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Stop This Nasty “Trokosification” of Okyeman!

Wed, 11 Jul 2012 Source: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

As usual, this “buttinskyistic” article/press release was signed by somebody with a name which may well have been fabricated to suit the purpose; for, it sounded as if the bearer was, perhaps, a native of outer-space, or some planet other than our good, old Earth. On this occasion, though, the dispatcher of the aforesaid press release pompously signed his name as “Mr. Susu Alordey,” and he claimed to be speaking on behalf of the “poor citizens of Akyem-Abuakwa” (See “Akufo-Addo’s Family Must Give Peace a Chance in Akyem-Abuakwah [sic]” Ghanaweb.com 7/3/12).

And just who are these “poor citizens of Akyem-Abuakwa,” as opposed to, say, the “rich citizens of Trokosi Nation,” for the writer to so cavalierly presume to take the liberty of representing the likes of the present author, under the guise of some nondescript organization called the Coalition for Responsible Opposition (CROP), whose “National Leadership” demanded the Okyenhene’s abdication within 72 hours of its publication or, failing to do so, drag His Majesty, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori-Panyin II to court?

Now, let us get a few things clear here. No responsible native, citizen and/or resident of Akyem-Abuakwa is happy about the widely reported and documented rapid degradation of the land. And, of course, the fact that this new development has an undeniable national thrust makes the need for redressing the matter all the more imperative. And, by the way, even as the writer of the aforementioned press release clearly observes, there are established institutions that deal with complaints such as the writer/critic of the Okyenhene is talking about. For instance, the entire chieftaincy institution in the country falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Local Government whose substantive cabinet appointee, if memory serves me accurately, is a native and/or citizen of Akyem-Abuakwa – I, however, prefer to use the more inclusive and expansive term of “Okyeman.”

Then, there is also the Okyeman Council at whose head sits the Okyenhene, but whose cardinal membership, when the occasion had demanded it in the past, had not hesitated to bring the Okyenhene to order, should the latter action be deemed appropriate. For, it bears pointing out that Okyeman is a “Constitutional Monarchy” rather than an “Absolute Monarchy,” although as with all human institutions, some Akyenhene had in the past wielded inordinate, and even abusive, powers. Still, it ought to be quickly pointed out that the latter case scenario had arisen because of the weak will of some of the key members of the Okyeman Council.

I am not quite certain whether the present Okyeman Council is largely composed of a weak-willed leadership. What is certain, though, is the fact that this is not the very first time that the critical issue of the negative and widespread impact of Galamsey, among other eco-degrading activities, is being raised vis-à-vis the personality and magisterial authority of the Okyenhene. But it needs to be also quickly pointed out that the Omanhene of New Juaben, Daasebre Oti Boateng, who also doubles as President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, has, in the recent past, responded to this same issue by highlighting the need for procedural legitimacy in the expression of grievances and demands for redressing the same.

What we have here, though, smacks more of an Al-Qaeda-like tactic with an invidious political edge, as clearly indicated by the caption of the afore-referenced press release. We also recognize the fact that the writer clearly appears to be more interested in playing election-year politics than being staunchly focused on getting matters properly and expeditiously resolved and/or remedied. For instance, the glaring fact that Nana Akufo-Addo does not really hail from Ofori-Panyinfie, going by age-old Akan matrilineality, does not seem to have struck any chord with the writer, who also exhibits the kind of abject illiteracy that one would, ordinarily, not associate with an Okyeman native, such as not being able to correctly spell the name of “Abuakwa.” Likewise, the critic woefully fails to hyphenate the surname of the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Our primary concern here, however, is to categorically admonish the lone Trokosi signatory to the aforesaid anti-Akufo-Addo and anti-Okyenhene press release to take his dirty partisan business elsewhere. Needless to say, “The poor citizens of Akyem-Abuakwa” are articulate enough to press forth our own private and collective concerns. We do not need the “rich citizens of Trokosiland” to either speak for us or articulate our most critical concerns for us. We are also certain that the rich citizens of Trokosiland have enough problems of their own to presume to charitably deputize for us, the poor and proud citizens of Akyem-Abuakwa.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net.

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Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame