The seething bad blood between the Paramount Chief of President Akufo Addo’s hometown, Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin and his colleague from the New Juaben traditional area Daasebre Professor (Emeritus) Oti Boateng has escalated as words like dangerous, acerbic, vitriolic and ignorant have been hurled at each other.
About two weeks ago, the New Juaben Chief had issued a strongly-worded statement condemning the Okyehene for attempting to seize absolute control of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs (ERHC), detailing the Okyehene’s surreptitious increase of the membership of the ERHC with sub-chiefs loyal to him [the Okyehene]
The letter which is dated 5th August 2020 and addressed to the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi tell of how the Okyenhene, whose Presidency of the ERHC is about to end, is seeking to indefinitely perpetuate himself by sneaking his minions into the traditional council.
Prof. (Emeritus) Oti Boateng warned that the gamesmanship of the Okyenhene was a dangerous one.
“The Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, is playing a highly risky game in a unilateral and needless restructuring of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs (ERHC). So far, he has failed to present any tangible reason why the ERHC must be restructured. The ERHC has maintained the same membership of eleven (11) Paramount Chiefs for over half-a-century and has worked well under various Presidents of the House including his predecessor, Osagyefuo Kuntunkununku II,” the angry New Juaben chief charged.
However, in a sharp response to the New Juaben Chief, the Okyehene today caused his administrators to write a commensurate strong-worded response, describing the New Juaben chief’s letter as “generally acerbic and vitriolic tone of language as well as the contemptuous imputations.”
“Whilst observing that such language is inappropriate and unbefitting of communication between esteemed members of the august House of Chiefs, in the spirit of fostering harmony, accord and unity among noble brothers, we have been instructed to refrain from replying in a similar tone,” stated the Okyehene’s response signed by Kwame A Boateng Esq, the Head of The Ofori Panin Fie Legal Team
“The purpose of this rejoinder is to place on record a response to the unfortunate and, perhaps, deliberate misrepresentation by you of the circumstances culminating in the amendment to the composition of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs (ERHC) in your letter, contents of which have been published widely in both print and electronic media.”
The response went ahead to challenge the New Juaben chief for not attending meetings of the ERHC for over seven years now and that it has been a general consensus in the ERHC that the number of representative chiefs were too few and that there was a need to increase the numbers.
“In fact, attendance records will show that you have not attended any meeting of the ERHC for over 7 years. This ERHC situation was in sharp contrast with what pertained in the case of other Regional House of Chiefs who were constituted and populated in big numbers by both Paramountcies and Divisional chiefs. Indeed, the ERHC, even though representing a region by no means the smallest, had, by far, the lowest number of chiefs. In a variety of ways, this situation severely impacted on the constitutional and statutory functions of the House, as well as, its prominence in chieftaincy affairs at the national level,” the letter stated.
It is believed that the New Juaben Chief may not take kindly to this response and may fire yet another salvo at the Okyehene.