Tension is said to be brewing in Abenase Edwinase and Asaapong in the Ejisu Juaben Municipality in the Ashanti Region following a protracted long standing dispute over the installation of a successor to the late Chief of the area, Nana Yaw Boakye, who died 15 years ago.
Youth in the area are said to be seething with anger over the delay in the installation of a substantive Chief, a situation they claim, has stifled the development of the community.
The concerned youth are particularly worried about the feet-dragging attitude of some elders as well as the Paramount Chief of Ejisu, Nana Afrane Okese IV, under whose jurisprudence the Abenase Stool falls under.
The indigenes of Abenase lament that the 15 years chieftaincy dispute has negatively affected the progress of the area and could seriously affect generations yet unborn if not addressed. They are, therefore, seeking answers to why the candidature of one Mr. Bernard Ofori, aka Barack, who was nominated and approved by the king makers, has for the past six years not been regularised to enable the community have a substantive traditional leader.
The concerned citizens who have registered their displeasure through their spokespersons, Robert Asuming, Boadu Okine and Nana Akomea, recounted that after the demise of the late Chief, Nana Yaw Boakye, the Queenmother of the area, Nana Yaa Nosorwaa II, in consultation with king makers nominated Mr. Bernard Ofori, as the successor.
They said after the nominee had taken the oath of allegiance to the people of Abenase and the late Paramount Chief of Ejisu, Nana Aboagye Agyei, one of the opposing factions invoked the Great Oath of Asanteman (Otumfuo Ntamkesie), for which reason the Asantehene issued an order, calling on the elders to halt the installation process.
The group in a statement continued that the case was subsequently referred to the Manhyia Palace for further adjudication and in the process, the Asantehene set up a 15 member committee to resolve the matter.
The Committee, after deliberations, ruled 9-6 in favour of the nominee but he has not been permitted to officially swear the oath of allegiance to the kingmakers, a development they noted has left Abenase and its surrounding communities in a deplorable state.
They further pointed out that the unfortunate development has also resulted in the illegal and indiscriminate allocation of Abenase lands to developers without any proper consultations with stakeholders.
The concerned youth cited for example, the reported allocation of 20-acres of land to authorities of the University of Education, Winneba, Kumasi Campus, at the cost of GHC300,000 whilst proceeds of 247 acres of land earmarked for the Free Zone Board had not been accounted for up till now.
“As we are talking about 4800 hectares of arable land belonging to the Abenase Stool have been taken over by developers, including those in Ejisu without their consent in a clear breach of Article 267 clause 1 of Ghana’s Constitution which states that “all lands shall be held in trust for the appropriate stools and an on behalf of his subjects as the custom may determine,” the statement noted.
The concerned youths have therefore appealed to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to prevail upon the Ejisuhene and elders concerned to hasten the processes in order to resolve the long standing chieftaincy crisis in the community. This, according to them, will help ensure peace and development in the Abenase community.