Fierce fighting erupted on Wednesday in Akropong in the Eastern Region over the performance of a ritual to mark the commencement of the Odwira Festival.
The mass brawl, according to reports, took place when the Okuapemhemaa , Nana Afua Nketiaa Obuo II and the Akuapem Asonahene, Nana Kwasi Omenako II decided to perform the Addaebutuw ritual at Mogyawere , which is the palace of the Adumhene.
Our checks revealed that the decision was arrived at after the Krontihene and the Bamuhene and their followers violently prevented them from making use of the Okuapemhene’s palace where the ritual is supposed to be carried out, as tradition demands .
The Addaebutuw ritual marks the beginning of the 40-day period of purification and preparation for the Odwira festival, which is the preserve of the Asona Royal family.
Traditional watchers say the solemn ceremony preceding the Odwira Festival has been performed by the Asona Royal family since time immemorial.
The Krontihene who belongs to the Aduana Clan celebrates Akwasidae and Kronti Odwira which is celebrated by the Kronti division after the main Odwira festival of the Asona Royal family . Being the Acting President of the Akuapem Traditional Council , the Krontihene observes the Adaebutuw rituals preceding the Odwira festival not as a member of the Asona Royal family.
“The Krontihene and the Bamuhene sent their thugs to confront us when we got to the Okuapemhene’s palace for the ceremony. They physically attacked us so we opted to have the Adaebutuw ceremony at the palace of the Adumhene instead.
“But the bandits some of whom were carrying guns followed us and the riot escalated. Some of us decided to defend ourselves, so free for all fight broke out,” a source close to the Asona royal family narrated.
The Asona Royal Family insist that the Addaebutuw and Odwira rituals are their preserve and not for Krontihene, Nana Offei Kwasi Agyeman who belongs to the Aduana family. According to the elders of the Asona Family, the Bamuhene who claimed to be performing the Adaebutuw ritual was in white cloth with a white calico as headgear which they described as sacrilegious and an abomination because Adaebutuw is a ritual which is performed in black cloth or black “Batakari” as remembrance and reverence for the warrior ancestors .
It would be recalled that the Standing Committee of Akuapem Traditional Council at its meeting on 2nd August , 2019 upheld a High Court ruling that Nana Kwame Afari Bampo II should not hold himself as a Chief until the final determination of the case relating to the charges brought against him by his family, the Banmu Stool Family, the Twumwaa Family.
Nana Bampo, known in private life as Staff Sergeant Frederick Ansaaku Kwakye of Base Ordnance, Ghana Army, has been dragged to the Judicial Committee of the Akuapem Traditional Council by his kingmakers after he publicly brandished a pistol, allegedly threatening his subjects.
In a 29-point-petition presented to the Council dated June 28, 2011, the kingmakers are seeking a declaration that the respondent (Nana Bampo II) has acted in various ways that make him unfit to occupy the Banmu Stool.