Kumasi Traditional Council clears Wontumi, rebukes chief over baseless allegations

Chairman Wontumi has denied disrespecting the Asantehene and explained that the issues at stake were purely party-related

The Kumasi Traditional Council (KTC) has taken a stern stance against the Kokosohene, Nana Kwaku Duah, accusing him of dragging the name of Manhyia Palace into a partisan dispute.

The council said that the ongoing conflict between Nana Kwaku Duah and the Ashanti regional chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi Boasiako, was purely a partisan matter and should not have been brought before the Kumasi Traditional Council for resolution.

In response to these allegations, the council directed Nana Duah to choose between his chieftaincy role and partisan politics.

The directive was issued on Monday (29 January 2024) during a council meeting, convened to deliberate on the complaint lodged against Chairman Wontumi by Nana Kwaku Duah.

The Kokosohene had accused Chairman Wontumi of showing disrespect to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, during the vetting process preceding the NPP parliamentary primaries.

According to Nana Kwaku Duah, an argument ensued during the vetting of the MP for Manhyia South, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, where Chairman Wontumi allegedly claimed he had no problem speaking his mind even before the Asantehene, stating that he had his own kingdom in the Ashanti Region.

Chairman Wontumi, in his defence, denied disrespecting the Asantehene and explained that the matters at stake were purely party-related.

He claimed to have resolved the matter with Nana Kwaku Duah through a conference call initiated by the NPP’s general secretary.

Stained image

At the meeting on Monday, several chiefs raised concerns about the involvement of chiefs in partisan politics, which they believed tarnishes the image of the institution of chieftaincy and violates both the Ghana constitution and Otumfuo’s directive prohibiting chiefs from engaging in partisan politics.

The chiefs also called for calm as they prepared for the Asantehene’s 25th-anniversary celebrations. However, the council was silent on the fate of the private legal practitioner Maurice Ampaw, who was also accused of making unsavoury comments against the Kumasi chiefs.

In a delegation to Manhyia Palace, Chairman Wontumi was accompanied by high-profile members of the NPP, including the national chairman, general secretary, Ashanti Regional Minister, national organiser, Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs and other NPP regional executives.

The presence of district chief executives from the region highlighted the significance of the matter at both the party and regional levels.

Reporting by Jonathan Ofori, Manhyia Palace, Ashanti Region

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