Youngest Paramount Chief enstooled in Okuapeman
A new Paramount Chief for Okuapeman has been sworn in and outdoored in a private traditional ceremony held in the Chief Palace at Akropong on Sunday May 3,2020.
Odehye Kwadwo Kesse, 34, is now called by stool name Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akuffo II. He is the ninth Chief to ascend the Ofori Kuma Stool.
Oseadeyo Kwasi Akuffo II is arguably the youngest paramount Chief in Ghana now.
The 34-year-old Okuapehene holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the West Chester Community College, Val Halla, New York after completing his secondary school education at the Presbyterian Boys Senior High school, Legon in Accra.
He swore the oath of coronation to the Krontihene Osahene Ofei Kwasi Agyeman.
All five Divisional Chiefs in Okuapeman also sworn oath of allegiance to the new Okuapehene. They are the Lartehhene and Benkumhene of Akuapem, Osabarima Enyine Asiedu Okoo Ababio III; the Aburihene and Adontenhene of Akuapem, Otobuor Djan Kwasi; the Krontihene of Akuapem, Osahene Ofei Kwasi Agyeman; the Adukromhene and Nifahene of Akuapem, represented by Awukuguahene and Acting Nifahene, Nana Opese Konadu, and the Amanokromhene and Gyasehene of Akuapem, Nana Osim Kwatia
Continuity of traditional processes for enstooled of new Okuapehene started Friday, May 1, 2020 amid tight security following the nullification of nomination and enstoolment processes of Odehye Kwasi Akuffo by the Judicial Committee of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs on Thursday, April 30, 2020.
The Ofori Kuma Stool became vacant for almost five years after the demise of Oseadeeyo Addo Dankwah III, Okuapehene due to disputes among the Sakyeabea Royal family over who is the legible candidate to succeed the late paramount chief who reigned for 41 years.
The stool has three ruling houses – Nketia, Amogyaa, and Sakyibea. Currently, it is the turn of the Sakyeabea ruling house to select a candidate to be installed as Okuapehene which has been done.
However in 2017, while Odehye Kwasi Akuffo was nominated by the Paramount Queenmother Nana Afua Nketia Obuo and began processes to install him as successor to the late Okuapehene, the Abrewatia of Sakyeabea Royal family also nominated Odehye Kwadwo Kese for the same stool.
This chieftaincy dispute led to several clashes and destruction of properties in Akropong. The Palace was closed down and taken over by the security operatives.
Lilian Nana Agyemang who is the Abrewatia of the Sakyeabea Royal family petitioned the Regional House Chiefs challenging the traditional capacity of the Paramount Queenmother in nominating and installing Odehye Kwasi Akuffo to ascend the stool.
Delivering the landmark judgement Thursday, April 30, 2020, the Eastern Regional House of Chief upheld that, selection of a legible royal to be enstooled as Paramount Chief is the prerogative of the Abrewatia of the ruling family whose turn it is to select a candidate and submit the name of the chosen royal to Asonahene to be sent to the Queenmother.
The House upheld that the Queenmother failed to provide evidence that the right traditional procedures were followed before initiating processes to install Odehye Kwasi Akuffo as Okuapemhene.
The House also stated that, the Queenmother alone cannot select a candidate from the Royal Family without the involvement of the Abrewatia, adding that, the involvement of the Abrewatia and the elderly female is an aged-custom which does not take away the powers of the Queenmother in presenting the candidate for final enstoolment, therefore declared that, the nomination and processes to install Odehye Kwasi Akuffo is null and void with no traditional effect hence should not parade himself as Okuapehene.
The house directed that due traditional processes must hence be followed in enstooling a successor.
The Regional House of Chiefs awarded Ghc25,000 cost against the Queenmother.
Historically, processes of enstooling a paramount Chief whenever the stool is vacant has never been smooth in the last 100 years in Okuapeman.