By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh.com |
Special Aide to the Awoamefia of Anlo, in the Volta Region, Agbotadua Boni has defended Awoamefia’s visit to Asanteman in the Ashanti Region over the weekend for the Akwasidae celebration, saying, he did no wrong by accepting the invitation.
Agbotadua Boni in an interview with Voltaonlinegh.com said Awoamefia’s decision was not to ignore the concerns of the youth but it was in respect to the centuries of relationship between Anlo and Asanteman.
Awoamefia Torgbui Sri III honoured the invitation of Asantehene Otumfour Osei Tutu II to be at the Akwasidae celebration on Sunday, December 16 as the Guest of Honour against the wish of the youth.
The invitation to Awoamefia was announced in a release signed by the Personal Assistant to Otumfour’s Chief of Staff, Kwame Aboagye Mensah on December 5 in Kumasi. It said Awoamefia’s visit “would mark the celebration of the longstanding friendship between the Asanteman and the Anlo State as part of Otumfour’s efforts to promote national cohesion and inter-ethnic harmony.”
However, a youth group, Anlo Youth Council (AYC) expressed concern over the invitation and Awoamefia’s decision to honour it describing it as “ill-timed.”
A release dated December 14 and signed by the President of AYC, Mayor Agbleze, said though the Group admitted the “cordial relationship between the Anlo and Asanteman in times past and now,” it warned the Awoamefia and his retinue of chiefs not to attend.
It said there was a more important issue that should interest the rulers of Anloland rather than participating in Akwasidae. “The Referendum to destroy the unity and peace of the Volta Region is slated for December 27, 2018 and that fateful date alone. Whatever the outcome, there will be many Akwasidae festivals to be celebrated in the future.”
“The Chiefs and AYC have since pledged our preparedness to assist our kith and kin in the northern Volta in readiness before, during and after the December 27 Referendum. We cannot be doing or be led to do anything else, particularly, participating in the pomp and pageantry of Asanteman,” it added.
But Agbotadua Boni said Awoamefia’s visit to Asanteman had nothing to do with politics or the impending referendum but borne out of the respect for the age-long relationship between the Anlos and Asantes.
He allayed fears of some youth who sought to say that Asantehene’s invite to Awoamefia had some intended motives including a subtle way to attempt exerting hegemony over Anlo, saying, “that cannot be possible. Actually, there existed an old friendship and relationship between Anlo and Asanteman.”
He disclosed that “Asantehene even opted to visit Hogbetsotsoza of the Anlos some time ago just to demonstrate that relationship but due to some circumstances, it could not happen.”
He therefore assured the people of Anlo and Ewes that, Awoamefia’s acceptance and subsequent visit to Asanteman was to build on an old relationship and not to hurt their (Anlo/Ewes) respect and dignity as there was no hidden agenda behind Asantehene’s invitation.
Akwasidae is an ornate ceremony celebrated by chiefs and people of Asante and its allied groups including Denkyira, Akuapim, Akyem, Kwahu once every six weeks to honour their ancestors. In Ashanti Region, it is to honour the Asantehene and commemorate the date that the Asante Golden Stool was magically brought down from heaven.