Opinions Sun, 27 Oct 2013

It’s Not Easy to Defend "Asanteman & Asantehene"– Innit?

To start with, please do not be put off by my employ of the English slang "innit". It simply means "isn’t it?" ? ? I have heard and read about the recent numerous calls on Ashantis to defend Asanteman. I do feel uneasy each time I come by such a call. They do not make any sense to me at all. I may be wrong but still, I see such appeals as senseless in the view in which they are expressed. ? ? How do we defend Asanteman and for what reason? I believe the citizens of Asanteman can only defend Asanteman and themselves against their common enemy or enemies. Who are their enemies then? They are those people and things that intentionally or inadvertently militate against their wellbeing. ? ? Some of these things in my opinion are: ? 1. The failure of their "Amanhene" to pursue policies of collective interest to the people of Asanteman. 2. The selfishness of their chiefs and queens who see the wealth of the entire area of their various jurisdictions as their personal bonafide property and hence, can use them as and when they like without anyone having the right to question them 3. The government’s malicious policy of "positive discrimination" against them in the recruitment of personnel into the public service and or distribution of the national cake – essential developments. ? ? Do the above form the basis of the recent calls for the people of Asanteman to rise up to defend Asanteman? I hope not, according as expressed by most of the proponents. They feel some chiefs or the Asante overlord is needlessly being castigated and therefore, he has to be defended. Defending Asantehene as the head of Asanteman does not in anyway rise to the level that constitutes the defence of Asanteman. We need to get this simple fact right. ? ? I shall never be part of those to wage a crusade to defend Asanteman if it has not to do with any of the problems listed above or other problems of similar nature and intention. Why should we go to war or collectively defend the irresponsible, myopic and selfish antics of some Asanteman chiefs and queens who unlike their predecessors, have very disgusting selfish attitudes - pursuing "bitter agenda" of their own. ? ? Look at our current crop of chiefs and queens of whom the majority are visionless, crooks and selfish. Are they not the very persons who have allowed the Chinese and other foreigners to inflict various devastations on our ecological system through irresponsible surface mining activities ("galamsey")? Are they not the insatiable greedy folks selling all the available urban and rural lands to pocket the money for their personal and family use? Are they not the very those who sell or connive with their family members to dispose off the same piece of land to different buyers which in the end bring about lawsuits, confrontations and land guard issues? ? ? Are the above not the people that our leaders and other naïve Ashantis are calling us to defend in the name of Asanteman? I will rather defend the interests of the poor Asanteman masses then a chief or queen who falls into trouble because of their selfishness, greediness and short-sightedness. ? ? How do you expect me to respect, let alone, defend chiefs who take bribes to drag on traditional cases brought before them for adjudication? While other traditional council areas suffer for lack of paramount chief due to death and subsequent chieftaincy disputation as to who is eligible to ascend the throne as successor, the chiefs appointed to amicably resolve the problem rather see it as a gold mine to make money (enrich themselves). They drag the case, taking bribes from who is wealthy enough to pay. They often decide the case in favour of the highest bidder even though that bidder may in truth, be the guilty party. How do you expect me to defend such crooks in the name of Asanteman? ? ? The case of Kumawu is a classical example of some chiefs in Asanteman behaving very irresponsibly. The traditional area has been without a chief since the demise of Barima Asumadu Sakyi II more than six years ago. The people have been suffering. The area has not seen any improvements but deterioration in all aspects of socio-economic development. After six years, what judgment did Asanteman pronounce? They know it themselves. Do we sit back while they get away with what I shall call utter nonsense? Do I defend such people without shame? They had better learn their history as I shall not spare such irresponsible behaviours. It is about time we stood up to defend our rights at all levels without allowing a few crooks to always take us for a rough ride. ? ? A few years ago, a Mamponghene was accused of defrauding a Mampong woman resident in the US of $50,000. He promised to appoint her the queen of Mampong after the payment of the bribe. However, the said Mamponghene reneged on his promise and the woman was pursuing him in Court. Are these the people that we have to defend in the pretence of defending Asanteman? Count me out! I shall be more than ready to defend Asanteman if such a cause serves the collective interest of all but not when it appeases the roguish interest of certain well-positioned individuals. ? ? Let me end here to prepare to attend tonight’s "Nana Addo Ladies Club" dinner-dance being held in London long before I forget. I expect Asanteman chiefs to live exemplary lives worthy of emulation. It is only by this that I can defend them but not how I see them at present. ? ? HATE ME, BUT FOR A GOOD REASON! ? ? Rockson Adofo ?

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson