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Odike's bite of the bitter truth only reserved for the Asantehene

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and Akwasi Addai Odike

Wed, 24 Aug 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

GhanaWeb Feature

The founder and leader of the United Progressive Party, Akwasi Addai Odike, raised a profound fundamental question when, in reaction to his banishment by the Kumasi Traditional Council, asked: “What is then the essence of the democracy we are practising? If you have heard something you are not happy with, you should at least call me to explain myself. They rather went ahead to banish me and have also called the chief of my hometown to also banish me.”

His shock and bitterness at this news stemmed from an earlier statement he had made that angered the chiefs - the very same ones who eventually declared him banished from the Manhyia area of the Ashanti Region of Ghana.

In an interview on Kumasi-based Oyerepa TV, Akwasi Addae reiterated what he believed was an already established statement.

“I went to Oyerepa and said if the Otumfuo and his chiefs are aware of the galamsey activities and are sitting aloof, then they don’t have the interest of us their subjects at heart. Because we are all supposed to be fighting galamsey together, and if you come public to implicate your chiefs, then it means it is deliberate. So, I entreated Manhyia to sit up because this was not how their predecessors like Osei Agyemang Prempeh watched on for such activities to fester,” he said.

Unbeknownst to him, some subtle voices among the very people affected by this “truth” were displeased that he would want to take a bite at a fruit only reserved for the clout and pedigrees of the likes of the Asantehene.

It would be recalled that in May 2021, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, clearly called out some chiefs involved in the illegal practice of mining in the country.

Speaking at the first edition of the Regional Consultative Dialogue on Small Scale Mining on Wednesday, May 12, 2022, Otumfuo stated that chiefs, including very high-ranking people in the country were involved in the illegal acts, making the government’s work of ending the menace an even tougher one.

He disclosed that he had earlier been impressed upon by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, and the Minister of the Ashanti Region to stick to his speech in order not to generate controversy but he found it necessary to highlight these issues which he believes are impediments to winning the galamsey war.

“Yesterday, regional minister and my son [Samuel] Jinapor came to me and said ‘Nana please say what is in the speech’ and I said alright I will. They felt I will say something else that is controversial.

“I told them that on this issue of galamsey when we divide the audience in this room into ten, 30 per cent of them will know those involved in galamsey…if you are not truthful, we will keep deceiving ourselves and be organizing conferences such as this,” he said.

The applause was so loud in the hall that day, conversations that followed thereafter gave the statement a seat in the halls of factual statements.

Akwasi Addai Odike must have felt that he was only rehashing an already stated fact over a year ago, and seeing how much more destruction galamsey was still causing to the environment, he took the bite.

Rather sadly for him, his “harmless” comments attracted a lot of hatred and before long, the ceilings quickly came tumbling down on him.


Beyond the banishment, Akwasi Addai suffered another life-threatening incident. In a report dated Monday, August 22, 2022, his office was attacked by some unknown gunmen at Patase, a suburb of Kumasi. Reports indicated that cars parked in front of the office were vandalized while some staff at the office were also heckled amid the shooting.

A member of Odike’s team, Francis, claimed "the gunmen ordered staff in the office to lie-down, assaulted them physically and ransacked the office.”

Reacting to the news, Odike indicated that he has been traumatised by the ransacking and vandalization of his office.

“People who are after my life, how can I apologise to them? They want to kill me so why should I go on my knees and beg them? That portion is past and gone. No reconciliation. The battle lines have been drawn. I have to take good care of myself and see how the police will assist me in terms of security,” he stated.

The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II may have dared to step on the toes of people in high places including ministers and none could dare challenge him, but what Odike may not have appreciated is that, perhaps, not everyone can have a bite at the same cake.

Or, could this have just been a case of coincidence and nothing linked to any of the above arguments?


Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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