Mamponghene Faces the Wrath of Otumfuo
OTUMFOUR ASANTEHENE’S GREAT OATH (NTAMKESIE) SWORN ON MAMPONGHENE IN HIS PALACE AT 12 NOON ON FRIDAY 4TH OCTOBER, 2019 AGAINST THE FUNERAL OF OSEI BONSU WHO COMMITED SUICIDE 89 YEARS AGO. MAMPONGHENE DAASEBRE OSEI BONSU IS DETERMINED TO GO AHEAD STATING, I FEAR NOBODY.
OSEI BONSU 1
According to Rattray's Ashanti Law and Constitution of 1929, Genealogy of Chiefs and Queen mothers of the Bretuo Clan from Botase and Babiru branches, Akosua Atiaa daughter of Ajakuma Fofie Ababio and Yeboah Kodie married Marfo and had 6 children including Mamponghene Atakora Kwaku. She subsequently married Jamasi Akonnuasuafohene and had 2 children before marrying Owusu Kwabena, son of Asantehene Osei Bonsu.
Osei Bonsu's sister Ama Serwa Okoto married Boakye Yaw or Boakye Ansah and had three children Ama Agyeman, Kwaku Dua and Afua Sarpong. Another sister Serwa Amaniampong married Nyama Adiasie and produced four children Nyarko, Kofi Nsenkyire, Akua Afriyie and Kobina Gyima.
Osei Bonsu in 1882 succeeded his brother Atakora Kwaku who died after a year on the stool. Osei Bonsu failed to go to Kumasi it is alledged to take the 'oath of allegiance' to the Asantehene Mensah Bonsu who caused him to be destooled. Osei Bonsu fled Ashanti to the Gold Coast colony in 1883 and prospered as a rubber trader. He was appointed to the office of Kumasi Bantamahene by the British in 1901 and held the stool for fifteen years and then became Mamponghene from 1916 to 1930.
After the death of Owusu Sekyere II on or about 1916, the Mampong Stool was offered to Kofi Nsenkyire, Osei Bonsu's nephew from his sister Serwa Amaniampong. He Kofi Nsenkyire like Nana Osei Bonsu had been appointed Ankaasehene also by the British who had also made Kwaku Dua his other nephew by the sister Ama Serwa Okoto as Kumasi Atipinhene.
Ankaasehene Kofi Nsenkyire having received the great news of being nominated for the vacant Mampong stool, went over to his uncle Nana Osei Bonsu Bantamahene, to inform him. It must be recalled that the Banatamahene Osei Bonsu had in 1882 been made Mamponghene and destooled so of course he was not offered the stool, he however being older and an uncle decided to take the stool again. The Mampong stool is senior to the Bantamahene stool in Ashanti Chieftaincy hierarchy and therefore understandable. It is said that Ankaasehene Kofi Nsenkyire having been deprived of the Mampong stool went back home to commiserate and while mourning his loss, the wooden story building collapsed and he was killed. This history was shared by Nana Atakora Amaniampong on several occasions when he spoke of the gulf between him and Nana Osei Bonsu for depriving his direct uncle Kofi Nsenkyire from ascending to the Mampong stool and leading to his early demise.
Nana Osei Bonsu became Mamponghene in 1916.
Nana Agyeman Prempeh I returned from Seychelles in 1924 and in 1930 brought back the exhumed bones of his mother Yaa Akyaa, Asantehemaa, his brother Agyeman Badu, other Chiefs and Queen mothers’ including Yaa Asantewaa and Counsellors who had died in Seychelles for proper internment befitting their status. It included Mamponghene Kwame Appia Osokye who became Mamponghene after the defeat of the supporters of Yaw Atwereboana in the Ejisu war. Mamponghene Owusu Sekyere II had backed Atwereboana against Agyeman Prempeh and went into exile at Atebubu. He was brought back after Appia Osokye was taken into exile with Agyeman Prempeh in 1896.
Owusu Sekyere's death in 1916 is described elaborately and that was the last time a Mamponghene had died on the stool and had been accorded the full ceremonial treatment including blackening his stool.
On the 27th of January 1930, the two cases of the exhumed bones were brought from the Seychelles toTakoradi and eventually to Kumasi. It included the bones of Mamponghene Nana Appia Osokye in case
- The remains were handed over to the Mamponghene Nana Osei Bonsu to be buried in the royal mausoleum befitting his status as ex Mamponghene.
It is alledged that the money provided for the burial was misappropriated by Nana Osei Bonsu and the fitting burial for Nana Appia Osokye and blackening of his stool was not done and has not been done to date. While Prempeh I and his chiefs and queen mothers were in Seychelles, each of them was required to provide the name of the next of kin. Nana Appiah Osokye gave the name of his nephew Kwaku Duah as his next of kin. When he died, some compensation was to be paid out to the next of kin. Nana Osei Bonsu who was then Mamponghene nominated his nephew also called Kwaku Duah who collected the money. It is also said that the Colonial Government provided 450.00 for the construction of a court and a prison in Mampong. The court was built but not the prison. The money was used in building houses in Kumasi. The burial fee was the last straw. The Ejurahene Nana Adiyiah’s okyeame or linguist was sent to request for Nana Osei Bonsu to come and present his accounts for audit and it was there he committed suicide. Nana Osei Bonsu chose the path of least resistance and killed himself, described as atofowuo. For a chief of such high status as Bantamahene, Krontihene of Kumasi Traditional Council in the absence of the Asantehene for 15 years and for another 14 years as Nifahene of Asanteman Traditional Council to have committed such a heinous crime, a capital sin and Oman Akyiwadie, a great taboo, was grave beyond recognition.
In 1931 his direct nephew Nana Kwaku Dua by his sister Ama Serwa Okoto who was Atipinhene of Kumasi and collected the compensation due Nana Appia Osokye’s family, became Mamponghene. He was Mamponghene for 5 years from 1931 to 1935 and his sister Afua Sarpong was Mamponghemaa. At no time did they deem it fit to give Nana Osei Bonsu an appropriate burial. In Ashanti folklore according to Rattray the capital punishment would have been to cut of the suicide victim's head. Nana Osei Bonsu was spared that.
Subsequent to Nana Kwaku Dua 1931 to 1935, there has been many other Chiefs of Mampong; Nana Owusu Sekyere Abunyewa 1935 to 1952, Nana Safo Kantanka II 1952 to 1961, Nana Kwabena Dwumo
II 1961 to 1966, Nana Atakora Amaniampong II 1967 to 1987 and then Nana Akuamoa Boateng Ababio 1987 to 1996 whose reign was declared null and void by the Supreme Court of Ghana and then Daasebre Osei Bonsu II 1996 to date.
Nana Kwaku Duah, a direct nephew from the Botase family and Nana Atakora Amaniampong II also from the Botase family knew Nana Osei Bonsu and even they did not consider formal burial for him because of the circumstances of his death.
Daasebre Osei Bonsu II has been Mamponghene for over twenty years and why now?
Is it that Daasebre Osei Bonsu II is unaware of the circumstances surrounding the death of Nana Osei Bonsu I or having taken the name Osei Bonsu without going through the customary practice of entering the stool room and choosing from among the black stools is now preparing for his ultimate demise by consecrating Osei Bonsu I so he can appropriately have his stool blackened after his death?
The circumstances surrounding Osei Bonsu I death has not changed. He failed to bury Nana Kwame Appiah Osokye properly and denied him the black stool having squandered the money and defrauded Asante Mampong and committed a capital sin, atofowuo, or Oman Akyiwadie according to Ashanti custom.
89 years later, he cannot be rehabilitated because to bury him in the royal mausoleum or seek to bring his black stool into the Asante Mampong stool room will be sacriledge and bring untold curses and bad omen on Mampong and its people and the Asante nation at large.
If there is no Nana Appiah Osokye's black stool, there cannot and will be no Osei Bonsu black stool. We understand the Osei Bonsu black stool has been prepared, ready for the stool room. It cannot be and should not be.
Otumfour’s great oath cannot be dismissed by anybody.
NANA KOFI AGYEMAN
ASANTE MAMPONG HISTORIAN
Facts have been taken from
- Rattray, Ashanti Law and Constitution 1929
- History of Ashanti Kings and the whole country itself and other writings by Otumfour Agyeman Prempeh I. Edited by A Adu Boahen, Emmanuel Acheampong, Nancy Lauder, T C McCaskie and Ivor Wilks
- State and Society in Precolonial Asante T C McCaskie
- Personal communication Nana Atakoraa Amaniampong, Rev Dr Kwaku Dua Agyeman of Kordiekrom Royal family and Alex Sarfo of Barbiru Royal family both of Asante Mampong
© 2019 Nana Kofi Agyeman