Serving official notice on Asanteman Council to query their integrity and silence over Asantehene’s encroachment on Kumawu stool lands

Today, Sunday, the 30th day of May in the year of our Lord 2021, and during the presidency of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, I am officially serving notice on Asanteman Council, formerly the Confederacy Council, presided by Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. This notice is in regard to what I have come to establish as their nonchalance, lackadaisical, lukewarm or collusive attitude to the encroachment of Kumawu stool lands by Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, contrary to agreed and prevailing conventions and statutes.

From historical information available to me, coupled with the findings of my extensive research done, no Asantehene has the absolute right of ownership to the entire Asante lands. The public and Asanteman Council must note the following, unless it is credibly argued and proven otherwise by law. Thus, Sir Francis Fuller (1866-1944), the British Chief Commissioner of Ashanti from 1902 to 1920, demarcated the Ashanti land among the various paramount chiefs. The paramount chiefs became the owners of the lands as were demarcated to them, mapped out with the supporting Fuller Pillars.

When the British conquered and captured Asantehene Nana Agyemang Prempeh I in 1896, deported him to Sierra Leone and then to Seychelles Island, the Kingdom collapsed as per the intent of the Colonial British government of then Gold Coast. When the Ashanti Confederacy was broken by the British in 1896, upon the capture and deportation of Asantehene Nana Agyemang Prempeh I, the British instituted the policy of balkanization. They broke the links between the six important nuclear states of the Asante Confederacy – Kumasi, Bekwai, Juaben, Mampong, Kokofu and Nsuta.

Balkanize means to divide a country, territory, etc. into small, quarrelsome, ineffectual state. Thus, “Balkanization is a pejorative term for fragmentation of a larger region or state into smaller regions or states, which may be hostile or uncooperative with one another”

The states they created within the Asante Confederacy were viewed as separate from one another with each state headed by its Omanhene (paramount chief).

During the restoration of the Asante Confederacy in 1935, the balkanization of Asante Kingdom lands as executed and supervised by the British colonial masters was maintained as confirmed by a document of Draft by the Ashanti Confederacy Council signed on 21st day of March 1938.

The document states among other things, “Arising out to the Council discussion on Item 7 of the Agenda, the following declaration of custom is submitted to the Council for discussion and for signature if approved”.

1) “All land in Ashanti is the property of the stools of the various chiefs.”

This said document was signed by Asantehene, Asantehemaa, Mamponghene, Juabenhene, Nsutahene, Bekwaihene, Kokofuhene, Adansihene, Kumawuhene, Essumenjahene, Offinsohene, Ejisuhene, Agonahene, Bandahene, Wenchihene, Nkoranzahene, Jamanhene, Mohene, Abeasehene, Berekumhene, Denyasehene, Asokorehene, Oyokohene of Kumasi, Kyidomhene of Kumasi, Gyasehene of Kumasi, Ankobiahene of Kumasi, Adontenhene of Kumasi, Benkum Clan of Kumasi, representative of Akwamuhene of Kumasi and Korentihene of Kumasi”.

From the above, how can the entire land in Ashanti region belong to Asantehene? The land belongs to the paramount chiefs as were demarcated and mapped out to them by Sir Francis Fuller during the colonial days and approved by the Asante Confederacy Council on 21st March 1938.

In furtherance of my argument, it is stated clearly that “Allodial land title is held or vested in traditional stools or skins, in some traditional areas. Allodial owners hold their interest under customary law and are not subject to any restrictions on their use rights or any obligations except for those imposed by the law (statutory law)”. For better explanation, “Allodial title constitutes ownership of real property that is independent of any superior landlord. Allodial title is related to the concept of land held “in allodium”, or land ownership by occupancy and defence of the land”.

Any interested reader can refer to sub-section “XIII Ownership of Land” in page 72 of Warrington Notes on Ashanti Custom written by J. N. Matson, L. L. B., Ag. Judicial Adviser. One will ascertain for themselves that the entirety of Ashanti land does not belong to Asantehene as it is otherwise erroneously believed, or made to be believed, by certain ignorant or ahistorical sycophants and academics.

Again, Barima Tweneboa Kodua I, the originator of the Kumawu Kodua Stool, thus paramountcy, made some conditional demands of the Confederacy Council, upon the unanimous acceptance of which he presented himself to the Confederacy as a sacrificial lamb to save it from an imminent dreadful conquer by then most powerful and fearful rival Denkyira Kingdom under Nana Ntim Gyakari I.

Among the demands he made were principally,

1. No Asante chief from any of the Divisions (Asante States come together to form the Asante Confederacy) must ever attempt to possess any part of, or come to feed on, Kumawuman lands.

2. No subject of Kumawuman must ever suffer death by machete or knife at the hands of Asanteman. This means, nobody from Kumawu must be killed on the death of any Asante King or chief as required by custom. (This is because the Asantes used to kill people to remove their heads for the burial of their deceased Kings or paramount chiefs).

3. The states within the Asante Confederacy must never dare team up to go to war against Kumawuman.

I am by this publication interrogating the in-depth knowledge of Asanteman Council regarding the historical facts as raised above, in relation to Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II’s interference in the ongoing Kumawu chieftaincy dispute, collusive usurpation of power and Kumawu stool lands, contrary to standing Kumawu customs and traditions and Akan or Asanteman customs and procedures.

Could Asantehene ever attempt to forcefully, criminally avail himself of any land demarcated by Sir Francis Fuller to Juabenhene, Offinsohene, Mamponghene or Nsutahene, just to name a few divisions? The answer is a BIG NO! He dare not make any such wrongful move, for if he did, he will not only meet an impregnable wall of resistance by the Omanhene concerned but also, suffer some humiliation. If this is the case, why is he forcefully, collusively or illegally availing himself of Kumawu stool lands without Asanteman Council calling him to order or triggering the alarm bells?

Has it become the situation of each one for himself and God for us all? If yes, what then is the aim, objective or purpose of the Asanteman Council? Has it become a jungle of the erroneously believed survival of the fittest, but correctly the survival of the animal that most successfully adapts to the environment? Is it because Kumawu has no more powerful and history-knowledgeable chief but a puppet styling himself as Kumawuhene with an insatiably greedy ignorant sociopath as queen?

What is the relevance of Asanteman Council if they cannot uphold and defend the laws and conventions governing them? Who, or what law, bestows on Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the ultimate power or right to interfere in the chieftaincy affairs of the other divisions within Asanteman, usurp their lands and threaten the lives of their royals as and when he likes? Would the Asanteman Council please answer the question, or tell the world?

Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II (née Kwaku Duah) has collusively usurped hundreds of thousands of hectares of Kumawu stool lands at the Afram Plains. He had had the land surveyed a few years ago. He is in the process of manoeuvring to have it signed out permanently to him and his Kumasi division. Is the Asanteman Council aware of it? If yes, what are they doing about it? Do they support him, which I think they do? If they do, is it in conformity with agreed Asante conventions, procedures and laws? If Asanteman Council is not aware of it, then I am informing you of what Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is doing, hence my constant condemnation of him as read on the Ghana internet news portals.

Asanteman Council must sit up. They must be up and doing. They must be honest and responsible to ensure that Asanteman becomes a cohesive group that all member states or divisions can be proud of.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, as Ceremonial Head of Asanteman since the restoration of the Asante Confederacy in 1935, but not Asante Overlord, as he erroneously arrogates to himself, has limited powers commensurate with the position of any Ceremonial Head. Therefore, the foregoing account is more than enough to question the integrity of the Asanteman Council, highlight their weakness and or propensity to collude to deprive some member divisions of their rights and property.

I will convey this notice to the attention of the Asanteman Council via publication on the Ghana internet news portal, Facebook and the WhatsApp wall of the youth calling themselves Ghana Freedom Fighters.

While waiting for their response, I put Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and Asanteman Council on a warning notice that I, Rockson Adofo, the proud and fearless son of Kumawu/Asiampa, will never allow Kumawu stool land to pass permanently to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and his Kumasi division of which he does exercise absolute power and ownership as Kumasihene.

How credible is Asanteman Council, should they supervise this rot!

No matter how much or far Otumfuo Osei Tutu II condones and connives with Dr Yaw Sarfo (the self-styling Kumawuhene Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua), Kumawuhemaa Nana Abenaa Serwaah Amponsah, Ghana police, politicians and judges, he will not be allowed to dispossess Kumawu of her stool lands. He had better take notice of this. He may collude to win the battle today, but never the war!

He who comes across this publication on any platform, should please convey it to the attention of any Asanteman chief.

Long live Kumawuman. Long live the battle to liberate Kumawuman. Long live the Freedom Fighters!

Rockson Adofo