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Comment: Did I Read Akumfi Ameyaw's Impugnation of My Ancestor Correctly?

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Comment: Did I Read Akumfi Ameyaw's Impugnation of My Ancestor Correctly?

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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The last several weeks on the Ghanaian political landscape have witnessed some of the most intriguing moments in our 53 years as a geopolitically sovereign British-minted corporation called the Republic of Ghana. The last several weeks have also eerily brought home to those of us who studiously care about the destiny of our polity that in no way and under absolutely no circumstances, whatsoever, can we take our meta-nationhood or nationality for granted.

Indeed, this was precisely what Dr. Joseph (Kwame Kyeretwie) Boakye-Danquah meant when he told then-Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah, on the eve of our country's liberation from British colonial rule, that postcolonial Ghana was veritably a voluntary association of sovereign nations the bulk of which shared a common language and heritage.

And, perhaps even more significantly, that at anytime that the principal associates, or citizens, firmly became convinced that those periodically entrusted with its stewardship were objectively at cross-purposes with the constitutionally ratified aims and aspirations of the people at large, two things, perforce, needed to happen.

The first of the foregoing historically occurred on February 24, 1966, when the neo-fascist dictatorship of the Nkrumah-led Convention People's Party (CPP) was auspiciously and popularly toppled by the Kotoka-led Ghana Armed Forces. Recently, however, some fanatical Nkrumacrats who either heartily jubilated over, and even penned and published morally scathing novels and critiques about the CPP and its megalomaniacal chieftain, or simply and conspicuously refused to put up any remarkable defense on behalf of their purported idol, have embarked on a quixotic campaign of canonical sanitization, by which flagrant measure the beneficent ouster of Mr. Nkrumah and the CPP comes to be vacuously and ahistorically envisaged as a regrettable act of externally-engineered aggression, while deviously and slyly ignoring Nkrumah's vanguard role as a pro-Soviet propagandist and docile policy instrument/tool against such widely perceived pro-Western adversarial African leaders as Togo's Sylvanus Olympio, Ivoires Houphouette-Boigny, and Mzee Kamau (Jomo) of Kenya, among a host of others.

The second contingency, fortunately, remains merely a “potentiality. And, of course, it dialectically inheres in the ability, over the long haul, of Ghanaian politicians to effectively foster an organic climate of geopolitical cohesion so as to guarantee the meaningful development of a collective sense of nationhood. To-date, almost every Ghanaian identifies him-/herself in terms of ethnicity and/or sub-ethnicity, with the meta-national concept of Ghanaian nationality largely acting as a convenient superstructure. And it is the seemingly daunting latter state of affairs that continues to ensure Ghana's fluxional  or between and betwixt “ state as a veritable Anglo-centric corporation, a patently neocolonialist polity.

And on the foregoing score must also be quickly pointed out that Nkrumah's at once desperate, neocolonialist and unimaginative attempts to balkanize as well as systematically destabilize the organicity and/or cohesion of the great Akan states, particularly Asante and Akyem, in a bid to expediently and hermetically entrenching his seal of de facto domination on Corporate Ghana at large, did a woeful little to impede the Euro-colonial disruption of a hitherto collective and fairly unified Akan multi-nation.

But that Nkrumah would paradoxically and systematically seek to balkanize and stultify, as well as ossify, the functional organicity of the globally celebrated “Akan Personality at the same time that the Nkroful Prometheus sought to progressively induce the salutary emergence of a mythical African Personality, is a conundrum that has yet to be objectively and meaningfully explained to Ghanaians and the world at large.

And regarding his evidently quixotic and grimly illogical attempt to balkanize and culturally regress the development of Ghana, at the same time that he overtly sought the salutary induction of African unification, this has been amply and eloquently discussed by such avid Africanist scholars and erudite historians as Basil Davidson, Richard Rathbone and Dennis Austin, to name a few.

And it is precisely the foregoing that brings us to the widely reported recent renewal of “ancient” hostilities between the Kumasehene and his former lieutenant (note here the glaring fact that I have consciously and appropriately desisted from the use of the rather unflattering term of vassal or subject), the Techimanhene.

I personally had earlier on decided not to join this otherwise purely familial fracas, even as a bona fide and direct descendant of His Majesty Otumfuo Osei-Tutu I, via Nkoranza, Bare Kese, Kokofu, Asiakwa and Dwaben's very own Nana Antwiwaa, grandmother of King Osei-Tutu I, and the legendary woman who brought and settled my forebears at Asiakwa from Adanse.

Actually, what prevented me from promptly and predictably weighing in on the Kumase-Techiman brouhaha was the abrupt and inexplicable crashing of the CPU, the Central Processing Unit, of my computer. And for purely visceral reasons, I firmly believe that it is all well and good that Osabarima Kwame Okoampa-Agyeman was unable to butt in when it seemed most opportune or timely. For, needless to say, I had also been gingerly waiting for Oseadeeyo Akumfi Ameyaw IV, the substantive Techimanhene and the apparent tinder-box of the Tuobodom-Techiman impasse, to directly address the issue.

Then finally, on Thursday, March 25, 2010, Nana Ameyaw Akumfi released an article captioned “The Techiman-Tuobodom Stand[-]Off: Setting the Records Straight” (Ghanaweb.com).

I must confess right off the bat that I came away from reading the Techiman chieftain's article/press release more fully convinced than ever before and uncontrollably livid over the fact that Nana Akumfi Ameyaw, counting on the partisan support of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), a party known more for its routine and cavalier violation of the human and civil rights of Ghanaian citizens than the democratic application of the law, may well have woefully underestimated the stygian depths of the troubled waters into which he had decided to plunge, particularly at the very moment when he summarily determined to effect his so-called citizen's arrest of Osabarima Baffuor Asare, whose royal moorings and heritage and chief-ship investment Nana Akumfi Ameyaw consistently impugned and cavalierly disparaged with such invidious epithets as “Mr. Kwadwo Mfante who styles himself as Omanhene of Tuobodom.

Anyway, for those loudmouthed Ghanaian journalists who pathetically confused the entire episode with a comedic folk theater, the truth of the matter is that even if the Techimanhene reserved legitimate authority, or rights, over the man who was allegedly stripped naked and mistreated in Nana Akumfi Ameyaw's palace, still it would be up to the royal family of Tuobodom and not the Techimanhene to determine which claimant/pretender to the stool was an Mfante, Frafra or bona fideTuobodomite.

I also personally feel deeply offended that rather than frontally address the grievances advanced against him, Nana Akumfi Ameyaw arrogantly decided to add insult to injury by sneeringly impugning both the integrity of the regnant Asantehene and that of an 18th century Nkoranza chieftain, Nana Baffo Pim, whom “Mr.” Akumfi Ameyaw claims changed gold in a pot being sent to [the] Kumasihene by the messengers of Techimanhene with gunpowder.

Precisely why the Techimanhene would send a cache of gold to the Kumasehene is not clarified, though the keen reader can hardly fail to appreciate the poignant acknowledgment of the legitimacy of the Kumasehene's authority over the Techiman chieftain.

Nonetheless, my quarrel here regards the Techimanhene's brazen castigation of Nana Nkoranzahene as a thieving mischief-maker. And then, also, precisely where did the sitting Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II, go wrong for the Techimanhene to make the following flagrantly condescending remark: It is noteworthy to mention here that if the then Kumasihene had enquired at that time[,] he would have known [learned?] that the Techimanhene would never present gunpowder to him or any other person which signified an invitation to do battle in those days. Today, in the 21st century when means of communications [sic] are even much better, the Otumfour [sic] has ignored to utilize any of them [sic] and has chosen the path of confrontational discord”?

Whatever the preceding means, it still does not answer the Techimanhene’s own admission that, indeed, he personally caused the apprehension of the Tuobodomhene – or is it the one who pretends to be known as such?  who was promptly abducted and brought into the Techimanhene.s palace, unforgettably tutored in the Royal Art of Subordination, and then stolidly handed over to the same law-enforcement agents who had consistently and, under both the tenures of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), flatly refused to arrest the Tuobodomhene!

Still, the most outrageous observation regarding the Techiman-Tuobodom episode came from a quite well-known NDC pen-pushing panjandrum who, curiously presuming to reserve the judicial and political right to call the Asantehene to order, idiotically proceeded to accuse Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II of invidiously and blindly using his Oyoko familial kinship to back the presidential ambitions and candidacy of Nana Akufo-Addo. You see, it is this sort of Volta-Viral Scatology (VVS) that causes me to persistently and consistently fault the Brits for callously throwing us civilized Akans  among those primitive Notsie Vagabonds. My profuse apologies for there are, of course, remarkable exceptions.

Then again, why do we even allow sourpusses who couldn't tell the difference between an Asonaba and an Oyokoba, on any particular day of the week, to savagely and shamelessly interfere in our ethno-sub-national internal affairs? Blame Boakye-Djan, that sorry mess of a barroom Osahene. I say!

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 a Governing Board Member of the Accra-based Danquah Institute (DI), the pro-democracy policy think tank, and the author of 21 books, including “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Atumpan Publications/Lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



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