10 March 2005

Ghana: Chieftaincy Contractors Cautioned Against 'Unholy' Conspiracies

Vume — -As Volta chief traces origins to Denkyira

The Paramount Chief of the Vume Traditional Area in the South Tongu District of the Volta region, Okoanko Nana Yao Akornor II, has identified unnecessary chieftaincy litigation as one of the enemies of peace and progress in the traditional area, and cautioned those involved in the practice to desist from it or face the judgement of posterity.

Describing them as 'self-seeking chieftaincy contractors,' the Fiaga of Vume said those people had teamed up with some political figures in the district and region, in a grand design to bring down the very existence of chieftaincy in his kingdom.

He stressed that such a move stood the chance of bringing disrepute to the entire institution in the country. Nana Akornor made the revelation on Friday when he held his first ever news conference at Dzakporsime, Vume-Dugame on behalf of the chiefs and people of the area to clear the air on matters arising on chieftaincy and 'bring out the hard facts for the truth, peace and justice-loving Ghanaians to hear and judge for themselves.'

"Certain persons or groups of persons, including certain political figures from the district and the region," he said, "have unholy conspiracy with some imposters and self-seeking chieftaincy contractors from my traditional area to disturb our peace and have been attempting to suppress and destroy the very existence of Vume chieftaincy.

This will bring the noble chieftaincy institution of this country into big shame." He tendered empirical historical and traditional evidence to buttress the claim that although the Vumes were wholly Ewes now, they were an Akan-speaking group that migrated from Dawire in Denkyira during the Ntim Gyakari War because their leader, Nana Akornor I, did not want them to be subservient to the Ashantis.

The chief said after settlements at Akwapim and Apirede during their migration, they came to their present location, revealing that the name Vume was an adulterated form of the Akan word 'Hume', meaning REST. He also showed to newsmen ancient regalia like the state symbol, trumpet and gong-gong (dawuro), which were all inherited since 1703 and passed on through generations, and said they indicated the chain of command at the time.

Quoting sections of written history (Short History of Ghana by W.E. Ward and The Ewe in Pre-Colonial Times by D.E.K. Amenumey) to authenticate his claims, Nana Akornor challenged the Registrar of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs to answer certain pertinent questions about the origin and hierarchy of the Vume people if he had any doubts of his claim, and wondered how the Regional and National Houses of Chiefs would "support and collude with some two imposters in their negative actions against the genuine developmental programmes and peace of majority of the people of the Vume Traditional Area."

The paramount chief, who described chieftaincy as the oldest political democratic institution in this country, contended that 'it is never expected, and never true, that all members of a royal family or traditional area should necessarily support a ruler before he performs his rightful functions'. He therefore made a passionate appeal to government to prevail on the registrar of the regional house of chiefs to reconsider his actions on Vume chieftaincy issues in order to, as he put it 'avoid any further disgrace and to stop bringing the noble chieftaincy institution of our dear nation into disrepute'.

According to the Fiaga, the essence of the news conference was to help the appropriate authorities to take the right steps to cause truth, justice and peace to prevail, and hoped that the traditional annual 'Hume-Akwasidae' festival of the chiefs and people would be celebrated soon. Present at the news conference, and who came to show their support for the Fiaga were Mama Adobea Akutse IV, paramount queen mother of Vume Traditional Area, and representatives from other satellite Vume settlements such as Torgome, Kpoviadzi, Srekpe, Azanorkorfe, Atsiekpo, Meyikpor and Gbeleme.

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