The Obaapanin of Kato in the Berekum Traditional Area, Obaapanin Afia Asiraa Ababio III has been destooled by the Nsutamanhene, Nana Adu Agyei Bonsafo, President of the Nsuta Traditional Council in Consultation with Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem.
In a statement signed by Nsutamanhene, Nana Adu Agyei Bonsafo it was stated that the Kato stool belongs to the Asona Royal Clan and not Aduana Clan as stated by the destooled Obaapanin of Kato. History book of Berekum states clearly that the people of Kato’s Great grandmother by name Nana Yaa Agyei migrated from Asante Asamang which is under the jurisdiction of Nsutamanhene.
Also, the destooled Obaapanin has failed to honor a series of invitations from the Asantehemaa’s court at Manhyia in Kumasi, which per tradition is a gross disrespect. According to the statement, a delegation was sent by Nana Asantehemaa through Berekumhene to invite the said Obaapanin, which she acknowledged and honored at last.
At the Asantehemaa’s Court at the Manhyia Palace, when she had honored the invitation, the Oath of Asantehemaa, “Kokonua” was invoked against her, which she failed to respond to. The statement continued that, the Nsutamanhene withdrew the matter for amicable settlement at his palace at Nsuta but the Obaapanin has refused to respond to calls on two consecutive times.
Against tradition and custom, the now destooled Obaapanin of Kato has appointed and installed four elders – Adontenhene, Kyidomhene, Twafohene and Abrafohene. Upon the above reasons, which according to the statement were affront to the traditions and customs of the Chieftaincy institution, the Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem, the Nsutamanhene, Nana Adu Agyei Bonsafo decided to destool the Obaapanin of Kato.
Kato has been bedeviled with a protracted chieftaincy dispute about who occupies the vacant stool, following the death of Nana Kwadwo Kyere, who hails from the Minimini Royal Family. In an attempt to find a replacement for the late Kwadwo Kyere, the Naentene Royal Family of Kato, who felt it was their turn to occupy the stool, approached the Queen, Nana Afia Srah Ababio, to get the royal nominated to occupy the stool.
In the process, a member of the family, Kwabena Adutwum was presented to the Queen for consideration through the Odikro of Nanasuano, Nana Osei Amankwaah, where they offered two bottles of Schnapps and a GHc100 as custom demands.
After waiting for a while, without a reply from Nana Afia Sra Ababio, the Naentene Royal felt she was delaying unreasonably and as a result, on June 24, 2013, the Naentene Royal family forcibly installed one Dan Kwadwo Kyeremeh as Chief of Kato under the stool name, Nana Amankona Feniri Amoayi II.
The action of the Naentene Royal Family was considered by the Queen as a gross affront and contemptuous to her authority, and as a counter to the action of the Naentene Royal family, the Queen also caused the nomination and acceptance of another person from the Minimini Royal Family, in the person of Owusu Ansah, to be installed as the chief of Kato.
As a result, these two actions have created tension and bad blood between the two opposing groups. But for the intervention of the Berekum Police command, disaster would have struck the town on December 26, 2014, when the Adehyepanin, Nana Kwadwo Oppong, together with some youth, were attacked when painting the Kato Chief’s Palace through communal labour by some thugs.
The Berekum Traditional Council set up a Mediation Committee to mediate the Kato Chieftaincy dispute, which recommendation had been given to both parties on how best to resolve the issue but to no avail.
Per the recommendations signed by the mediation committee chairman, Nana Kyere Yeboah-Dartey II, Benkumhene of Berekum, the committee expressed the believe that for peace and tranquility to prevail at Kato, and allow the two families to live as one people, it will not be out of custom for the Queen to accept a nomination from the Naentene Family for consideration.
The recommendation indicated that there was no doubt that by occupying the Kato Stools for a long time, the Minimini Royal Gate had had a monopoly over the Stool and this has been the bone of contention between the two Royal Gates.
In order to ensure lasting peace in Kato, the Committee recommended that the monopoly has to be reversed by giving the Naentene Family due recognition, advising that henceforth the occupation of the Kato Stool both male and female should be on rotational basis between the two families.
However, not even the intervention of the President of the National Assembly of Women Traditional Leaders of Ghana (Queen Mothers Association of Ghana), Nana Abena Boatemaa, who is the Queen of Odumase No.1, could persuade the Kato Queen to accept the installation of Nana Kwadwo Kyeremeh.
According to a letter signed by Nana Abena Boatemaa, President of Queen Mothers Association of Ghana, Nana Afia Srah Ababio, came to her with the response that after deliberations with her family elders, they had come to the conclusion that it was impossible to allow Nana Kwadwo Kyeremeh to become chief of Kato, because they do not belong to the same clan.
From Michael Boateng, Kato
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