....to JusticeGhana Group

 Welcome to JusticeGhana

JusticeGhana is a Non-Governmental [and-not-for- profit] Organization (NGO) with a strong belief in Justice, Security and Progress....” More Details

Who Shepherds the Asante Kingdom - The Good Shepherd

In this political-divide, Otumfuor could have redeemed himself from these routine unsubstantiated fallouts or perceptions if he had not mounted the palanquin shoulder-high. More recently, he gave a brief history of how the founding-fathers and mothers built the Asante Kingdom with their own sweat- rejecting offers from the British colonial administration probably because of its divide-and-rule system of governance that knocked heads. How could the Ghanaian “rekindle that [ancient] pride in the building of the oman/kingdom and sustain it,” to the satisfaction of our contemporary traditional rulers and kingdom where national politics is looting our collective resources in the name of nationhood?

Photo Reporting: The Good Shepehered

Witting about Who Shepherds the Asante Kingdom: The King, Politics or the Golden Stool, reminds us of Sandy Simpson’s [4] commentary: “The Responsibilities Of A Good Shepherd”. Because in biblical times it was an illustration people could easily identify with in their cultural context. “Middle Eastern cultures understood what shepherding was all about. It was about feeding the lambs and the sheep, bringing them to good pasture lands and water, grooming and clipping them, delivering new lambs, leading them and teaching them to stay together, going off after the wandering lost ones, and protecting the sheep in the field and in the fold. We are all under shepherds and Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd. We need to emulate what the Good Shepherd does for the sheep…” In the lead up to the 07 December 2012 general elections, rumours of armed attacks/robberies were so rife that the New Kumase was threatened feared for their livelihoods. Historically, the last-time Kumase was mercilessly ransacked, dates back to 1874. This was long after the passing of Nana Osei Tutu in 1717 and Nana Opoku Ware l.

Indeed the Britannica.com [5] observes that though Sir Garnet Wolseley Wolseley [and his expedition force marched on to Kumasi and managed to occupy the Asante capital for only one day, the Asante were not only shocked to realize the inferiority of their military and communications systems but also felt the weakening of the kingdom. “The invasion, moreover, sparked numerous secessionary revolts in the northern provinces. The old southern provinces were formally constituted the Gold Coast colony by the British later in 1874. Asante’s king Kofi Karikari was then deposed, and Mensa Bonsu (ruled 1874–83) assumed power. He attempted to adapt the agencies of Asante government to the changed situation. Although he reorganized the army, appointed some Europeans to senior posts, and increased Asante resources, he was prevented from restoring Asante imperial power by the British political agents, who supported the northern secessionist chiefs and the opponents of central government in Kumasi.”

Professor Adu Boahen (1975) notes that “By 1874 Asante has lost its vassalstates north of the Volta as well as south of the River Pra and had shrunk into the area of the present day Asante and Bono-Ahafo regions.” The fall, disintegration and the decline (1824 and 1874) are attributed to three main reasons: The first was the weak structure of the empire; second was the incompetence of the kings of Asante during that period and the third, and most decisive, was the defeats that the empire suffered in the wars it fought with the British during that period.” Whereas the 1874 defeat proved to be the landmark reason for the demise of the Asante Empire, it worth also noting that the fall and the disintegration of the empire could also be traced to the incompetence of most of the Asante kings who according to Boahen, lacked delicate diplomacy, tact and statesmanship which as JusticeGhana sees it, are crucial in nation building. “The first on the list was Osei Yaw Akoto, who was rash, tactless, an excessive drunkard and a king who had no respect for Asante customs and constitution. Not only did he plunge his army into the Battle of Dodowa without adequate preparations but he also declared war on Dwaben in 1832.” [6]

As Boahen puts it, this resulted in civil war and the migration of the Dwaben into Akyem Abuakwa for eight years and the consequent weakening of the empire. “When Kwaku Dua I succeeded Osei Yaw Akoto (1834-1867), he also turned out to be a great pacifist at a time when war was needed to win back the lost southern provinces.” J. K. Fynn [7] notes that the rising Ashanti Kingdom flourished under Nana Osei Tutu I, and during its ascendancy, save the Akyem nations who in an attempt to maintain autonomy and not crumble like the former superpower Denkyira and accordingly, fled across the River Pra to reinforce its military posts, assimilated the once powerful Denkyira into the growing empire in the early 18th century. But by 1742, Nana Opoku Ware I had fully eclipsed Akyemmansa into the Empire. Before or after 1717; Akyem was bedeviled with resistance and conflict, in revolting against Asante hegemony. But there came a time where due to its internal political rifts, some of its stools sided with Asante. In 1888 Nana Prempeh I acceded to the Golden Stool and the kingdom suffered further decline.

By 01 January 1902, Asante was proclaimed a British crown colony alongside its northern satellite states which separately, constituted the Protectorate of the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast. Asante Confederacy Council was minted under British rule in the 1930s, and the Asantehene restored as a figurehead sovereign. Yes Asante kings such as Kusi Boadum- the immediate successor of Nana Opoku Ware l and Osei Kwame- the successor of Osei Kwadwo Okoawia, who were forced to abdicate, and not least the distooled Kofi Kaakari, are always remembered for the woes of Asante kingdom. Traditionally; it is believed that if a king/chief is enstooled or named after a particular stool name, certain traits or customs are imitated and followed. Yes- Otumfour’s developmental consciousness- His educational and health missionary walks are admired and loved both at home and abroad. He must be applauded.

Yet the obvious questions remained unanswered: who shepherds the Asante streets and the tracks of Asanteman against the unsuspecting Fulani armed shepherds; rampaging thugs, sporadic fire outbreaks, the cold-blooded killings, the NHIS capitation murmurs, not forgetting the mounting environmental, ecological and sanitation helplessness enveloping Asanteman and the stalled gateway of Accra-Kumase? With these bad omens one is tempted to puzzle whether the historical Sikagwa Kofi has deserted Asante.




 1000 Characters left

Antispam Refresh image Case sensitive

JusticeGhana Group *All Rights Reserved © 2007-2013*Privacy Policy