Kumawu chieftaincy dispute worsens

The chieftaincy dispute at Kumawu in the Ashanti Region has deepened further, with the installation of a second paramount chief by the king makers yesterday.

This followed the kingmakers’ rejection and non-recognition of Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua (known in private life as Dr. Yaw Sarfo), who had been earlier installed paramount chief by a section of the chiefs and his subsequent swearing of the Oath of Allegiance to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu.

At a ceremony at Kumawu   yesterday dawn, presided over by Nana Akwasi Baffoe, the Akwamuhene, Barima Tweneboa Kodua IV, known in private life as John Kwasi Oduro, 56, a telecommunications engineer, swore the oath of allegiance to the elders and kingmakers of the traditional area.

The Ghanaian Times on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, reported of a looming chieftaincy crisis at Kumawu, as three out of the five surviving kingmakers of the paramountcy had rejected the installation of Dr. Yaw Sarfo as paramount chief.

After a protracted litigation, Dr. Sarfo was installed on October 30, 2014 and swore the oath of allegiance to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at the Manhyia Palace, on November 3, last year.

However, the three kingmakers, the Aduanahene, Nana Sarfo Agyekum II, Akwamuhene, Nana Akwasi Baffoe and the Akyempimhene, Nana Okyere Krapah — insisted that Dr. Sarfo was an imposition and, therefore, would not accept him.

According to the kingmakers, “the selection and installation of Dr. Sarfo was a ‘nullity’, since it did not follow due customary processes.”

In a statement issued yesterday, at the swearing-in ceremony of Barima Tweneboa Kodua, the Kingmakers said, the election and installation of the Kumawuhene was by tradition, the exclusive preserve of the king makers of Kumawu, and “we dare say, nobody can alter this”.

“Nobody can arrogate to himself this traditional function of ours, or clothe himself with the power to remove any chief of Kumawu,” the statement insisted.

“This is why the purported installation of Dr. Yaw Sarfo as Kumawuhene cannot be allowed to stand, because that clearly breaches time tested Asante traditional and customary practice. It is improper and amounts to an imposition,” it stressed.

According to the statement, the virtual lack of consultation with the king-makers presented no chance for the candidate to be thoroughly screened to ascertain his qualification for the revered office of Omanhene.

It noted that Kumawu has nine kingmakers, namely the Krontihene, Akwamuhene, Nifahene, Adontehene, Akyempimhene, Kyidomhene, Benkumhene, Ankobeahene and Gyasehene.

It said four of the King makers were deceased at the time of the illegal installation of Dr. Sarfo, and of the five remaining three, including the Krontihene, the then acting President of the Traditional Council, were ignored in the process, culminating in his swearing of the oath of allegiance to the Asantehene.

The statement said it should be obvious to everyone that a dangerous precedence would be set if “we the kingmakers, play dead or become petrified into inaction and allow the illegality to hold”.

“We have a duty to Kumawuman, our ancestors, ourselves, the present and future generations, to fight for what is right and just,” the chiefs stated.

 

From Kingsley E. Hope,

Kumawu

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