The replacement of the Akuapem Paramount Chief (Okuapemhene) which started with the process of Selection of a new Omanhene to replace the late Oseadeeyo Nana Addo Dankwa III suffered some setback on Tuesday.
According to the traditions and customs of the Akuapem people, before one becomes a Paramount Chief of the Akuapem traditional area, the person goes through a four-stage process of Nomination, Selection, Enstoolment and the Installation.
In line with the traditions, the Selection process started in the Palace of Nana Kwasi Omenako II who is the Akuapem Asonahene and the head of the Akuapem Asona Royal family in the morning of yesterday (5th December 2017) when the Okuapemhemaa Nana Afua Nketiaa Obuo II introduced Kwasi Akuffo of the Sakyiabea gate of the three royal lines to the Akuapem Asonahene , Nana Kwasi Omenako II as the proposed Omanhene-elect of the Akuapem traditional area.
The proposed Omanhene-elect who is known in private life as Kwasi Akuffo is a 63-year-old Journalist by profession and a private businessman.
The teeming crowd who had gathered at the palace of the Akuapem Asonahene could not hide their joy.
They burst into uncontrollable jubilation when the name of Kwasi Akuffo was announced to them as the Omanhene-elect of the Akuapem traditional area. Some of the citizens could not help but shed tears that it had taken such a long time for the Akuapem state to have a fitting replacement of Oseedeayo Addo Dankwa III who ruled for 41 years.
Some of the members of the crowd complained that it had taken a long time for the Akuapem state to have an Omanhene-elect but they expressed satisfaction for the announcement of the proposed Omanhene-elect on the basis that he is a mature person with indepth understanding of the Akuapem traditions and the problems confronting the people.
As required by the traditions for the Selection process, the process continued at the Palace of the Akuapem Paramount chief, where two sheep were slaughtered on Kwasi Akuffo in a ceremony performed by Nana Adu Panyin, Akuapem Adumhene in the presence of the Akuapem Asonahene, Nana Kwasi Omenako II.
After the slaughtering of the sheep, he was sent to “Mogyawere” which is the Palace of the Adumhene , Adu Panyin II , for confinement between one week and forty days in order to go through a traditional tutelage.
When the traditional ceremonies were being held at the Okuapemhene’s palace, Nana Yaw Afari Bampoe, who is the Baamuhene and a group of some young men attempted to disrupt the traditional process whilst the crowd booed and cursed them for fomenting trouble in the Akuapem state.
Not too long after the attempted disruption of the traditional processes for the selection and confinement of Kwasi Akuffo as paramount chief-elect which had gone on smoothly, the faction led by Nana Osim Kwatia, Chief of Amanokrom and Akuapem Gyaasehene , Nana Yaw Afari Bampoe, the Baamuhene and some chiefs brought Kwadwo Kesse and slaughtered a sheep on him to mark the Selection of another Akuapem Omanhene. The faction later forcibly broke into the palace of Akuapem Omanhene.
They forcibly took over the palace and installed Kwadwo Kesse to occupy the Omanahene’s Hall of the palace as a new Omanhene of Akuapem traditional area.
The action of the faction led by Nana Ossim Kwatia, the Baamuhene and other Chiefs angered many people who were prepared to fight to protect their palace and their historical properties. “How can a supposed Paramount Chief who has not gone through the process of enstoolment be made to forcibly occupy the Omanhene’s palace? This is a disgrace to the Akuapem state”, one angry member of the crowd stated.
It was later learnt that the police drove Kwadwo Kesse from the Omanhene’s palace and arrested the Baamuhene who was later arrested by the police had been granted bail.
Some of the people who spoke to this reporter alleged that some influential chiefs and people who occupy key positions at the presidency are behind Nana Osim Kwatia and the Baamuhene’s faction that forcibly broke into the Omanhene’s palace to install Kwadwo Kesse as Omanhene and that explains their open disregard for traditional processes and the laws of Ghana.
Reports say Nana Aggrey (Mawerehene) is a rich chief who is funding the Kwadwo Kesse faction.
A name that has popped up in the allegation of support from people with political authority is Mr Victor Newman, the head of Research at the Presidency in the Flagstaff House who is alleged to have gone to the Police Station to grant bail to Nana Yaw Afari Bampoe, the Baamuhene of Akuapem.
However, attempts to reach Mr Newman for his comments on the allegation proved futile as calls to his cell phone went unanswered.