Akuapem people blame Akufo-Addo for escalating chieftaincy dispute

President Nana Akufo Addo
President Nana Akufo Addo

The people of Akuapem are characterised as a very peaceful people.
Their peaceful nature, the serene nature of the Akuapem hills and the rich culture of the People which are displayed during the Odwira festivals have made the area attractive to many people including tourists.

After the death of the Okuapehene Oseadeeyo Addo Dankwa III, the enstoolment of a new Chief, to succeed Oseadeeyo has led to litigation and violence which is escalating every day.

As part of the efforts to impose the supposed Odehye Kwadwo Kesse on the people of Akuapem, a battalion of heavily armed soldiers and police stormed Akropong and broke into the Okuapehene’s Palace under the pretense that the Okuapehemea and the Akuapem Asonahene Nana Kwasi Omenako II had stockpiled arms in the Okuapehene’s Palace and that gave the opportunity for the government backed Kwadwo Kesse to be planted by the Military and Police as the Omanhene of Akuapem even when he had not gone through the full process of enstoolment.

This is still an issue before the National House of Chiefs.

The role of the government in the Akuapem Chieftaincy conflict is very visible for many reasons. The destruction of the Okuapehene’s palace to allow Kwadwo Kesse to occupy the palace as Okuapehene even when a court of competent jurisdiction had established a case of contempt against him and the open acts of violence by the supporters of Kwadwo Kesse against the Okuapehemea and supporters of Nana Obuobi Atiemo II who had been duly nominated by Nana Afua Nketiaa Obuo II , the Okuapehemea of the Akuapem Traditional Area gives credence to the assertion by many Akuapem people of government’s support to Kwadwo Kesse and his faction.

It is worth mentioning that in the course of the conflict, the government sent a high powered delegation to the Okuapehemea, with about 100 sheep, 100 Cartons of drinks among others to beg the Okuapehemea to entice her to agree to recognize Kwadwo Kesse as Okuapehene. The government delegation was led by Nana Asante Bediatuo, the President’s Executive Secretary.

The Okuapehemea has suffered many violent attacks including the burning of her Palace and her vehicle by unknown people, but no attempt had been made to find the assailants by the police. The Akuapem Asonahene, Nana Kwasi Omenako II, who is traditionally the Abusuapanyin of the Asona Royal Family and a key person in the enstoolment of the Okuapehene was arrested without any reason. He was however discharged the same day of his arrest.

The Akuapem Chieftaincy conflict was escalated on 6th of August 2022. The escalation of the conflict relates to the ban on funerals and noise making which is effected about thirty days to the Odwira festival. It is a common practice to give a grace period of one or two weeks after the Adaebutuw ceremony when the ban on funerals are effected to allow families to bury their dead family members when there is a huge backlog of dead bodies.

The Akuapem Traditional Council at its recent meeting decided to allow a grace period of two weeks after the Adaebutuw ceremony, for families who were unable to bury their dead bodies to do so. Unfortunately, the Abusuapanyin of the Okuapehemea (Nketiaa Family) is dead and the family decided to have a 40 day celebration on the 6th of August 2022 in the Okuapehemea’s palace which is within the two-week grace period decided by the Akuapem Traditional Council.

The Okuapehemea’s Palace is situated directly opposite the Banmuhene’s Palace. In the course of the 40 days celebration of the Abusuapanyin of the Okuapehemea, amidst drumming, Nana Afari Bampo, the Akuapem Banmuhene, stormed the Okuapehemea’s Palace with thugs to seize the drums of Okuapehemea and in the process, he ordered one of the thugs by name Prince Mantey (alias Kwadwo Brother) to shoot the drummers and the people who had gathered at the Okuapehemea’s palace . One of the Drummers by name Eric Boafo who was shot in the process of the attack by the thugs of Akuapem Banmuhene sustained serious injuries resulting in the amputation of his leg at the Koforidua Regional Hospital.
As had always been the case, the police have not arrested the culprit and the Banmuhene.
Many people are getting worried about the open insensitivity of the Police to the obvious crime and the attacks on the Okuapehemea and those on the side of Okuapehemea and the Akuapem Asonahene.
It is unfortunate that the government which claims to have solved the Yendi problems is fanning this dangerous conflict in Akropong especially when the President’s father is from Akropong.
The seeming involvement of the Akufo Addo government in the Akuapem Chieftaincy Conflict has affected the image of the government seriously and the popularity of the President in the Akuapem area.

The people of Akropong and Akuapem in General are very worried that the unchecked violence relating to the chieftaincy dispute may lead to a full blown conflict if things are allowed to continue like this.

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