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Asantehene Has No Coequal in Ga State

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Asantehene Has No Coequal in Ga State

Rather than dignifying the office of the Ga-Mantse by resolving ongoing power struggle among the three Ga royal-stool claimants, a group calling itself the La

Citizens’ Network decided to put on a nuisance show on the day that former President John Agyekum-Kufuor cut sod to officially launch his Center for Leadership, Governance and Development complex on the campus of the country’s flagship academy, the University of Ghana (See “Kufuor Must Pay Homage to La Chief or… - La Group” Ghanaweb.com 9/19/11).

The main grievance of the La Citizens’ Network was that the former president had scheduled a courtesy call on the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II, as part of the observance of a similar project earmarked for the campus of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, on the same day. For the La Citizens’ Network, Mr. Kufuor ought to have scheduled a courtesy call on the La-Mantse, the traditional custodian of Ga-Stool lands, including lands officially ceded to the University of Ghana, Legon.

Actually, it is the Ga-Mantse, the supreme overlord of the natives of the Greater-Accra Region, who ought to have been honored with such a courtesy call. Unfortunately, as Mr. Frank Agyekum, the former president’s official spokesman rightly pointed out, the abject lack of respect and dignity with which the traditional leaders of the Ga State themselves appear to regard the Ga royal paramountcy makes it extremely difficult for any “outsider” to reverse the prevailing “normative” course.

What must also be highlighted here is the fact that the Ghanaian founders of the University of Ghana, spearheaded by the putative Doyen of Gold Coast and Ghanaian politics, Dr. J. B. Danquah, did not hail from any part of our country lacking adequate land space on which to have caused the historic establishment of Legon in 1948. In short, the choice of where Ghana’s flagship academy sits today had more to do with the fact of Accra having been named capital of the Gold Coast Colony by the British colonial administration in 1896. Once the landed property was ceded by the La chief, or whoever represented or deputized for the Ga-Mantse at the time, Legon automatically became the collective national property and pride of all Ghanaians, rather than the especial preserve or eternal property of the people of Labadi or even Gas in general!

Consequently, the very notion that anytime that a major project is initiated on the campus of the University of Ghana, the key players or initiators of such venture ought to, perforce, pay homage to any sector of the Ga State constitutes nothing short of the height of the insufferably preposterous. If by their wanton misbehavior in recent years (and here, also, the reference is to the Ohene-Djan Stadium affair) the leaders and representatives of the Ga State and people want the government to steer all productive and meaningful ventures meant for the collective appropriation of Ghanaians at large away from our nation’s capital, then they had better promptly say so. And believe me, there would absolutely be no shortage, whatsoever, of suitable locations around the country in which to site such ventures and/or projects.

And on the foregoing score must be promptly recalled the fact that prior to their respective establishment in Kumasi and Cape Coast, for example, both the now-Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the University of Cape Coast (UCC) were bona fide and integral components of the University of Ghana. The latter’s Department of Science and Technology would be moved to the Asante Regional Capital to become the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. The erstwhile Legon Department of Education would also become the University of Cape Coast. Presently, there is also another University of Education at Winneba, also located in the Central Region. It must also be promptly pointed out that Accra was not Ghana’s capital until the British colonial administration relocated it there in 1896, the very year in which my maternal grandfather, the Rev. T. H. Sintim, of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, was born. And there is every reason to believe that should the Ghanaian people so decide in a future referendum, our nation’s capital could well be moved to a more convenient and agreeable space within the geopolitical confines of our rich and historic nation.

If the La Citizens’ Network is so desirous of having the traditional rulers of the Ga State accorded the kind of courtesy befitting the Asantehene, Ghana’s foremost monarch, then they had better demonstrate a more serious and dignified attitude towards the conduct of Ga chieftaincy affairs. One cannot cut off one’s nose to spite one’s own face and then expect neighbors and total strangers to accord one the same level of respect as those who deeply appreciate the facial beauty that an unblemished nose brings to one’s mien.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



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