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OPEN LETTER TO OKYEHENE

The inspiration to write this open letter to you is drawn from an advertisement I saw in the daily newspapers that you are celebrating the 20th anniversary of your ascension to the Okyeman Stool this coming Saturday,  December 14,  2019.

I confess, I love the advertisement. Your picture depicts a handsome noble King, in full royal regalia, looking strong, full of life, and the dream of every man. Thank God for packaging you in such a glorious manner.

Twenty years on the stool as Okyehene. To God be the Glory. I recall 1999, when I was an NPP Parliamentary Candidate for Berekum. The Okyehene flamboyant Dr Agyemang had died and there was clamour for the successor. My learned friend Atta Akyea, now Minister of Works and Housing was touted as a challenge for the Stool, and I remember he told me in court one day that, he was not interested.

Then you were installed, apparently literally from nowhere, with an interesting stool name: AMOATIA OFORI PANIN.

Twenty years down the line – see how time flies, Osagyefo. What is the track record? Score sheet? How far have you come?

I don’t live in Kyebi, and I am not an Akyem, so I may not be competent to evaluate your stewardship across twenty years, but as a social communicator on national issues, looking through my binoculars, I can tell you a few home truths that most Ghanaians feel about you.

First of all, you have really brought MAJESTY to the stool. The most memorable of your majestic royal appearance was the funeral of the late Ga Mantse Nii Amugi II in 2006 or thereabout. Your entourage was so bombastic that you forced the convoy of Vice President Aliu Mahama with all their sirens and security and what nots to change course. That was indeed remarkable.

Formerly, the Accra Kumasi highway passed through Kyebi but now because of the new road, Kyebi is “out in the woods”. Recently, I came to court in Kyebi and I was visibly impressed – all the roads tarred, very neat, and fresh new buildings linking the suburbs to the Kyebi township – Osagyefo, you are doing well.

Recently, you invited Otumfuo the Asantehene to pay a historic state visit to Kyebi which broke all records, and the decision to invite the new Ya Na as Guest of Honour to your Anniversary Durbar is very remarkable. I can imagine the Dagombas joining Kyebi with magnificent smocks and culture at its best.

Osagyefo, may I offer a few suggestions to enrich your reign as Okyehene?

You are OKYEHENE, NOT Omanhene of Kyebi Traditional Area, but the King of the AKYEMS with a very proud traditional history. What is preventing you from elevating powerful famous chiefs under you – BEGORO, AKWATIA, SUHUM, ASAMANKESE, KADE – to paramountcies?

At the time of independence, Asanteman was made up of less than 15 Paramountcies. Today, there are 35 Paramount Chiefs serving Asantehene!!!!

Look at Eastern Regional House of Chiefs – according to history, ANUM and BOSO are both Paramountcies, but both towns on the Volta estuary can be swallowed up by a side street in Asamankese!!!

You are a KING of the Akyem State, so when you sit down you should be surrounded by Paramount Chiefs, NOT Divisional Chiefs. Nana, think very hard about this.

How about the myriad of Chieftaincy squabbles in your Kingdom? What are you doing about them? Put your foot down and insist on the right thing being done, if you want to destool your chief, follow laid down customary practices, period.

When Nana Addo became President of Ghana, in January 2017, he went to Kumasi and Otumfuo the Asantehene told Nana Addo something which was captured on television, nationwide. He said: “Where you have reached in life, as a person you don’t need money, so don’t let the craze for money cloud your actions. Don’t let people eat into your beard…”

Osagyefo, the whole of Okyeman is yours, all the gold, bauxite, and rich natural resources. Revenue from stool lands and “tributes” from your principal subjects should be more than enough to maintain your household. Let it not be said or whispered or even thought of that you are in any way associated with or remotely related to any galamsey operations.

What happened to your pet project University College of Agricultural Studies at Bunso? We don’t hear much of it these days.

And, Osagyefo, Asantehene has the conquering soccer warriors fabulous Kumasi Asante Kotoko; Dormahene has the former League champions Aduana Stars………….how about Okyeman? When I was in elementary school, I used to hear of SUSU BIRIBI – the Kwabibirisu boys – what happened to them?

Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panyin, Okyehene, thank God that He has kept you alive all these 20 years, to see a son of your soil become the President of Ghana. Try and get as much as you can from him – he has five more years ahead as President – for instance let him bring a High Court to Kyebi, and let him expand your University project at Bunso………………

God bless you, Osagyefo.

Nkrabeah Effah Dartey

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