The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has reportedly directed the Kumasi Traditional Council to discontinue the sitting on the alleged disrespect from the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Bernard Antwi-Boasiako, popularly known as Chairman Wontumi, on the occupant of the Golden Stool.
This came about from information gathered from a reliable source from the Manhyia Palace who does not want to be named - Ghanaweb reported.
Pulse.com.gh source also says the “Asantehene expressly stated that Chairman Wontumi is his grandson and therefore would not subject him, the Asantehene or the Sika Dwa to any form of disrespect as alleged.”
The report continued that the Asantehene “went on to state that, he has not directed anyone to summon Chairman Wontumi on any matter and was very furious with the Bantamahene, Baffour Owusu Amankwatia VI, for the unnecessary tension that their actions are bringing to Asante ahead of the 150 years anniversary celebration of the Sagrenti War and the 25th anniversary of his coronation.”
The report also indicated that this information shows that the Asantehene does not want Manhyia and the Golden Stool to be meddling in petty partisan political issues.
The Kumasi Traditional Council was scheduled to meet the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP on Monday, January 29, 2024.
The Kumasi Traditional Council summoned Bernard Antwi Boasiako, also known as Wontumi, the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), over reported derogatory remarks against the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
The Council directed the NPP leadership to ensure Wontumi's appearance next Monday to address comments made during the vetting of parliamentary aspirants in Manhyia South.
NPP General Secretary, Justin Kodua Frimpong, and National Organiser, Henry Nana Boakye, sought a two-week extension, citing Wontumi's current health condition. The Council expressed outrage, insisting on Wontumi's presence, even if in a wheelchair, and demanded appearances from legal practitioner Maurice Ampaw and Wontumi Radio and TV management on Monday.
The NPP distanced itself from Mr Ampaw's alleged comments, assuring the Council of Wontumi's cooperation.
In a response to alleged disrespectful remarks by Wontumi, the Ashanti Youth group declared him persona non grata in the region.
The ban, announced during a press conference in Kumasi on Wednesday, 17 January 2024, follows accusations that Chairman Wontumi claimed to have “built his own kingdom with military and police force in the Asante Kingdom.”
Expressing their displeasure, the youth not only banned Chairman Wontumi from the Ashanti Region but also prohibited his entry into the Manhyia Palace and any other palaces within the region.
The decision was made in response to what the youth described as an “uncalled-for” outburst and an “exhibition of lack of respect for the golden stool” by the Ashanti Regional chairman.
A spokesperson for the irate youth, Mr Eugene Oppong, who addressed the press, demanded a public apology from Chairman Wontumi before considering his acceptance back into the Asanteman.
Mr Oppong emphasised that Chairman Wontumi’s comments were disrespectful to the Asante Kingdom, particularly the Golden Stool, and warranted an unqualified apology.
The controversy arose during the vetting of NPP parliamentary aspirants in the Ashanti region when Chairman Wontumi allegedly claimed to have “built his own kingdom with military and police force in the Asante Kingdom.”
The statement reportedly followed a confrontation between the regional Chairman and the Manhyia South Organiser for the NPP, Alhaji Abuba.
The Chief of Kokoso, Nana Kwaku Duah, who is the Council of Elders Chairman for Manhyia South and was part of the vetting committee, reportedly confronted Wontumi, asserting that, apart from Asantehene, no one in the Asante Kingdom owns a kingdom.
However, Wontumi purportedly insisted that he had the right to express his opinions within the Asante Kingdom, even if they differed from those of the Asante monarch.