Kumawu and the Manhyia Palace are set on a collision course over the installation of the Kumawuhene, a development that could prove a real test for the unity and cohesion of the Asante Confederacy.
Majority of the kingmakers in the traditional area have vowed not to recognize the man who has sworn the oath of allegiance to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, as the Omanhene.
They insist that the election and installation of Dr. Yaw Sarfo did not only breach Asante customary practice and tradition but also amounted to an “illegal imposition”.
Kumawu has nine kingmakers, four of them are deceased and out of the five remaining, three – the Krontihene and acting President of the Traditional Council, the Akwamuhene and the Akyempihene, refused to give the seal of approval to his installation.
Dr. Sarfo, they claim, was endorsed only by the Gyaasehene and Nifahene, adding that, the two alone by themselves could not decide for Kumawuman.
At a press conference held at Kumawu the chiefs – Nana Sarfo Agyekum II, Aduanahene, Nana Kwasi Okyere Darko Fordjour, Nsumankwaahene, Nana Akwasi Baffoe II, Akwamuhene, Nana Otchere Krapah, Akyempimhene and Nana Agyei Boateng, Benkumhene of Bodwease, said they would “not be intimidated, cajoled or frightened” in defending what was right and what was just.
They criticized what they said was the creeping arbitrariness with regard to conflict resolution of chieftaincy and other traditional problems in Asanteman and warned that was not healthy.
The chiefs said processes involving the selection and installation of the Omanhene should take place at Kumawu and not Manhyia Palace.
They said it was not within the remit of the Asantehene to either install the Kumawuhene or remove any chief in the traditional area and pledged to follow proper procedures to give to the Kumawuman an Omanhenes.
That could signal a pullout of Kumawu from the Asante Confederacy, one of the key traditional areas, whose late chief, Nana Tweneboa Kodua, made the ultimate sacrifice for the unity of Asanteman.
Dr. Sarfo swore the oath of allegiance to the Asantehene on November 4, and those who thought that had brought conclusion to the Kumawu chieftaincy conflict would now have to revise their notes as matters look likely to escalate. GNA