Residents of Offuman, near Tuobodom in the Techiman Municipality of the Brong Ahafo region have threatened to take the law into their own hands if the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II fails to dispassionately resolve a chieftaincy dispute in the area.
A section of residents alleged that the Asantehene has abandoned Offuman, which owes allegiance to the Golden Stool, stressing that Manhyia is seemingly dragging its feet in delivering a ruling on a chieftaincy case brought to the Asanteheneï¿½s attention in June 2008.
Currently Offuman has no leadership and this has stalled development in the area and caused high level of indiscipline among the youth. The 18-km road from Tuobodom to the town is also in a deplorable state and most commercial vehicles have stopped using it.
The concern of the elders is that any little trigger can cause mayhem if the Asantehene fails to come out with his verdict on the matter as early as possible.
A petition to the Asantehene, signed by Nana Osei Kwasi, Offuman Nifahene said ï¿½Offuman is now in a state of anarchy with the youth blatantly refusing to attend communal labour and a lot of them engaging in the use of illicit drugs. ï¿½We must say that tension is mounting in the town as majority of the people, especially the youth are fed up with events unfolding. If care is not taken, the least trigger could ignite uncontrollable riots.ï¿½
The community elders and the youth told DAILY GUIDE that they are being compelled under the present circumstances to allow the Omanhene of the area, Nana Asiedu Dwamena Akenten II, who was restrained by the Asantehene about four years ago, to continue with his reign to save the town from deteriorating.
ï¿½We want to take this action to forestall imminent clashes in the town due to the leadership crisis,ï¿½ said the Gyaasehene, Nana Owusu Nkwantabisa Duah, adding ï¿½The youth are apprehensive about the current development, especially the over 200 Libyan returnees who are jobless and need a dynamic chief to create jobs for them.ï¿½
According to the Gyaasehene, the delay by the Asantehene in delivering his judgement on the case has caused unnecessary tension in Offuman and also resulted in development crisis in the town and its surrounding communities.
In 2008, Otumfuo Osei Tutu directed Nana Asiedu Dwamena Akenten, the Omanhene of the area, who was installed in January 1997, after a protracted chieftaincy dispute, to abstain from the Offuman stool to pave way for the resolution of the impasse between him and the queen mother, Nana Akosua Amobea.
The queenmother has nominated her brother, Odehye Kwame Boakye to be enstooled as the Omanhene of the area, rejecting the choice of majority of the kingmakers. The kingmakers rejected the bid of Odehye Kwame Boakye because according to them he suffered mental disorder in the past, but the queenmother is implementing her plans to install him despite the objection.
Due to the development, a four-member committee, chaired by the Woraworahene was set up by Manhyia to look into the allegation of mental derailment. The committee was charged to submit its report to the Asantehene in two weeksï¿½ time and the Omanhene was asked to stay off the stool until the committee finished its work. However, the elders say after three years the Asantehene has not made the report public despite holding several consultations with his office.
The elders said the Asanteheneï¿½s decision to restrain the Omanhene did not go down well with them ï¿½and we would have disagreed but our respect for Otumfuo compelled us to succumb to it since the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs had earlier ruled in favour of the Omanhene and had given him the greenlight to continue with his rule.
In the petition, the Nifahene also accused the Offuman queenmother of fomenting trouble in the area so as to allow the Omanhene to have a full control of the town.
According to the Nifahene, Nana Akosua Amobea has usurped all the power in the traditional area following the Asanteheneï¿½s directive.
ï¿½She is single-handedly supervising sand winning, sale of teak plantations, sale of building plots, promotion of illegal chainsaw activities, extorting money from settler farmers, claiming market tolls with all reaching astronomical proportions,ï¿½ said the Nifahene. ï¿½In fact, she is wantonly destroying the resources of the town.ï¿½
However, in an interview with Daily Guide, Nana Akosua Amobea denied the allegations, adding that she has done no wrong because she was not the one who forwarded the matter to the Asantehene.
Meanwhile, efforts to contact administrative secretary of the Asantehene, who was a member of the committee, proved futile.
Source: Fred Tettey Alarti-Amoako, Offuman
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