The Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council (AATC) in the Eastern Region has vented its spleen on the Ashanti Regional Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Kwame Zu, for what the former has described as abusive and provocative statements made against the people of the Akyem Abuakwa Kingdom and the person of the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin II.
According to the Council, it has become necessary and of immediate concern to relate to the protest with regards to a matter, which threatens the prestige and dignity of the chieftaincy institution and the peace and security of our dear motherland.
Addressing a news conference at the forecourt of Ofori Panin Fie on Monday, Mr. D.M. Ofori Atta, State Secretary, said that on Monday, September 16, 2019, at a protest march organised by the Coalition for National Sovereignty in Kumasi, Mr. Kwame Zu threw caution to the winds and, in an arrogant display of bravado, launched a blistering attack against the Akyem Abuakwa Kingdom and the person of the Okyenhene.
According to him, these attacks on the dignity of the Ofori Panin Stool have been preceded by similar scathing statements made by the leadership of the NDC, hence the need to call the party and its leadership to order.
Giving a catalogue of events, the State Secretary disclosed that in March 2013, the Okyenhene led a delegation of chiefs (Nananom) of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs to the seat of government to congratulate then President Mahama on his assumption to office.
He continued that Okyenhene used the occasion of his visit to urge then President Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo to abide by the outcome of the election petition then before the Supreme Court of Ghana, where the latter accepted the former’s admonition in good faith and pledged his commitment to the rule of law and democracy.
That notwithstanding, Mr. Ofori Atta further stated that moments after the visit, Mr. Julius Debrah, former Chief Of Staff joined forces with the then Eastern Regional rxecutives of the NDC to launch unprovoked attacks on the person of the Okyenhene, calling him all manner of names.
He further mentioned that in the year 2014, the Okyenhene led members of the Regional House of Chiefs on a road tour of the region, ostensibly to draw the government’s attention to the deteriorating road situation in the region.
This development, once again, did not go down well with Mr. Tawiah Boateng, a former Regional Chairman of the NDC, and assisted by Mr. Haruna Apau Owiredu, held a press conference and poured unprintable invectives on the Okyenhene and other prominent chiefs in the region.
“In the year 2015, the Okyenhene, in his address to the Okyeman Congress at Bunso, made a passionate appeal to the then Mahama administration to appoint competent Akyem citizens into state institutions. Again, Tawiah Boateng and his regional executives, ran riot and took His Majesty the Okyenhene to the cleaners,” he added.
Within recent memory, Mr. Stanislav Dogbe, an aide to former President Mahama, in his bid to match up with the arrogance and disrespectful conduct of his colleagues, also launched an unprovoked verbal assault on His Royal Majesty the Okyenhene.
He enquired from the gathering “what was the King’s crime? He had dared to call for the improvement in the Country’s Emergency Response System after witnessing the sad circumstances that led to the unfortunate demise of his friend and compatriot, the late former Vice President Kwasi Bekoe Amissah Arthur.”
To him, the deliberate denigration, accusations and name-calling reached the height of crescendo, when, in the year 2015, the then president and now flagbearer and leader of the National Democratic Congress described Kyebi as the headquarters of galamsey. This was in spite of his own government’s official complicity in the perpetuation of the menace.
He admonished people who seek to draw His Majesty the Okyenhene into the arena of partisan politics since he does not control the instruments of the Ghanaian state power, feed on the largesse of state power and not responsible for the electoral successes of President Akufo-Addo.
“Despite being the blood relation of the President, he is not desirous to make a claim to the Presidency of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo than any other Ghanaian, tribe, king or kingdom, since Nana Addo was voted into office by all Ghanaians and has taken an oath to adhere to the principles of equity and justice, and to do right to all manner of persons.
“The Okyenhene has lived and witnessed power alternating between the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress in his 20 years reign, and has had the privilege of knowing and working with ex-President Rawlings, former President Kufuor, late President Mills, John Dramani Mahama, and now Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
“The Okyenhene, in the spirit of forbearance and national unity, has had to tolerate the fundamental customary breaches and disregard, attendant with the unruly, disrespectful and arrogant conduct of the aforementioned officers of the NDC, and has at all times called for restraint in the face of provocation and blatant insults.
“But, this time, Okyeman says no, particularly in relation to the above, Nananom are compelled to respond to the historical distortions and deliberate misrepresentations of facts contained in the hateful speech of the leading member of the NDC, Kwame Zu.
“The politics of our country must reflect the morality of our people. Political leadership has a responsibility to live above reproach and desist from conduct likely to result in the moral and social degeneration of our society, particularly the youth.
“The deliberate attempt by certain political quarters to sow seeds of confusion between Okyeman and Asanteman has failed. It will never succeed. The good of Asanteman will not fall for it. The good people of Okyeman also know better. The Ghanaian people generally can see through it all. What we want is a competitive politics of ideas and not the debased politics of ethnocentrism, hate and insults.
“The Akyem Abuakwa Kingdom is, however, shocked about the loud silence of the leadership of the NDC in this matter, because it is an unwelcome reinforcement of the growing public perception that the party endorses such antisocial conduct.”
He has, however, cautioned the presidential candidate to know that Ofori Panin Fie and the NDC had no issues under his predecessors, namely Presidents Rawlings and Mills, as they demonstrated immense respect to the house.
The State Secretary expressed grave concern over what is happening under the current NDC leader’s watch, adding that Nananom do not want to believe that this affront to the dignity of the Okyenhene by a high ranking officer of the party reflects the low measure of dignity the NDC holds the Ofori Panin Stool and the chieftaincy institution in general.
“The actions and specific conduct of Kwame Zu represents an unprecedented assault against our unity, customs, traditions and peace as a nation, since democracy is designed to help improve our lives and not to denigrate and tear us apart. To this, therefore, Nananom has demanded the national leadership of the NDC within three days to directly, clearly and unambiguously render [a] public apology to His Royal Majesty the Okyenhene and Okyeman.
“The party should perform a ritual pacification to appease His Majesty the Okyenhene, apology rendered personally by Mr. Kwame Zu to the Okyenhene, and a public recantation of the offensive words and specific conduct complained off.
Finally, the party should invocate appropriate disciplinary sanctions against the conduct of Kwame Zu. This, the Akyem Abuakwa Kingdom and Okyenhene mentioned that, if they fail to heed, the NDC, its ward executives, branch, constituency, regional and national executives will be banned from all official functions organised under the auspices of the Ofori Panin Stool, and shall be declared persona non grata in all palaces of the over 940 towns, villages and settlements in Akyem Abuakwa.
Nananom have further decided that any chief who violates these orders, once passed, would have acted in aberration of his oral and written oath, and will, in consequence, suffer destoolment.