The Badu Bonso Dynasty And The Reigning Years Of Ahanta Overlords – Part II

Mysterious Annor Asmah
Mysterious Annor Asmah
Spining

The Dutch invasion of Ahanta in 1838, left an indelible scar in the minds of Ahanta people. The damage caused to Ahanta both, physically and mentally were beyond repairs. Ahanta as a state was going to be left sharply divided forever and no effort made to unite it worked till today.

The Jan Verveer led forces burned all Ahanta towns from Takoradi to Cape Three Point. Several families migrated from Ahanta and it is believed that was the time when the people of Avatime, currently in the Volta Region left though others believe they left during the constant wars with Adom but whatever that it is, Avatime people are true descendants of Ahanta.

The Dutch in 1838 captured Badu Bonso II and beheaded him and took his head to the Netherlands. Several Ahanta nobles were also captured together with him. 5 of them were hanged in Elmina, 12 of them were sent into the Dutch West Indies and some 36 others were made to be slave on coffee plantations in Elmina. The Dutch abolished Ahanta kingship and forbade the rebuilding of Busua. For over 10 years the royal families could not come to their native home at Busua but kept wandering about.

The Dutch left a heavy military presence in Ahanta and spent the next 10 years chasing and killing Ahantas whom they described as rebels. Successive years were turbulent for Ahanta kings who came to the Busua stool. From 1838 to 1912, Ahanta kings had to go through difficulties to be recognized by Dutch government and later by the British government.

Welman (1930) described the situation as chaotic as the royal families were set apart due to the effects of 1838 war. The were tensions among the chiefs and royal families as they were sharply divided among themselves and left the Ahanta state completely disorganized.

Once again I am highlighting the personalities of Ahanta kings and the circumstances through which they came to the throne at Busua.

I. BADU BONSO VI
I am still investigating his identity as history is silent on him. As I am still researching, I am sure I will find some vital information on him and share it with my readers.

II. BADU BONSU VII ( NDA ASUA)
His maiden name was Nda Asua and assumed the title of Badu Bonso VII after his installation. He oversaw the shift of long years of Dutch presence in Ahanta to the years of British colonization of the whole of Gold Coast. It was during his rule that the British bombarded all coastal Ahanta towns in October 1873 for resisting British take over of Ahanta. The following year, Dr. Goldsbury who was the British Commissioner at the time visited Busua and imposed a fine of 56 ounce of gold on the Ahanta chiefs. The chiefs resisted paying it. The Commissioner increased it to 72 ounces and ordered the arrest of Ahanta chiefs before they paid the fine. Nda Asua being Badu Bonso VII died in 1874.

III. BADU BONSO VIII (AMANJAO)
After the death of Nda Asua (Badu Bonso VII), the Busua stool became vacant for 11 or 12 years until Amanjao was installed in 1886. The British government refused to recognize him as the king of Ahanta as the British constantly mentioned that the office of Badu Bonso was abolished in 1838 after Badu Bonso II was executed for rebelling against the Dutch. He died in 1901 after 5 years on the stool of Busua.

IV. BADU BONSO IX (ANOR KWAMNLA)
Constantly referred to Ano Kwamina but the right name is Anor Kwamnla and was installed as Badu Bonso IX. Just like all his predecessors from the days of Badu Bonso II, he was never recognized by the British government at the time. He also inherited a sharply divided Ahanta factions and internal wrangling among members of the royal family at Busua. The royal family members were on the throat of one another and king could not do much to unite Ahanta. He is reported to have died with a lot of regrets about the state of affairs in Ahanta.

VI. BADU BONSO X (WIA ASON)
Wia Ason was probably the most troubled Ahanta king ever lived. He assumed the title Badu Bonso X upon swearing the great oath of Ahanta but his reign was not peaceful at all. He had to face an intensified internal wrangling among the chiefs and members of the royal family. For 9 years he was acting and kept fighting for confirmation from the British government. After many years of internal wrangling, he was deposed in August 1919 after Kwamnla Kojo of Himakrom, Kra Kofi of Akentenkyi and Amua Gyebu of Apowa accused him of breaching the trust of the people. He was dragged to court and spent many years battling charges levelled against by some members of the royal family but in the end, he resigned and left the stool. On 22nd September 1920, he died at Sofokrom.

V. BADU BONSO X I (BADU TIAA OR FRANCIS COMMEY)
After Wia Ason was deposed as Badu Bonso X and died at Sofokrom on 22nd September 1920, Badu Tiaa also known as Francis Commey succeeded him. He was at the time a clerk with one of the prominent law firms in Sekondi. His installation was dramatic as Badu Bonso X refused to hand over to the family of Badu Tiaa the royal stool and it related paraphernalia. In fact, Badu Tiaa was one of the people who orchestrated the removal of Badu Bonso X from the Busua stool. His mother and Badu Bonso X were in court on protracted family litigations and accusations. In the end, Badu Bonso X handed over the royal stool and its paraphernalia to the English Commissioner at Sekondi. During his installation at Busua, a heavy police contingent was deployed to Busua to prevent bloody clashes. Also, a new stool was constructed the give him legitimacy as the king of Ahanta.

At the next prevailing opportunity, I will highlight the era of Badu Bonso XII, XIII and XIV. The current occupant of the Busua stool is Badu Bonso XV. He has so far been on the stool for more 50 years and the longest reigning Ahanta king to have occupied the Busua stool.

Ahanta Apemenyimheneba Kwofie III
dkwofie17@gmail.com

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