From Isaac Akwetey-Okunor, Nsawam-Adoagyiri
A group calling itself Kotoku Professionals Network in the Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area of the Eastern Region has warned the Overlord of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area, Osageyfo Amoatia Ofori Panin II, to stay away from Nsawam Adoagyiri lands.
According to the group, the Chief of Adoagyiri pays homage to the Kotokumanhene, and also plays the role of Ankobeahene of the Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area, and not Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area.
The concerns raised by the group are based on the fact that the Okyenhene, as part of activities marking his 20th Anniversary celebration of his ascension to the Ofori Panin Stool, decided to embark on a royal tour, which began from September 9 – 26, 2019.
The tour, among other things, is to interact with his people, undertake some tree planting exercises, and inspect some projects initiated by his chiefs.
A caravan of 52 medical practitioners are also expected to join the Okyenhene in some five selected communities, namely Asamankese, Achiase, Begoro, Asuom and Apapam, to provide free health screening on common ailments such as hypertension, diabetes and malaria.
The tour began on Monday September 9, 2019 from Adoagyiri near Nsawam (Adoagyiri is the entry point to Akyem Abuakwa from Accra), where the Overlord allegedly claimed Adoagyiri to be under his jurisdiction.
According to the group, the decision of Okyenhene to start his tour and plant trees at Adoagyiri was unfortunate, and that it was a traditional blunder caused by Osageyfo Amoatia Ofori Panin, since no historical antecedent from 1860 support his assertion.
Addressing the media on Tuesday, the Spokesperson for the group, Mr. Evans Nana Arkoh- Frempong Oware, revealed that all records available attest to the fact that Adoagyiri land was acquired by Chief Dompre from the Aburihene, who was originally Akwamu Guan.
He supported his argument that the Adoagyirihene, as Akyem Kotoku Ankobeahene, has never sworn an oath of allegiance to any Abuakwahene.
“As President of Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, we were expecting you in using your good office to solve the numerous disputes in the region, especially the 22 years Akyem Kotoku chieftaincy litigation,” he said.
He continued: “We, the Citizens of [the] Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area, Akyem Oda, plead with His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to extend his wisdom to the peaceful settlement of protracted chieftaincy matters, notably the installation of the Yaa Naa, among others, to help gift the good people of Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area an Omanhene, as Akyem Oda cries for socio-economic development.”
Mr. Oware stated: “The 22 years of chieftaincy dispute has brought the Kotoku Traditional Area to its knees, and would, therefore, like to remind the President [that] all these disputes hinder development and loss of lives and properties.”
“Citizens of the Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area, with its capital Akyem Oda, are among the most illustrious sons and daughters of Ghana and are flying high the flag of our nation on all fronts.
The institution of chieftaincy cannot be ruled out in the quest for development in any local area in Ghana, as the chiefs and subjects rally the people for developmental purposes and peaceful co- existence.”
Giving the historical background to the situation, the Kotoku Professional Network Spokesperson reiterated that tension developed between the Kotokuhene, Kofi Agyeman Nkanto, and his Ankobea Division, headed by Chief Dompre, following the Kyebi-Gyadam (Abuakwa-Kotoku) war of 1860.
“In the 1860 war with Kyebi, Dompre had an excellence chance to kill [the] Okyehene ATTA OBIWOM but refrained from doing so because of clan affinity, thus, the Okyehene, but Dompre belongs to the Asona Abusua, therefore, killing him would have been a heinous crime among the Akans.
“According to tradition, he should have allowed Kotoku national and military interest to take precedence over Abusua obligation. Kotokuhene refused to include Dompre’s name in the honour list after the war. This forced Dompre to leave with his subjects toward [the] southeast and finally settled at Adoagyiri.
“The withdrawal from Kotoku to Adoagyiri was physical separation and [a] political isolation of the Ankobea headquarters. His settlement at Adoagyiri was on Akuapem soil, which, of course, regards [the] Okuapemhene through [the] Aburihene as his landlord, and not Abuakwahene.
“Economic interest was the greatest factor which influenced the choice of Adoagyiri. It was at a crossroad. A trade route linked to Accra, and, therefore, the most important commercial centre in the Gold Coast. It was a strategic business hub that helped the Kotoku of Adoagyiri. Dompre became a household name across the hills to Akwamufie and lower Volta Basin.”
In 1869, the Kotoku-Krepi alliance, led by Dompre, went into battle with Akwamu-Anlo-Asante.
“This was written about Dompre: ‘The powerful assistance of Dompre, an Akyem Captain who had come to Krepi for the purpose of obtaining satisfaction from the Akwamus for some property of his countrymen, which the Akwamus had plundered them off, whilst peaceably trading.
“This man is undoubtedly the leading spirit of these districts, his name is a terror even to the Asantes themselves, and he has shown qualities which serve to indicate him as a man of remarkable energy, talent and daring courage. He alone, unaided, at the head of 400 followers, has defeated the Akwamus in two engagements against great odds, and at present is the barrier to a general subjucation of Krepi by the Asante’.
“In 1869, [the] Asantes saw the overbearing late Kotokuhene Agyeman reincarnated, so they resolved to get Dompre at any price, and this showed his prowess and quality as a first class soldier.
“It was Kotokuhene Kwabena Fua who healed the nine years old breach which had existed between the Kotoku Paramountcy and the Ankobea Division. After the Treaty of Akaanten in 1872, Abuakwa, under Okyenhene Amoako Atta I, raised a force of 5,000 to go to [the] aid of Dompre, but Abuakwa assistance eventually did not reach him, after he had won the war with Asante-Akwamu in 1869.
“On 30 May 1870, the British signed an agreement with Dompre, which gave him control over [the] eastern bank of [the] Volta. [He] used his power to protect and keep open trade in the Volta and defending his allies. They also agreed to pay him £200 per annum and supply of munitions of war.
“He was a loyal collaborator of the British in their efforts to establish a protectorate in the Lower Volta Basin.”
To this end, Mr. Oware argued that there was no record, both oral and traditional, that attests to the fact that Dompre had the land from the Abuakwahene, or swore an oath of allegiance to Kyebi.
According to him, if anything at all, it was Dompre who pursued the Akwamus from under the hills across the Volta to their present Akwamufie, and not the Abuakwas, for them to claim Nsawam-Adoagyiri. He, therefore, claims that the Okyenhene has no right to claim Nsawam Adoagyiri land.