akyemmansa, which is pushed into the smear campaign against the Golden Stool, the Abuakwas. The other two paramountcies, Kotoku and Bosome, are out of contention, however, once they are Akyems, they would be dragged into the mess and also labelled anti-Asantes.
What is probably happening is that someone wants to set the Akyems and the Akyem President on one side against the Golden Stool, and, eventually, all Asantes on the other. I heard somewhere that there is a political agenda to break up the NPP by fanning great differences among the Akans, since sowing seeds of discords yielded no fruits. So, someone wants to alienate Asantes from all other Akans. If it must work now, this is the opportunity: set the Akyems against the Asantes, after all, with an Akyem President, the resources would not be difficult to find to execute this final war against Asantes and bring them to their knees. What better way of achieving this and looking innocent, with the NPP in power and overseeing the destruction of NPP strongholds.
I will plead with all the warring factions to cease fire and sit and see into this diabolical plan and fish out the real perpetrators, because if this is allowed to stand, it will not be NPP that will break up, but a civil war would ensue. Because, any Asante who, in truth does not like Otumfuo, would be branded an Against and attacked. And so, to defend themselves, all Asantes would have to unite and attack all Akyems, even as they are their in-laws. A tribal war involving Asantes will be tribal wars involving all tribes; mind you some tribes have scores to settle with others and would gladly seize this opportunity to do so.
To those who do not have respect for the Golden Stool, let it be known that the Asante Kingdom is among the most revered in Africa, and all Ghanaians should feel proud of that, whether one is Asante or not. It is a stool that cannot be bought or negotiated for.
When, in 1999, then President Jerry John Rawlings wanted to have his choice as Asantehene, he was said to have sent emissaries to Manhyia with truckloads of gifts of expensive liquors and assorted drinks among others. Before the emissaries could get back to Accra, an entirely different name was announced as the nominated Asantehene. Rawlings and his wife, an Asante, did not attend the coronation.
Earlier, when in 1970 Prime Minister Busia and the Progress Party government wanted Ambassador Jacob Matthew Poku to be Asantehene, they gave him official courtesies when he arrived from Italy all the way to Kumasi, and the signals were clear, and he became Asantehene on July 6, 1970. Diplomacy and not corruption won the day.
You do not bribe the Golden Stool, neither do you force your desires on it. Let everyone know that all tribes have their dignities, and they must be respected.
The Asantes and the Akyems are now in-laws, and this should be the reason for them to forge unity and be the focal point of uniting the over 21 million Akans within Ghana and La Cote d’Ivoire, and the millions in Central and South America, as one.
Asantes behind these attacks on the Golden Stool should know they are attacking the very soul and spirit of Asanteman. There are liberal ways of addressing issues against the occupant of the Golden Stool, if they do have any. Those who are not Asantes should learn to mind their businesses and let the Kingdom of the Golden Stool be. Even if those Asantes, who, for reasons despise the Asantehene, would join in the fight against the King, once it comes clear that the Golden Stool and Asanteman are being attacked, they would turn round and fight their allies to protect the stool.
Ghana is not going to break apart in wars and strife under this regime, and those who wish the fall of Asanteman should be ashamed of themselves.
The Golden Stool of Asanteman, Thy Kingdom Come!
Hon. Daniel Dugan