Friday, August 24, 2007
1. DODOWA CHIEF STOPS BLOOD BATH
2. WAR DRUMS BEAT AT DODOWA
R E JO I N D E R
THE attention of Nene Nagai Kassa VIII, Mla Hiomeh Mantse, the King makers of the Mia Hiomeh Division of Agomeda in the Shai Traditional Area and indeed the Shai Traditional Council has been drawn to two newspaper publications which appeared in the Monday, July 23 and Thursday, July 26, 2007 issues of the Daily Ghanaian Voice, with the above banner Headlines, both appearing on the front pages of the paper.
The publications appear to have been made at the instance of Asafoatse Okukrubuor Teye Kwasi Agyeman V, whose pictures were conspicuously embossed on the front pages of the paper, and described as “Dodowa Divisional Chief”
The publication is full of erroneous statements which may have been fed to the paper with the intent to distort facts and do mischief or intermeddle in Mla Hiomeh affairs without any right or justification whatsoever. The publication also contain defamatory material on which we are seeking appropriate legal advise to take the necessary action.
For now, we wish to point out the errors and correct them before the public got carried away by the untruths they contain.
1. In the first place, there is nothing like Dodowa Division in the whole of the SHAI Traditional set up and, there, there is no chief designated “Dodowa Divisional Chief”. Okukrubuo Tei Kwasi Agyeman V is only an Asafoatse in charge of a very small suburb of Dodowas called ”NUMERSE YITI”, which originally comprised of a couple of huts built, “behind tapped oil palm trees”. In fact “NUMERSE YITI” simply means the Northern portion of the said area. Asafoatse Agyeman, occupies the youngest and smallest stool in Shai which does not come close to any Divisional Status. There are several other Chiefs at Dodowa whose stools are much older than that of Numerse Yiti and yet non has claimed a Divisional status because Dodowa is a Division in Shai. It is a cosmopolitan town comprising of a mixture of all the three (3) major clans of Shai as well as later arrivals assimilated into one (1) or the other of the three (3) Clans or Divisions. A number of “strangers” from Accra, other parts of Ghana and even Nigeria have made the town their home to complete its cosmopolitan status.
2. It is not true that Nene Awaitey Banna Atrokpa is a self-styled President of the Shai Traditional Council. Nene Trokpa has never styled himself so. The truth is that on the death of Nene Nagai Kassah VII, the entire Shai Traditional Council met and appointed him in an acting capacity to preside over the meetings of the Council. The step was found necessary to fill a vacuum, in the absence of a State Mankralo, as an interim measure pending the enstoolment of a substantive Chief by the appropriate family/Gate. He has so far held the fort and acted diligently with no partiality. It is not true he has distributed guns to any group of people in the Dodowa community for any purpose whatsoever.
3. It is not true that Asafoatse Tei Kwasi Agyeman V who is a “small fly” when it comes to traditional and chieftaincy matters in the Shai state, ever averted any blood bath, as the alleged blood bath never existed! That story may probably have been in the figment of the imagination of whoever started and or propagated same. It is totally false! The installation and outdooring of Nene Kassah VIII took place in a peaceful atmosphere at Agomeda, and the Chief is in occupation of the palace. The ceremony took place in the open without let or hindrance from any quarters and both the Daily Graphic and Ghanaian Times carried pictures of the colourful ceremony. Why should somebody sitting in Dodowa claim that there was going to be a blood bath in respect of a function which has become a “fait accompli”.
4. It is again palpably untrue that there is any “Agomeda Division of the Shai State in the Dangme East District of the Greater Accra Region as alleged at the front page of Monday, 23rd July issue of the Daily Ghanaian Voice. Whoever furnished the paper with that false information has done it a grave disservice, since every true indigene of Shai and indeed every publisher who knows his job knows the basic truth that Agomeda is a town and not a Division. Furthermore, the Shai State is in the Dangme West District, and therefore “Agomeda in the Shai State” cannot be in the Dangme East District as alleged by the paper. This type of fabrication is unpardonable and only goes to show that the Paper carries out no due diligence, or cross-check on facts churned out to it from whatever source, before publishing same, which is unfortunate.
5. There is yet another fallacy and inconsistency in reportage which to us is the last straw that exposes the lies being perpetrated against Nene Nagai Kassa VIII by Asafoatse Agyeman and the Daily Ghanaian Voice! Whereas in the July 23rd issue of the paper at page 3, W.O. Joseph Tetteh Kofi Addai is said to hail through his father from Akuapem Mampong, the 26th July issue says again at Page 3 that the very person comes from Mamponteng in the Ashanti Region. What a fabrication! Does Ekow Moses, or for that matter the editor of the Daily Ghanaian Voice know that Akuapem Mampong is in the Eastern Region? Are they seriously telling Ghanaian that one person (our Chief) has two fathers, one from Ashanti Mamponteng and the other from Akuapem Mampong. The lies are apparent on the face of the record. The true fact is that WO Joseph Tetteh Kofi Addai is a Royal from the Mia Hiomeh Division of the Shai Traditional Area, specially, from the Katamanso Wem. His father was Nomo Mensah Ofeli, whilst his mother was Madam Dede Tetteh both of blessed memory from Katamanso House – Gate 2. From the falsehood published by the paper or whoever furnished the information, it is obvious that they know nothing about the parental background of WO. Joseph Tetteh Kofi Addai, now Nene Nagai Kassah VIII, let alone Dangme customary law relativities on parentage and ascension to a vacant stool of a Royal Family Gate.
6. It is also not true that it is the turn of “Agomeda Wem” to enstool a successor of Nene Kassah VII since “Agomeda Wem” is in Gate I and they have had their turn in the person of Teinor Kofi who became Nene Nagai Kassah VII (deseased). The said Nene Nagai Kassah VII from Agomeda Wem (Gate 1) reigned for fifty-six (56) years, with the cooperation and support of their counterpart royals from Gate 2 i.e. Katamanso Wem, from where Nene Nagai Kassah VIII has been lawfully enstooled.
7. It is unfortunate that the Ghanaian Voice, for whatever ulterior motive or agenda, is trying hard to incite tribal sentiments, and raise false alarm in the Shai Traditional area, known for its commitment to peace and tranquility. What does the paper mean by an “Ashante man who comes from Mamponteng (in the Ashanti Region”). What purpose does the paper hopes to achieve by whipping such diabolical ethnical sentiments? Is an Ashanti man not a Ghanaian? If an Ashanti man is ruling the whole of Ghana what is the big deal if another Ashanti man is found to be fit and proper to rule in Shai? Has the paper taken the trouble to check the origin of the Nagai Kassah Stool of Agomeda? We urge the paper to find out as an assignment! In any case, where does the Asafoatse Okukrubuor Teye Kwasi Agyeman who the paper is seeking to project come from? Is he an Ashanti or Akan for short? If not from where did he get the names Okukrubuor and Agyeman, which are clear Akan names, and if the reasoning of the paper and its informants is anything to go by, are names alien to Dangmeland.
We adore and respect the Honourable Mike Gizo, and will not succumb to descending into the gutter to say any derogatory thing about him, as the Daily Ghanaian Voice sought to don to our newly enstooled Chief. We are confident that Honourable Mike Gizo is not behind the publication because he is an Honourable man. The whole of his career as MP he never insulted anyone! For those who probably do not know and are poised to playing the TRIBAL card against our candidate, alleging that he has AKAN background, Honourable Miki Gizo too has an AKAN background, and notwithstanding that, we made him MP of the predominantly GA DANGME constituency (i.e. Shai-Osudoku) for three (3) terms (12 years). He could also as well have ascended to the Nagai Kassah stool if his gate (i.e. Gate 1) had not already had its turn to occupy the Stool per Nene Nagai Kassah VII (diseased) who was his cousin.
8. For the information and benefit of the General Public, there are only THREE (3) main CLANS or DIVISIONS in the Shai Traditional Area. There are: HIOWE with its capital at Doryum; MLA HIOMEH with its capital at Agomeda; the LEKPEDZE with its capital at Kodiabe. The Numerse “family” over which Asafoatse Tei Kwasi Agyeman presides are from Abokobi, Yilo Krobo and came to sojourn the Mla Hiomeh Clan. The said Asafoatse thus has no locus standi to intermeddle in Mla Hiomeh affairs, as he appears to be doing now!
9. The Mla Hiomeh have developed two traditional ruling or royal gates with a third Gate vested with authority to enstool or perform the installation ceremony of any Mla Hiomeh Matse. Gate one (1) comprises of Zorku Wem, Agbedavor Wem, and Agomeda Wem. Gate two (2) comprises of Agbadzi Wem Katamanso Wem, and Akumienu Wem. Gate three (3) comprises of Bagalo Wem. During the last 56 years the candidate provided by Agomeda Wem from Gate one (1) in the person of Teinor Kofi ascended the throne as Nene Nagai Kassah VII. Even though none of the parents of the deceased Chief hailed from Hoimeh, the Katamanso Gate cooperated with them and did not interfere in their choice of candidate (as that was their right) until that Chief had his full term. He died in 2005. Members of Gate 2 Katamanso Royal House cooperated fully with him during his long period of reign as Mla Hiomeh Mantse, and later as Acting President of the Shai Traditional Council.
On the death of Nene Nagai Kassah VII, the Katamanso Wem (Gate two whose turn it was to provide a candidate dutifully did so. The candidate, in the person of Joseph Tetteh Kofi Addae, had support from all including key personalities from gate one (1) such as the Asafoatse Agbota Wayebiba II, the late Nana Korleki Klepke Borngua, Queen of Hiomeh from Gate One (1), Rev. E.K. Adjatey from Zorku Wem of Gate One (1), Okyeame Adamtey (Chief Linguist and Chief Priest of Larlue Fetish also from gate One (1), among others. In addition to support from all the relevant houses from Gate Two (2), the Gyaase of Gate Three (3) in whom traditional authority is vested to perform the requisite customary rites for the installations of Hiomeh Matse, lend support for the candidate and dutifully performed the enstooled ceremony. When the new Chief from the Katamanso Wem (Gate 2) was accepted and confined for the installation ceremony, an attempt was made by a faction from gate One (1) to nominate the former MP for Shai-Osudoku in the person of Mr. Mike Afedi Gizo to be made the chief to succeed his cousin, Nene Nagai Kassah VII (diseased). As it was against custom and the constitution of Mla Hoimeh Royal Clan, for two (2) persons from the same Gate to ascend the throne in succession, his nomination was resisted and rejected! The Katamanso Gate has since lawfully installed and outdoored the legitimate successor of the departed Chief, openly and in peace. Both the Daily Graphic and Ghanaian Times carried the ceremony. This was after the Shai Traditional Council had through the appropriate Committee gone into the dispute, and confirmed the installation of W.O. Joseph Tetteh Kofi Addai as the Hiomeh Matse to be in order. For the avoidance of doubt we reproduce the recommendations of the Judicial Committee of the Shai Traditional Council on the matter below:
1. That, the nomination, vetting confining and enstoolment of W.O. Joseph Tetteh Kofi Addai from Katamanso Wem of Gate 2 was in order.
2. That, customary rites performed by the King Makers of Hiomeh of Gate 3 and supported by Stool Elders of Gate 1 and 2 be accepted without doubt.
3. That, a faction that nominated Mr. Mike Gizo (a cousin of the late Nene Nagai Kassah VII) also from gate I did not follow the laid down procedure of rotation between gates 1 and 2, therefore their action of enstoolment be ignored and declared null and void.
4. That W.O. Joseph Tetteh Kofi Addae is recommended for acceptance as Hiomeh Matse under the STOOL NAME NENE NAGAI KASSAH VIII.
5. And that the Shai Traditional Council should also recognize Nene Nagai Kassah VIII as Hiomeh Matse of the Shai Traditional Area.
On the 31st May, 2007, the report containing the above recommendations the Shai Traditional Council which deliberated upon the matter and decided as follows:
“We have carefully and thoroughly studied the report and arrived at the conclusion unanimously that the Committee has painstakingly taken statements from both sides of the two Gates. That we have accepted the recommendation of the committee and confirmed that the committees report should be implemented”.
Daily Graphic - Friday, August 24, 2007 Page: 45