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Opinions Sun, 20 Oct 2013

Is Asanteman Getting Weaker

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Comment: The Trials of The Asante Kingdom

Author:
Asante Fordjour
Date:
2013-10-20 09:04:58
Comment to:
Re: Is Asanteman Getting Weaker

Re: The Asante Empire: Allegiance and Loyalty

[1] By virtue of valid historical facts and indeed odds, we begin that there existed an Asante Empire which once consisted of metropolitan and provincial regions.

[2] Yes, a story is told that it was only the metropolitan members who were inextricably knit together by their common allegiance to and reverence for the Golden Stool and who were treated as first class citizens.

[3] Thus, the members of provincial Asante, Boahen argues, did not have direct access to the Asantehene but had to pass through one of the divisional chiefs to Kumase or the other paramount chiefs, while frequently being made to pay exorbitant tributes.

[4] With this, the Sikagwa Kofi became meaningless to them. So notwithstanding the invincibility of the Asante army they longed to break away- a drive that was further encouraged by the fact that their own laws, customs and even armies were left intact.

[5] The empirical findings from Boahen of the Asante-and-Akyem stalk, suggest that the sources of survival of the Asante empire came to depend not on voluntary allegiance and loyalty of the vassal States but rather on the military might.

[6] So when this source of control was weakened, the Empire fell apart. By this Boahen attempts to imprint in our minds that whereas the ancient kings and probably the Asante empire sparked boldness, courage, assertiveness and skilful in warfare, generally, diplomacy and sensitivity were scarce in Asante’s armoury.

[7] Had the Asante king been able to integrate the vassal states fully into metropolitan Asante or convinced them to recognise the Golden Stool as the soul of the nation, the empire would possibly have survived despite the weakening of Asante military power. But since the administration of provincial Asante remained based mainly on force, it broke up as soon as this force was destroyed,” says the Professor Adu-Boahen.

[8] That is to say, had it not been local Allies who were indeed dispersed cousins of the Asante, the invading European forces, as the demise of Brigadier General ((Governor)) Sir Charles McCarthy ((15 February 1764 – 21 January 1824)) in the Battle of Nsamankow(1824) suggests, would have had it extremely challenging at the frontlines?

[9] We intend not to discuss the rise of the empire but mention in passing that Asante- an empire born out of repeated defeats and mutual survival in the face of wars, forgot its past with Denkyira.

[10] Boahen’s talks of “integration” that sounds more perfect than the phrase ‘to convince’ that appears one-sided and misleading?

[11]The answer probably lies in our history. The ancient animosities of Asante-Akyem are glaring to us all but in our judgement, the “ancient groaning” of the Fantes and others, ought also to be addressed.

From all socio-economic and indeed political spheres and influences in Africa and the world, it could be said that Asanteman, is not being weakened but rather diplomatically exploited.

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Asante Fordjour on Oct 20, 2013 09:04
The Trials of The Asante Kingdom