NPP Asante- Akyem Divide A Hoax

Mon, 16 Aug 2010 Source: Yeboah, Kwaku

It is very clear that the Asante- Akyem division purported to have existed in the rank and file of the New Patriotic Party which is even claimed to reached its climax in the run up to the selection of a flag bearer to lead the party is only hoax, as voting patterns and results from the just ended NPP presidential primaries have totally dismissed this assertion. This claim about a divide between asantes and akyems and its concomitant factionalism in the NPP was highly refuted when delegates in Ashanti region voted massively for the newly elected flag bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo who is an akyem.

This turn of events makes it obvious that the hullabaloos about factionalism in the NPP emanating from the much acclaimed Asante/ akyem divide is only a cheap prank being used by the opponents of the NPP to score cheap political points. Propounders of this division are quick to draw in the events of 1979 which led to the loss of power of the then Danquah- Busia-Dombo party to Dr Hila Limans’led PNP party. It should be made clear that that division was not necessarily based on ethnicity as we had prominent akyems and asantes going either ways. That is to say that there were prominent akyem adherents of the Danquah- Busia tradition who supported Victor Owusu an Asante and its vice versa. In fact quoting directly from an article written by one Eugene Antwi, an NPP national council member, the writer said “Indeed, the rivalry that led to the PFP/UNC split had very little to do with ethnicity or politics. The feud was principally on two levels – firstly, between General Afrifa and Victor Owusu in relation to General Ankrah’s resignation and the way and manner General Afrifa allegedly went about aggressively usurping the leadership of the National Liberation Council (NLC). Secondly, it was about two personalities within the legal profession, who also happened to be prominent figures in the Danquah-Dombo-Busia front. The fight was principally between Victor Owusu and N.Y.B. Adade about ‘who was who’ in the legal profession in the Northern sector comprising the Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Northern and Upper Regions, from the 1950s onwards. But the evidence corroborates Victor Owusu’s seniority both in age and at the bar, hence no basis whatsoever for the competition.”

Indeed, it is true that in history akyems and asantes have not being the best of friends due to incessant wars between them but in the middle part of the twentieth century when they both realized that they had one ancestral background as they were all part of the ancient Adansi kingdom(The Adansi kingdom is an ancient kingdom believed to be the mother tribe of most of the Akan subgroups including akyems and asantes ) before its collapse, they subsequently realized that there was no need to fight, akyems then became strong allies of asantes and there has not been any turning back ever since. It can even be recalled that the then Okyenhene, Nana Sir Ofori Atta I was very instrumental in the return of the captured Asantehene Nana Osei Prempeh Agyeman.Afterwards asantes and akyems realized that they could be a force to reckon with when they come together to form a political entity. In our recent times this friendship between asantes and akyems have been manifested in several ways. Some of them are as follows; The late Asantehene, Otumfuo Opoku Ware was a close friend of the late Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Kuntunkunuku even to the extent that when Kuntunkunuku died barely three weeks after the death of Opoku Ware people jokingly said the Asantehene had invited the Okyenhene. Again when Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was celebrating his 10th anniversary of enstoolment Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin II sent a delegation not only to congratulate him but also present some assorted gifts to him, Asante -Mamponghene also graced the 10th anniversary grand durbar of the Okyenhene on behalf of the Asantehene. What is more, the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is married to an akyem from akyem abuakwa descent. Also, in the run up to the 2008 elections both the Asantehene and the Okyenhene expressed concern about the incessant peddling of falsehood of a feud between asantes and akyems. All these among others goes to confirm the good relationship between asantes and akyems and therefore gives room for concern when people try to create the impression that there is animosity between these two groups of people.

Besides, there are other akyems and asantes who do not belong to the NPP but NDC and other political parties maybe Ben Ephson and the NDC who are the main proponents of this theory of division should come out and tell as whether the divisions in the NDC are also backed by akyem and asante factionalism. The NDC must note that no matter how hard and high they peddle those falsehoods Ghanaians who have come of age and therefore very discerning would not buy such cheap pranks. I would rather urge the NDC to concentrate on delivering the numerous promises they made to the Ghanaian electorates rather than throw dust into the eyes of discerning Ghanaians. Long live Okyeman and Asanteman! Long live Ghanaman!

By Kwaku Yeboah



Columnist: Yeboah, Kwaku