Akyem Abuakwa state has set the record straight on the traditional status of Adoagyiri lands near Nsawam in the Eastern region.
It comes on the heels of recent rising tension between Akyem Abuakwa state and Akyem Kotoku State over claim of ownership of Adoagyiri, and subsequent injunction placed by the Ghana Police Service on a planned celebration of Odwira Festival by Okoanadwo Afutu Dompreh II who claims to be Chief of Adoagyiri and acting on behalf of Kotoku traditional council.
Subsequently, on 23rd February, 2023 three persons – Obrempong Gyamfi Saforo, Obrempong Sintim Poku and Nana Kwasi Tweretwie purported to represent the Kotoku council wrote a letter demanding Okyenhene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin to stay away from interfering in the chieftaincy matters in Adoagyiri since it is not under his traditional jurisdiction.
Addressing the media in Kyebi Monday, March 13, 2023, the State Secretary at Ofori Panin Fie, Dan M. Ofori Atta reiterated established historical facts that, “Adoagyiri is the boarder town and entry into the Akyem Abuakwa Kingdom from Accra which is indicated by the Nsawam bridge across the Densu river as the entrance of the Akyem Abuakwa Kingdom.”
“Adoagyiri has since historical time been part of Akyem Abuakwa and falls directly under the Apapam stool which is an integral part of the Amantuomiensa Group of the Akyem Abuakwa state, records indicate that all substantive Adoagyiri chiefs have been part of the Akyem Abuakwa state council inclusive in the records are evidence of land transactions”
He said, “records indicate that all successive Adoagyiri Chiefs have been part of the Akyem Abuakwa State Council, inclusive in the records are evidence of land transactions.
Concerning the above, Barima Adu Kokor, who passed on in 2007 served the Ofori Panin Stool as the most dedicated and one of the longest reigning Chief of Akyem Abuakwa, after he was installed in 1953 as Chief of Adoagyiri”
Ofori Panin Fie stated further that “the Kotoku citizens just as other ethnic communities are settlers, granted usufructuary rights and have no allodial right to any land. It should be clearly understood that lands by Akan Tradition is the fundamental condition for the exercise of customary rights, the two being intricately linked and inseparable. The Okyenhene being the allodial owner of the land in Adoagyiri exercise exclusive customary authority”
According to Ofori Panin Fie “there are no records that establishes that Adoagyiri is and has ever been part of Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area. Adoagyiri is not contiguous with any of the lands of the Kotoku State, more than five towns of Akyem Abuakwa separate Adoagyiri from Akyem Kotoku lands”.
The Ofori Panin Fie said this is not the first time Akyem Kotoku State has attempted to lay dubious claim to Akyem Abuakwa lands.
A brief historical account given about Akyem Abuakwa and Kotoku is that, ancestors of Akyem Abuakwa migrated from Adansi Akrokere Kokobeante to establish Akyem Abuakwa State which stretches from Densu river in precincts of Nsawam in the south to Pomposu River in the East to the environs of Kwahu border abutting the Jejeti town to the north.
That, Kotoku was originally rehabilitated at Gyadam near Osino in 1824. It was later relocated to Western Akyem in 1863 after the Gyadam war.
“The land on which the capital of Kotoku State, Nsuaem, subsequently named Akyem Oda was granted rent- free to them by Akyem Abuakwa”.
In 1902, King Attafua of Kotoku petitioned Sir Matthew Nathan, then Colonial Governor to incorporate the Abuakwa towns of Akyease, Gyadam, Kyea, Otwereso and Brimso into Kotoku State on grounds that majority of the population were Kotoku ethnic groups but the Colonial administration dismissed the petition.
“it is the same grounds that Adoagyiri cannot be claimed by any settler community whether Ga, Ewe, Krobo or Kotoku”.
Ofori Panin Fie concluded stating therefore that, question of jurisdiction is not based on ethnicity or tribal identity but jurisdiction is geographical and territorial.
He stated emphatically that Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council will soon exercise its customary duty by installing a Chief in Adoagyiri that there will be consequences for anyone who attempts to stop the process.