Some fools are as prominent as the wise. In fact, right now, we have more fools in prominence than we do have the wise in Ghana – like it or hate it, just listen in and read our media forums. Thus, since the unfortunate saga of the Techiman and the Tuobodom chiefs, we have heard more nonsense than wisdom, by the majority prominent fools, who by the fact of their prominence have access to the mass media.
Though the nuances of the menacing story involve the Techiman and Tuobodom chiefs, the core and true climax of the saga revolved around the Asantehene and the NDC government of the day. It is a story of a truly powerful (not perceived) monarch (king, you like or you don’t); and an unfortunate sloppy lawless government. It is a story of a time-tested divine institution and a teething artificial institution. The story of a royal thoughtful well-meaning king and a bloody hypocritical societal wannabes, who have chanced on power. The story of a formidable tree trunk and the wobbling branches. The story of a sober council of wise men and that of dreamers in fantasy land harbored in some bloodied castle.
Here is the real story, people of Ghana; and those who care: An NDC party (a bunch of disgruntled societal scum, laced with some few deceived well-meaning people, founded by a paranoia justice-seeker, who is crossed with anything success) government headed by an angel of light (a well dug-in hypocrite, who wears the face of humility, like the Pope or the Dalai lama) bedevils a nation, Ghana, because her people are the most hypocritical on earth. All Ghanaians recognize God, however 80+% are liars; and lie is the root of all evil. Now this evil government is fertile breeding grounds for all the bad things. So the Techimanhene, who believes that he deserves more territory and power than he has now, avails himself of the evil-enabling environment created by this visionless lawless government (many a simple people and criminal would do, and have done same), to deal on his own terms with the Tuobodomhene, who he believes should be his subordinate, though they both are paramounts. He abducts his peer right from the custody of the government (at the environs of a court of Law in the presence of the judge). In other words, the ruling government delivers Tuobomhene to him, Techimanhene, which he attests to by his own statement (I can do as I want to you for my [lawless] government rules). He boldly makes this assertion to the effect of legalizing his lawless act, by the fact of the rule of the anarchic ruling government. For this reason, the victim, Tuobodomhene is rather made the criminal by the regional police commander (very common Ghanaian phenomenon); and for many precious days the criminal act by Techimanhene seems to be dying a systematic death, because no law is being applied.
And then the center of the epic erupts! The Asantehene (The Asante King, not the just the king of the Asantes) happens to be the lord of Tuobodomhene. He had made previous humble appeals to the government to let the law and justice apply to all Ghanaians as it should, but to no avail. This time around the lawlessness and injustice punches him right in the nose. He wakes up fully to face the degenerating situation of the ruling anarchy in the country, as he smells the blood flowing down his royally nostrils. He snorts to clear his nose, which could not be helped but heard and felt in Accra, and that at the bloody Castle, the house of the anarchistic NDC government. It was a real tempest which shook the insane head of the government to sanity ( thank God for that); but noise of senseless squeaking are heard across the country, as those who stand to gain of the prevailing anarchy take bluffing cover off the true power that be. The bad media prominents, otherwise nonentities, take swipes and bites to make their non-relevance count, just to make them feel good about their malicious selves. In all, thank God, the tempestuous royally nose-blowing of the Asantehene has brought about true calm to date.
For all the lawlessness of the ruling government which degenerated into bringing our beloved country to the verge of civil war, eye and sense is lost on her but the Asantehene who called the chaotic situation to order. The simple, the outright fool, and the criminals are faulting the Asantehene on the basis of recklessness, authority, and law. Interestingly, no one is in doubts about his power or ability to act as he warned. Therefore his power is a fact that needs to be examined in the context of what has played out.
Foremost, the Asantehene is a traditional ruler, heading a monarchical institution. Chiefdoms and the Asante kingdom are the nuclei thus, and at the same time the building blocks of our beloved nation Ghana. This nation was not organized from nothing or from scratch. The constitutions tying the nation, culminating in this present one, have been the handiworks of the members of the constituting chiefdoms, where many a chief were even directly very prominent in their formulations. Therefore, the government which derives her power from the constitution, which is the work and agreed supreme law of the constituting chiefdoms (like it or don’t), is also naturally cyclically subject to the chiefdoms. This is because without the due mandate and cooperation by the chiefdoms, the constitution, which is supposed supremacy, becomes just a volume of ink-tainted papers; so are public institutions, which the government herself is one, rendered ineffective, suspended or worse dissolved.
Now, this natural dynamics understood; the Asantehene, by virtue of history and the status quo, has never been a peer of the other paramounts, but in effectively, directly or indirectly played a presiding and cohesive role (as superficially contested as it is the situation). More so, without him the the chieftaincy institution would not have enjoyed the respect, prominence, and relevance in our modern political dispensations, military or civilian. This is the reason why some ambitious paramounts are cynically aspiring to his status. Each time such chiefs feel belittled, they thus appeal to be treated ‘respectful’ because the Otumfuo is ‘not treated disrespectfully’ (note the negativity of the protest). The contending and contestation of the true status of the Otumfuo is partly as a result of our hypocritical constitution. Our constitution could not reduce the Golden Stool to a mere paramouncy; and yet could not portray her supremacy unambiguously, as she is. This has never helped matters, because the occupants of the Golden Stool would continue to act in their true natural capacity and capability, notwithstanding any artificial attempts at degrading her.
The Necessary Constitutional Amendment
Though detractors; the simple; the misinformed; and the envious would continue to heckle the Golden Stool. The true color of the Golden Stool and the republican status of the nation are not mutually exclusive. Being a republic just means we are not subject to any external sovereignty; and the Golden Stool is internal power. The role that the Golden Stool has played even since independence cannot be overemphasized. Ghana could not have been spared the turmoils of anarchy bedeviling the African continent, if she had not had the Golden Stool. It is just too easy to sit in some ultra-modern environment, feeling the rest of the world all around you like a universal citizen to reduce the relevance of monarchs and chieftaincy to -100+. Just descend to the ground, and you would be the wiser to appreciate the indispensability of the institution. Even military juntas, which are believed could operate arbitrally, could not help but to recognize and harness the status quo of the Golden Stool to bring about sanity and tranquility (you can ask Rawlings and the others, if they were alive). Therefore by the virtue of our Ghanaian fabric, the operation of our traditional rulers is indispensable, so is the Golden stool. Thus, the right recognition of her the better for the entire country. The constitution must be amended to clearly set the kingly status and role of the Golden Stool for the better.
Now, having this understanding of the true character, and importance of the Golden Stool, we have a government of adventurists presiding just to make sure there is lawlessness unabated, in order to perpetuate their selfish rule and trade their criminality, doing business as usual. But this time around, it had gone too far as the doorstep of the Otumfuo. Rightly so, the one who wields power, Otumfuo, called upon the government to exercise her neglected constitutional duty or else he could not allow the current chaos to further degenerate. He makes the government clearly aware who is who; who derives her power from who, who wields true authority; who came out of who, who is passing and who is permanent, simply put who has the natural and true allegiance of the people; and more importantly what is right and just. For remember, the Golden Stool and the naturally subordinate chiefdoms are the building blocks of the house, and should the house fall, the corner block should hold the fort until the house is fixed. Otumfuo therefore, being the corner block could not have allowed for things to totally fall apart (love it or hate it). He had to nib the raging canker right in the bud by flexing the true muscles that be. What he said was not a threat, but the fore-telling of what he would have done to save the day, should the mandated government fail to carry out her mandate. This was truly done to save the day, but not to cause more mayhem as the simple; outright fool; and detractors portray the royally epic to be. The result authenticates the action of the Otumfuo.
The Way Forward
Now, what must be done to resolve the current undesirable situation; and to sustain future peace and development, as far as what we have on our hands now is concerned? This should be simple, as un-simple as the whole canker has degenerated to. For the fact that the Golden Stool stands for peace and betterment, all that need to be done is for Nana Techimanhene to gather his balls as a man, as it is human to err, but more manly to admit faults and do necessary restitution. Please, Nana Techimanhene, for your on sake and that of your grandchildren, Ghanaians, admit your wrongdoing, as that would be more manly and royally than to retract like a coward, (I want to believe you are not), and apologize to Nana Tuobodomhene, Otumfuo, and your grandchildren Ghanaians as custom demands; and solemnly swear to lay your hands off any territory that does not belong to your chiefdom; and voila, there would be lasting peace!!! Simple ne? Simple, as simple as it gets.
Two, as already said the constitution must see amendments to clearly define the true status of the Golden Stool to avoid further confusion, and the resulting unhelpful disrespect which has the evil potential of disintegrating the nation.
Finally Ghanaians must repent of their hypocrisy now; and keep the lawless NDC government accountable; and come 2012, vote the criminal adventurists out of power for a better government. There are many better parties to choose from. God bless Ghana.
By Ebenezer Boamah
(The author is a man of God, whose mandate is to national interest of all spheres, for ‘the spirit is not void of the flesh’).
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