The Okoman Council of the Akuapem Traditional Area and elders of Akropong have taken a jibe at President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Addressing a press conference in Akropong -Akuapem on Tuesday, August 30, 2022,
the Akuapem Frankaatuhene, Nana Kwao Kutruku, labelled the President as the main architect behind the ongoing chieftaincy impasse in Akropong Akuapem.
He said President Akufo-Addo’s meddling in the Akropong Akuapem chieftaincy matters, which portends grave danger for the people of Akuapem traditional area, dates back to the late 2017.
According to him, it all began with the passing of Okuapehene, Omanhene Oseadeayo Addo Dankwa III, in July 2015, and the subsequent death of the Oueenmother, Nana Dokua.
At the time, he said, Nana Dokua, in collaboration with the principal female elders (Mmerewatia), and the other kingmakers, had initiated the process of nominating a suitable candidate to succeed the late Omanhene Oseadeayo Addo Dankwa III.
“They nominated a royal, Frederick William Kwasi Akuffo (aka. Joe Farrel),” he said.
However, Nana Kutruku recounted that that process got truncated when Ohemmea Dokua also joined her ancestors, a year later.
And in line with the customs of Akuapem, he said Nana Afua Nketiaa Obuo II was nominated, selected and installed to succeed Nana Dokua.
“In line with established custom, Nana Affua Nketia Obuo II was tasked to continue the process of finding a successor to Oseadeayo Addo Dankwa.”
In the late 2017, he noted that Nana Afua Nketiaa Obuo II tasked the Mmerewatia and Nana Kwasi Omenako II , the Akuapem Asonahene together with the other kingmakers to join her in the installation of Odehye Fredrick William Kwasi Akuffo, under the stool name, Nana Obuobi Atiemo II.
At that stage, he recounted that Odehye Fredrick William Kwasi Akuffo was moved into a forty-day confinement as demanded by custom to undergo traditional training.
“It was at this stage that the late Victor Newman with the full backing of the President of the Republic interrupted the process by clandestinely and uncustomarily installing one Kwadwo Kesse as Okuapehene,” he narrated.
That act was in clear violation of Article 276 of the 1992 Constitution, the Akuapem Frankaatuhene intimated.
Additionally, he said: “Mr. President your 24th January, 2018, raid and assault of innocent men at the Okuapehene’s palace amount to a clear breach of Articles of 14, 15 & 18 of the Constitution and the consequences are spelt out in Article 2(4), so advise yourself.”
The statement further condemned the arrest of some chiefs such as Nana Ampem Darko and the Nana Kwasi Omenako II ( Akuapem Asonahene) in the military raid of 24th of January 2018.
According to the statement, the Akuapem Asonahene , Nana Kwasi Omenako II and Nana Ampem Darko who are prominent Akuapem Chiefs were arrested, thrown behind a Pick-Up and driven to Koforidua .
Nana Kutruku said the Mmerewatia has made it clear that Kwadwo Kesse is not a blood descendant of his father’s wife, Teiko, through whom he was claiming lineage to the stool.
“Both his biological mother and father are said to be citizens of Akyem Begoro. We demand a DNA test to disprove this claim,” he stated.
The installation of Kwadwo Kesse, he continued, was also supervised and controlled by the then “self-styled Amonokromhene” who was not a gazzetted Chief at the time.
“The slaughtering of a ram to commemorate Kwadwo Kesse’s installation was also performed by the Banmuhene who was then under an injunction by the High Court in Koforidua not to perform any chieftaincy function and for that matter should desist from referring to himself as a Chief,” he added.
The Banmuhene and Amonokromhene, the Akuapem Frankaatuhene recounted, broke into the Oforikuma palace under the cover of darkness to collect regalia for their “uncustomary installation.
“When word got to the United States where Kwadwo Kesse resided, sons and daughters of Akropong did not hesitate to condemn his installation. They described him as a tattooed, gangster-like man with criminal records in America. May his cohorts know that Okuapemman deserves better,” he stated.
Again, Nana Kutrukru lashed out at President Akufo-Addo for paying homage to Kwadwo Kesse at the Ofori Kuma Palace.
“Can decency stoop so low by the President of the Republic? After the installation of an unfit person, the President had the nerves to invite the Queen mother, Nana Nketiaa Obuo II , Nana Obuobi Atiemo and other elders of Okuapemman to the Jubilee House to coerce them to endorse and regularise the illegal installation of Kwadwo Kesse, promising them buildings, cars, money, etc.,” he alleged.
He said this “nefarious offer” was out rightly rejected by the queen mother and elders of Akropong Akuapem.
“As if that was not enough, a government delegation led by the National Security Minister and the Secretary to the President brought (62) sheep and (62) cartons of schnapps, etc., to appease the Okuapemhemaa and her Okoman elders to accept the illegal installation. This was also unequivocally rejected,” he added.
“About 3 weeks ago, against customary authority and without any provocation, the Banmuhehe led a gang of thugs to raid the Okuapemhemaa’s palace, and ordered that an innocent young man be shot by one his thugs. The victim has had his left amputated,” he averred.
He warned that events unfolding in Akropong Akuapem traditional area were sad and dangerous.
Furthermore, Nana Kutruku cited one Lily Agemang, who is half Indian and half citizen of Akropng claiming to be the most senior Obaapanyin of the Sakyiabea Royal Household.
“It is her face that the Jubilee House is using to perpetuate strife and discontent at Akropong. Lily Agyemang presented a fake gazette to the Regional House of Chiefs to try to satisfy her capacity question, without any consequence. With reference to page 197 of the 1974 National House of Chiefs ruling, we ask that has Lily any capacity to even summon the Okuapemhemaa before the House of Chiefs?” he quizzed
He also lashed out at the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, Rev. J.O.Y. Mante, charging him to mind his own business and not to meddle in Akropong’s chieftaincy matters.
“Papa Osofo “Di wo lane mu”. We are also aware of your arm twisting of the Akropong Presbytery that allowed the controversial Victor Newman’s body to be buried in the cemetery reserved for only Presbyterian ministers,” he indicated.
Against this backdrop, he called on Ghanaians to rise up and save Okuapemman from “tyranny.