Come together to build Nungua -Rejoinder

Thu, 12 Aug 2010 Source: Mensah, Nii Kojo

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I would be most thankful if you could afford me a space in your esteemed paper to react to the publication, titled “Come together to rebuild Nungua.”which appeared at page 43 of the Daily Graphic on Wednesday, June 16 th 2010.

In the said publication, one Samuel Oklah Bortei Doku, arrogating to himself and parading as the head of the Nungua Traditional area, expressed his gratitude to the Supreme Court for bringing to finality the protracted chieftaincy dispute at Nungua. Specifically, he purported to portray that, with the Supreme Court ‘s Opinion on 17th February, 2010, concerning the untouchability of E.I. 18, peace has been restored to the Nungua Traditional area. On the contrary, rather than restoring peace to the Nungua area, the February 17 Opinion has brought confusion and disturbance to the town as Botei-Doku, a known agitator for power and troublemaker for many, many years who does not hail from any of the ruling houses, has been exploiting that Opinion in his efforts to usurp the Nungua throne from the Royal Houses. It is worthy to note that the Supreme Court did not declare Bortei Doku as Nungua Mantse contrary to what he is claiming .

In furtherance of his antics, Bortei-Doku quoted a verse from the Bible, Acts 15:16-18, presumably to add a divine touch to his wicked designs. It reads

“after this I will return and I will rebuild the dwelling which has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up, that the rest of men may seek the Lord”.

Quoting from the Holy Scriptures does not give any credence to the author’s design in the sense that men with evil intent often used the Bible to justify their evil deeds. A clear example was where the perpetrators of the most wicked crime against humanity (the slave trade) used Biblical passages to justify their misdeeds.

The Sanshie people of Nunua have always been guided by the abiding Ga adage that “Mantse ejwaa Eman,” to wit, “the King doesn’t break his town.” For this reason, they have been acting cautiously on some of these issues. However, Bortei Doku’s recurrent overtures have created an urgent need to tell the truth to set the facts straight.

The publication is replete with lies and distortions. For instance, Botei-Doku, who is known to have attempted several times to distort, pervert, and rewrite the history of Nungua, asserted that Borketey Laweh was the first king of Nungua. This is absolutely untrue because the descendants of Borketey Laweh came to live on a part of Nungua (“Maa afa”) only with the permission of the then Nungua Mantse, after Borketey Laweh and the said descendants had been defeated and driven out of Wodoku, a settlement near Legon, by the La people, under the La able leader Sowah Gborbilor. From the above it is clear that Borketey Laweh’s settlement at Wodoku was not the same as the settlement that the Nungua Mantse allowed the ancestors of Bortei Doku to live in, on purely humanitarian grounds.

After the battle, Borketey Laweh, who never lived in Nungua, escaped to Nigeria through the natural highway along the beach. He was later spotted working for some Europeans. Moreover, he is reported to have married a Nigerian woman with whom he had several issues. To date, names like Alabi, Borlabi etc, that are common in some parts of Nigeria, could be traced to the Amanfa people of Nungua, the descendants of Laweh, just as the name “ Amanfa” itself is traceable to the hospitality of the Nungua Mantse who allowed Borketey Laweh’s descendants to live on a part of the Nungua (maa afa). It should thus be clear that Borketey Laweh did not found Nungua, did not stay at Nungua, and could never have been a Nungua Mantse, let alone the first Nungua Mantse.

It is on record that the Nungua State itself was in existence before the Europeans came to the Coast of Ghana in 1471. How then could Borketey Laweh have founded Nungua, which was in existence before his people came to Wodoku and later sought refuge and settled in Nungua after their defeat by La?

The real founders of the Nungua State are the Mantse-We people of the Sanshis of Nungua, originally led by Nii Odai Welentsi, whose descendant, Nii Odai Nkoto, became the first Chief of Nungua. Nii Odai Nkoto, was the Chief when Nungua allowed the La people and Borketey Laweh and his people to live at La and Wodoku, respectively, prior to the incident that culminated in Borketey Laweh’s descendants’ coming to live in Nungua “maa afa,” as Nungua guests “Wo Gboi”, (strangers).

Nii Odai Nkoto’s royal dynasty has three divisions namely Kwei-We, Ayiku-We (the original two from the patrilineal line, together are called Mantse We) and Adjin-We (from the matrilineal line due to an exceptionally heroic role of a female descendant of Mantse We, married to one Ataa Adjiri). It is these three houses, which provide and have from time immemorial been serving as chiefs of Nungua, equally and in successive turns. Bortei Doku is not part of this lineage. He is neither a kingmaker nor even an elder for king making purposes.

Bortei Doku further mentioned in his article that there was an attempt to revive the Borketey Laweh royal stool in the 1930’s, which plunged the area into confusion. This is a bold faced lie, portraying the author as either a man with an empty sense of history or a person who, utterly lacking in integrity, will coin any lie to defraud others for ill-gotten gains. Frankly, Botei-Doku needs to understand that the crisis of the 1930’s had absolutely nothing to do with an attempt to revive a (non-existing) Laweh stool, but rather was in relation to the succession by the main ruling houses.

Briefly stated, in December 1934, Mantse Odai Tawiah from Kwei-We died and was succeeded by Nii Odai Ayiku III from Ayiku-We. The Adjin-We people, mistakenly contending that there were only two ruling Houses—Mantse We and Adjin We -- claimed that it was their turn to occupy the Stool. The matter was brought to the Judicial Committee of the Ga Traditional Council, then known as the Ga State Council, which, after reviewing the historical records, found that there are, indeed, three ruling houses in Nungua and ruled in favour of Nii Odai Ayiku III in 1936. The sole litigants in the crisis of the 1930’s were Afotey-fio, Dzaasetse of Adjin-We, and Odai-Din Afotey, Dzaasetse of Ayiku-We. These Dzaasetsemei hailed from the legitimate ruling houses of Nungua, not from Amanfa. Accordingly, the dispute had nothing to do with any attempt to revive a Laweh stool, which never existed.

It is of interest to note that, while every society is striving to go forward, Botei-Doku has placed Nungua in the reverse gear, orchestrating the exile of Nii Odai Ayiku IV, throwing the town into confusion and many years of litigation, and diverting the youth from progressive activities like education, vocational training, and gainful employment. What we see of the youth today are armed robbery, land selling, use of narcotic drugs and the like, are all traceable to Botei-Doku’s infamous town wrecking pursuits.

Bortei Doku seems to have in him an incurable town-wrecking gene, which, if not exorcised, can bring a lot of confusion to the whole of Accra. Partly because of his antics, he was excommunicated from his Church (the Presbyterian church)when he arrogated to himself the title of a Chief, calling himself Wor Borketey Laweh XIV. How can there be a Wor Borketey Laweh XIV, when there has not been Borketey Lawehs I, II, III, . . .and XIII? Clearly, Bortei Doku is an impostor, a troublemaker, a disoriented, and an ungrateful person. He does not hail from any of the ruling houses of Nungua; he is not a kingmaker; and he is not an elder for king-making purposes. It is thus unfathomable how such a person could be allowed to destroy the historic Ga town of Nungua.

I the Nungua Man Otseame hereby call on the Regional House of chiefs, the Ga Traditional Council, the Judicial Service, the Government, and the general public dealing with Nungua’s affairs to ignore Bortei Doku because he is not from the royal lineage, he is not an elder for king making purposes, and he is not and cannot be the Nungua Mantse.

Nii Kojo Mensah

(Nungua Man Otsiame) *

Columnist: Mensah, Nii Kojo