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Kwahu-Nkwatia chieftaincy dispute isn’t resolved –Nkwatia Royals


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Kwahu-Nkwatia chieftaincy dispute isn’t resolved –Nkwatia Royals

The Nkwatia Royals, an association of the Adehyie of Yiadom Royal Asona Abusua of Kwahu-Nkwatia in the Eastern Region, has refuted assertions that a resolution has been reached regarding the longstanding chieftaincy dispute plaguing Kwahu-Nkatia in recent years.

In a statement released on Tuesday, February 13, and endorsed by its chairman, the group, urged the public to dismiss such claims, emphasizing that they do not accurately reflect the situation on the ground.

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Find the full statement here:

The Kwahu-Nkwatia Chieftaincy Crisis Has Not Been Resolved.

A Presentation by Nkwatia Royals

Nkwatia Royals is an association of the Adehyie of Yiadom Royal Asona Abusua of Kwahu-Nkwatia. The Ahenemma and other guest members are also welcomed. The association was formed in 2016 and has membership in Ghana and all over the world. It had the honor of being blessed by the late Nkwatiahene, Nana Atuobi Yiadom IV prior to his passing. The aim of the association is to promote family unity and pride, learn about the royal family’s history and genealogy and undertake charity programs in Kwahu-Nkwatia. Below presentation on the Kwahu-Nkwatia chieftaincy crisis is made on behalf of Nkwatia Royals.

The purpose of this presentation is to humbly make the following submissions to Nkwatiaman, Kwahuman and Ghanaman-

That, contrary to what has been reported in the news, the core issues leading to the Kwahu-Nkwatian chieftaincy crisis have not been resolved.
That the chieftaincy nomination process that was followed after the passing of the late Nkwatiahene was not in accordance with the Custom and Tradition of Kwahu-Nkwatia.
That certain Politicians, Businessmen and Ahenfo from the area have hijacked the process after the initial mistakes by the elders of the royal family for their selfish interest.
That the two litigants in the case – Nana Yaw Asante and Samuel Boamah Danso are unknown to the Yiadom Royal Asona Abusua of Kwahu-Nkwatia.
That the claims to the Yiadom Stool by the two litigants are illegitimate and the declaration by the National House of Chiefs that Samuel Boamah Danso was properly selected and installed as Nkwatiahene is wrongful.
And that the Abusuapayin and Elders of Yiadom Royal Asona Abusua of Kwahu-Nkwatia be ordered to restart the chieftaincy nomination process in accordance with the Custom and Tradition of Kwahu-Nkwatia.
With the passing of Nana Atuobi Yiadom IV, Nkwatiahene, in June 2016, the initial major task was to plan and organize a befitting funeral for the great Ohene. A Funeral Planning Committee of eminent persons was set up to plan and organize a grand funeral in late July-August 2017. The Committee upon long months of deliberations was able to organize a successful and befitting funeral for Nana Atuobi Yiadom IV.

However, the process of finding a successor to the throne, which should have run concurrently with the funeral planning and climaxed with the outdooring of a new Ohene on the main funeral day, did not go well. The process was fraught with several difficulties and thus the funeral proceeded and ended without the enstoolment of a new Ohene.

The late Ohene had occupied the Stool for almost 60 years and during his reign, several high-level persons with adequate traditional knowledge and experience in the organization of funerals for Ahenfo who passed away and the subsequent enstoolment of a new one, had died. Although the traditional structures for the organization of the funeral were followed, this was not the case for finding a successor for the stool.

The Yiadom Royal Asona Abusua of Kwahu-Nkwatia comprises three royal Gates, namely Ohemma Abena Asantewa Gate, Obaapayin Apeagyei Gate and Adehyiehene Gate. Indeed, the occupants of the Yiadom Stool (Amoafoten & Yiadom) over the last century have all come from these Gates-

-Nana Kofi Sefa II (1910-1941) – Obaapayin Apeagyei Gate

-Nana Asante Yiadom II (1941) – Ohemma Abena Asantewa Gate

-Nana Dwamena Ayirepe II (1941-1947) – Ohemma Abena Asantewa Gate

-Nana Asante Yiadom III (1948-1958) – Ohemma Abena Asantewa Gate

-Nana Atuobi Yiadom IV (1958-2016) – Ohemma Abena Asantewa Gate

And over the last century, the Ohemma Stool (Kwakyewa Kesse/Apeagyei) and Adehyiehene Stool (Ofori Panin) have all been occupied by members of the royal family from these three royal Gates.

Per the ancient Custom and Tradition of Kwahu-Nkwatia, the procedure to be followed to nominate a candidate when the Yiadom Stool becomes vacant is as follows:

Ohemma would receive the application of candidates in the form of bottles of Schnapps and some money of optional amount. Then, Abusuapayin and Ohemma would consult with the elder members of all the royal gates to deliberate on the candidates and then make a nomination. Our ancestors have setup the process this way because Abusuapayin and Ohemma are supposed to have in-depth knowledge about the family’s genealogy and the character of possible nominees. With this knowledge, they would guide the deliberations to ensure that a true and rightful royal of good character and background, i.e. Odehyie krokron, is nominated.

Once a candidate is nominated, Ohemma would then present the nominee to the Kingmakers for approval after which the process will continue on to the installation. However, if the nominee is rejected by the Kingmakers, then Ohemma and Abusuapayin ought to go back and restart the whole process.

After the demise of the Nkwatiahene Nana Atuobi Yiadom IV in 2016, the task of leading the royal family to nominate a rightful successor to the Yiadom Stool fell in the hands of the following elders of the royal family-

Nana Agyeiwaa Koree Dankwa II, the Ohemma of Kwahu-Nkwatia
Nana Gyimah Darko Ampem II, the Abusuapayin of the royal family doubling as the Adehyiehene of Kwahu-Nkwatia
Opanin Kwadwo Agyeman, senior elder of the royal family and younger sibling of the late Nkwatiahene
When the nomination process begun in late 2016, the following candidates, among others, became known –

Opanin Kwadwo Agyeman, from Ohemma Abena Asantewa Gate and younger sibling of the late Nkwatiahene
Kwasi Ansong, from Ohemma Abena Asantewa Gate and son of the Ohemma
Kofi Asante, from Adehyiehene Gate and sibling of the Abusuapayin/Adehyiehene
Samuel Boamah Danso, paternal half sibling (i.e. an agyaba) of the late Nkwatiahene and unknown to any Gate of Yiadom Royal Asona Abusua
Nana Yaw Asante, aka Samuel Abordo, hails from neighboring town Kwahu-Abetifi. He is unknown to any Gate of Yiadom Royal Asona Abusua.
As our ancestors have setup, Abusuapayin and Ohemma ought to meet with the elders from all the three Gates to deliberate on the candidates and then nominate a true and rightful royal. Such an assembly would also assist them in identifying and eliminating the candidates lacking in royal status or with questionable character.

Unfortunately, Abusuapayin and Ohemma did not follow this laid down ancient Custom and Tradition.

It became immediately clear that Opanin Kwadwo Agyeman was going to be nominated by Ohemma even before formal consultation with the rest of the family by virtue of the fact that he was the most senior candidate and sibling of the late Nkwatiahene. Unfortunately, the Abusuapayin/Adehyiehene in concert with a faction of the Kingmakers forced him to withdraw his candidacy.

It then became immediately clear again that Ohemma was going to nominate her son, Kwasi Ansong, before the required consultation with the rest of the royal family. But unfortunately, Kwasi Ansong decided to withdraw from the race much to the disappointment of his mother, the Ohemma.

At this stage, the Abusuapayin/Adehyiehene decided that it was the turn of his sibling, Kofi Asante, to be nominated, once again without the required consultation with the rest of the family.

Soon afterwards, Ohemma purported to nominate Kofi Asante and presented him as her first nominee to the Kingmakers by mid-2017. Unfortunately, the Kingmakers rejected the nominee because they claimed he did not pay his nomination fee in full. The process that had been setup was that instead of going to Ohemma directly, the Akyeamehene was made as the first point of contact for the candidates to present their application – bottles of Schnapps and a required fee of 5,000 GHS. He was then supposed to pass it on to Ohemma. However, this created a loophole for the Akyeamehene, who was not a member of the royal family, to be the gatekeeper of the process and admit questionable applicants. Secondly, the amount of money to be paid has always been customarily optional rather than being mandatory. Clearly, it was illegal to make the Akyeamehene the gatekeeper of the nomination process and to require a mandatory fee. Apparently, it turns out that Kofi Asante had paid the full amount to his sibling, the Abusuapayin, but only a portion of it was forwarded to the Kingmakers.

At this stage, attention fell on Samuel Boamah Danso and Nana Yaw Asante. There was anxiety in the royal family and Nkwatiaman as there were rumors that Abusuapayin and Ohemma were planning to nominate one of them without proper consultation with the royal family. It was quite known that Samual Boamah Danso was not a royal of the Yiadom Stool. His father was Opanin Kwasi Danso, the same father of the late Nkwatiahene and his sibling Opanin Kwadwo Agyeman. His mother was one Abena Badu Boatemaa who hailed from Opanin Kwasi Bour family of Kwahu-Nkwatia. It was known that Opanin Kwasi Bour family used to have the Ankobea Stool of Kwahu-Nkwatia, but the Stool was abolished many years ago. Thus, Samual Boamah Danso, being an agyaba to Nana Atuobi Yiadom IV, and not having the motherline bloodline, could not inherit the stool in a matrilineal system.

Nana Yaw Asante was also unknown in Nkwatiaman or to the royal family prior to the demise of Nana Atuobi Yiadom IV in 2016. He claims to come from descendants of Apeagyei Gate who migrated from Kwahu-Nkwatia to neighboring Kwahu-Abetifi. The descendants of Apeagyei Gate who migrated to Kwahu-Abetifi are well known among members of the royal family and include the late Opanin Benjamin K Safo (aka Benkosafo). Nana Yaw Asante claims that his maternal uncle was one Opanin Ntiri Dankyi and he was a brother to Opanin Benjamin K Safo. This is incorrect. Just as Opanin Benjamin K Safo’s ancestors had migrated from Nkwatia to Abetifi, so had Opanin Ntiri Dankyi’s ancestors. The fact of the matter was that these two “Asona brothers” who had migrated from Nkwatia, presented themselves as “brothers” in Abetifi. However, whereas Opanin Benjamin K Safo was an Nkwatia royal, Opanin Ntiri Dankyi was not.

At this time there was great agitation in Nkwatiaman for a successor to be named. And Ohemma once again, without consulting with the elders from the various Gates, purported to nominate Samuel Boamah Danso and presented him to the Kingmakers. However, his approval at the Kingmakers ran into a deadlock. But later on, Samuel Boamah Danso and his faction in the Kingmakers declared himself as Ohene at a ceremony at the Krontehene’s residence in the middle of the night.

At this stage, Ohemma declared publicly that she had withdrawn the purported nomination of Samuel Boamah Danso for his disrespectful behavior and she began taking steps to restart the whole process.

Things began to take an unfortunate turn by late October, 2017 when Ohemma, Abusuapayin and Nkwatia Kingmakers went to Kwahumanhene Daasebre Akuamoah Agyapong II’s palace for a routine meeting. Daasebre ordered the Kingmakers to vote on the two remaining candidates – Samuel Boamah Danso and Nana Yaw Asante. The Abusuapayin pleaded with Daasebre for more time to go home and resolve some pending issues with the process. But unfortunately, Daasebre refused their plea and the vote went ahead. Nana Yaw Asante won the vote and Daasebre ordered the Nkwatia elders to go and install the winner as Nkwatiahene.

There was a lot of confusion at Nkwatia as people felt that Nana Yaw Asante was not even a native of Nkwatia and given the choices, they would rather prefer Samuel Boamah Danso, the agyaba. Tension mounted so much, as people felt that Ohemma was forcibly going to install Nana Yaw Asante. To counteract that move, in November 2017, Samuel Boamah Danso, supported by a faction of the Kingmakers, prominent natives of Nkwatia and led by Lt.Col (Rtd) Dwamena, invaded the Yiadom Palace and Stool Room to “install” Samuel Boamah Danso as Ohene for the second time.

Indeed, Ohemma had been waiting for the opportunity to proceed with Daasebre’s request to install Nana Yaw Asante. However, the royal family was putting intense pressure on Ohemma to correct what was going on, as the two candidates now supposedly left in the race were unknown to the family. She was reminded severally about her previous promise to never “cross river” to Abetifi to select a successor to Yiadom Stool.

Ohemma at various meetings with the royal family claimed that it was Abusuapayin who had misled her into believing that Samuel Boamah Danso and Nana Yaw Asante were royals. She demanded that Abusuapayin should make a public statement and apology and it was on this condition that she would even consider reneging on Daasebre’s order to install Nana Yaw Asante. At various meetings with the royal family, she was extremely worried about what to do, especially the financial and other consequences of defying the Omanhene. At this stage she felt totally estranged by the royal family and Nkwatiaman.

It was at this stage that Nana Yaw Asante saw his chance to move in on Ohemma. He and his faction in the Kingmakers coerced Ohemma to institute a case at the Kwahu Traditional Council, Mpraeso, to force Samuel Boamah Danso and his faction to leave the Yiadom Palace and to enable Ohemma to install Nana Yaw Asante as Nkwatiahene. This is the genesis of the case currently going on appeal at the Supreme Court, having gone through various appeals at the regional House of Chiefs in Koforidua and recently, at the National House in Kumasi.

When the case began, the royal family was able to organize itself with Abusuapayin/Adehyiehene, Opanin Kwadwo Agyeman and others as leaders to file a Motion of Joinder to join the case and present its side of the story. Unfortunately, the two factions of the case vehemently opposed the motion, and as such, it was rejected by the Nananom Panel members at Mpraeso and also on appeal in Koforidua. Their real motivation for opposing the joinder was to prevent the real royal family from coming in to tell the truth.

The royal family tried its best to get Ohemma to recant her support for Nana Yaw Asante and to work with the family to resolve the issues. But unfortunately, Ohemma passed away from health complications in January 2019. Yet the litigation still continued, with Nana Yaw Asante keeping Ohemma’s name on his court documents without substitution. Yet, the position of the royal family is not in his support.

Nana Yaw Asante provided an audio recording from a meeting in July 2017 at which he claims he was nominated together with Samuel Boamah Danso. The voices of Ohemma, Abusuapayin and others including Joyce Abea, who is a junior member of the royal family could be heard. This meeting was actually packed with supporters of the two litigants. However, the important elders from the three Gates of the royal family were absent and therefore, this meeting and similar others could not have nominated anyone.

We strongly urge the eminent judges to consider dismissing the case of both litigants and ordering the elders of the royal family to restart the nomination process in accordance with the Custom and Tradition of Kwahu-Nkwatia. The ancestors of Yiadom Stool are counting on their wisdom and fairness to resolve the complex issues in this case so that their toil and heritage will not be in vain or jeopardized. The current elders of the royal family, having been involved in creating the crises and having unsuccessfully tried to join the litigation, are now unwilling to lead the family to seek further redress in the courts or elsewhere. And, some powerful people in the area are taking advantage to change the history of the Yiadom Dynasty.

Yet, we stand in the name of all the youth of the family, who have the royal bloodline and who stand the risk of losing their heritage forever, through no fault of theirs, to appeal to the good conscience of the eminent Judges to probe the upcoming case with the thoroughness it deserves so that true justice would be served and the Yiadom Stool would be restored to the true descendants.

To conclude, we have presented the above information in good faith and to the best of our knowledge. We believe that both litigants in the case, Samuel Boamah Danso and Nana Yaw Asante do not have the royal status and neither were they properly nominated to be Nkwatiahene.

It is so important that the chieftaincy crisis is resolved once and for all, so that Nkwatia can get back on its development track and retain its rightful place in Kwahu.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Christian Kofi Adu Van Lare

Chairman of Nkwatia Royals and maternal grandnephew of Nana Atuobi Yiadom IV

New Jersey, USA/Accra, Ghana

13th February, 2024

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