The Queenmother of Aburi Atweasin in the Akuapim South District of the Eastern Region, Nana Afua Safoa, has accused the Chief of Aburi, who is also the Adontenhene of the Akuapem Traditional Council (ATC), Otoobour Djan Kwesi II, of being behind a recent chieftaincy dispute in the area.
According to her, the Aburihene asked his Senior Linguist and other elders of the area to re-install one Nana Frimpong Kodua II as against the accepted and recognised chief of the area, Nana Otutu Obrempong Kumah II.
She explained that the development is, therefore, creating pockets of misunderstanding and insecurity among the people of Aburi Atweasin, which is one of the three divisional chiefs under the Paramount Chief, Otoobour Djan Kwesi II.
Addressing the media at her private residence at Adenta over the weekend, Nana Afua Safoa said the process of re-enstooling the said Nana Frimpong Kodua was influenced by Otoobour Djan Kwesi II.
She indicated that the two parallel chiefs have clashed at different functions to perform various traditional rites, a situation, which if not addressed immediately, would lead to bloodshed, since the supporters of the two chiefs have threatened to fight each other at any function they will meet.
Giving a background to the chieftaincy dispute, the Queenmother stated that Nana Frimpong Kodua II, Chief of Atweasin, was installed in 2010, but on August 22, 2017, he wrote to her and the kingmakers that due to ill-health, family issues and matters regarding the chieftaincy affair, he humbly appealed to them (Queenmother and kingmakers) to choose a successor.
She continued that the decision, which was further supported by a Statutory Declaration made by the chief at the Koforidua High Court on September 15, 2017, was duly accepted by the Queenmother and kingmakers, and the necessary customs and traditional rites were performed, thereby making the stool vacant.
In the said declaration, Nana Kodua II stated: “That after careful examination and surrounding circumstances, I felt that I could not perform my duties, and accordingly instructed the Queenmother and kingmakers to look for a successor.”
Nana Safoa I stressed that by virtue of the fact that she is the Queenmother of the area, she has the absolute traditional authority to nominate a candidate for the stool and install as a chief, hence, she wrote to the kingmakers of the area for a meeting to discuss the next chief of Atweasin.
The Queenmother mentioned that Nana Kwabena Osae Abotow, a former Amankrado of Gyankama, was nominated and accepted by the kingmakers and was duly installed as the Chief of the area on February 19, 2017, under the stool name Nana Otutu Obrempong Kumah II.
She expressed shock and surprise that two years after the installation of Nana Otutu Obrempong Kumah II, Abusuapanyin Kwame Djan and his cohorts filed a petition to challenge the installation of Nana Kumah before the Judiciary Committee of the Akuapem Traditional Council at Akropong
But, even before the Judiciary Committee of the Akuapem Traditional Council would call for a hearing of the petitioners, they (petitioners) took the law into their hands, and on February 13, 2019, reinstalled the former Chief, Nana Frimpong Kodua II.
To the Queenmother, the action of the Abusuapanyin was not only contempt of the Judiciary Committee of the Akuapem Traditional Council, but an affront to their traditions and customs – that a chief who abdicated the stool with its corresponding customs and traditions performed is reinstalled
Responding to the story when contacted at his palace, Otoobour Djan Kwesi II denied his involvement in the re-installation of Nana Kodua, adding that it is an affront to customs and traditions related to the installation and destoolment of a chief that a chief would abdicate his throne and later come back to it.
But he admitted that the Queenmother is raising this concern because she saw his Senior Linguist actively involved at the said re-installation of Nana Kodua.
He disclosed that despite the fact that the people of Atweasin have the traditional and cultural rights to enstool their chief without prior approval from him, he demands some basic traditional and cultural courtesy from them.
The Chief of Aburi described the chiefs and queenmothers of Aburi Atweasin as very disrespectful.
“The chiefs and queenmothers of Atweasin are disrespectful. They claim they are not under the jurisdiction of Aburi. So when there is an issue within the community, they don’t inform me, and rather send the issue to the Akropong Traditional Council,” he said.
According to him, whoever becomes the Chief of Atweasin automatically becomes the second in command for the Aburi Traditional area, where Aburi Atweasin is one of three divisional areas, hence, the Chief of Atweasin is a key player in the scheme of things.
He was of the view that if there is any problem, the media must not be an avenue for redress, rather, the Queenmother could have come to him and used the tenants of tradition and culture to address the issue, instead of washing their dirty linen in public.
On the part of the Abusuapanyin, even though there is a vacancy on the stool, the Queenmother single-handedly nominated Nana Kumah and further installed him as the chief of the area, a statement the Queenmother denied.