A SPEECH BY ODENEHO KWAFO AKOTO III

A SPEECH BY ODENEHO KWAFO AKOTO III, AKWAMUMANHENE AT THE AKWAMUMAN HOME COMING REUNION DURBAR AT AKWAMUFIEON NOVEMBER 10, 2012
First and foremost I am grateful to the Divine Creator (for touching the hearts of the good people of Akwamuman to pave the way for my enstoolment as the Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III. (While it is God who enstools, He does so through the will of the people). Any human effort for the selection of a leader is not devoid of challenges and bitter struggle, but when the Divine hands of God guide the process, ultimately a temporary bitter process leads to a better future for all. This is my prayer and I am sure the prayer of the thousands of Akwamumma and friends of Akwamuman everywhere.

 

 


I am equally grateful to all members of the Aduana/Abrade families in various parts of the Akan World for their wise counsel and prayers that guided the process. I am also grateful for the prayers and good wishes of all who directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, pro-actively or with good intentions mounted a vehement challenge all kinds and helped shape the integrity of the process and the outcome of my enstoolment. I sincerely accept all of it in good faith since they have helped strengthen me as a leader. What we pray for and request from Akwamuman is to leave behind our bitter past and aspire to build a better standard of living for our people now and in the future. In such a positive spirit of reconciliation, Akwamuman will be united and stronger to collectively pursue an agenda that will ensure a more honorable, and prosperous Akwamu than we met.
I have a vision of an awakening Akwamuman, a vision of an arising Akwamuman, and a vision of a united and strong Akwamuman. It is a vision rooted in the long checkered history, of an Empire that rose and declined, nevertheless left a cultural legacy that shaped the evolution of this social entity called Ghana. The rise and decline of the Akwamu Empire provide us with inspiration from great achievements of our forebears, but also useful lessons from the realities of the effects of their weaknesses and misdeeds. Our past strengths, weaknesses, our ignoble deeds and honorable deeds have all taught us useful lessons.


It is my strong conviction that the unseen Divine power has placed me here to lead Akwamuman to rise up again. Like the phoenix, Akwamu will rise up from its ashes and renew itself to resume its position as the originator of Akan culture and a source of cultural ideas for a greater part of Ghana. History attests to the military prowess, ingenuity in diplomacy (imbedded in the genes of our own Akwamu royal, Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General) and social organizational acumen of the early Akwamu. It was a formidable Empire that held dominion over a significant part of southern Ghana, stretching to Whydah in present day Republic of Benin. We however cannot continue to bask in our past glory. Since the founding of the Akwamu State in 1505 by Otumfo  Agyen  Kokobo to the expansion of the Akwamu Empire in the mid-1600 under Nana Sasraku I who ingenuously aided the founding of Asante as a formidable sovereign state and later an Empire; to the decline of the Akwamu Empire in the 1730s and the consolidation of its dwindled power in our new location during the late 1800s through the mid-1900s, the world has changed and Akwamuman has to change with it. Adjusting to the sweeping global changes should be wisely managed and guided by our past strengths and weaknesses.
As should be Akwamumanhene I join a long line of noble royals among them, men and women whose sacrifices and wisdom laid a foundation on which I pledge to build through the guidance of God and lessons from the wisdom of our forebears in order to ensure the reawakening of Akwamuman. That is my pledge and commitment .The world has changed tremendously and is still changing at a rapid rate. Akwamu therefore has to rise up and shine; progressively responding to the changing world and ensure better living conditions for her citizens.
In the context of the collective vision of Akwamu traditional leadership which I am blessed to spearhead, have proposed a strategic initiative consisting of the following:
A Peace and Unity Conference of Akwamu citizens and friends of Akwamuman as part of an agenda towards reconciliation - a pre-requisite for socio-economic development
2. A series of post Peace and Unity Conference follow-up interactions with all constituents of Akwamuman as follows:
• All local divisional chiefs and queens of Akwamuman
• Leaders of all religious leaders operating in Akwamuman
• Leaders of all public and private educational institutions in Akwamuman
• Business executives of all private and State enterprises in Akwamuman
• Local Leaders of all statutorily recognized political parties
• Leaders of youth organizations operating in Akwamuman

In the process I will work with our elders and other committed and public spirited Akwamu citizens
a. to awaken Akwamu whose citizens will once again be proud to say without hesitation that “I am an Akwamuni” (I am Akwamu citizen);
b. to ensure that the name Akwamu is boldly printed on the map of Ghana and not faintly printed or totally missing;
c. to make sure that the geographical location of Akwamu as a state can easily be known by all both locally and internationally and eliminate once and for all this embarrassing phenomenon where People would ask “Na Akwamu no koraa ewo he wo Ghana?”
d. ensure that in every way, Akwamu will rise and shine economically, politically, and culturally
e. help to lay claim to the historical reality of an Akwamu which played a significant role in the formation of the Asante Kingdom and therefore was rightfully recognized by naming a Division after Akwamu which has spread to all Akan States.
f. to proclaim to the world an Akwamuman which is the home of the Akosombo Dam, Ghana’s sources of electricity generated by the hydro-electric facility in Akosombo;
g. use legitimate diplomatic and legal means to ensure adequate compensation to Akwamuman for Ghana government’s appropriation of Akwamu lands for the construction of, the Akosombo Hydro-electric Dam, and its subsidiaries, the Akosombo Textiles Corporation, the Akosombo township and the Adomi Bridge.
h. to encourage State enterprises and other private enterprises and educational institutions on Akwamu lands to set aside a fair percentage of job positions and enrollment in both public and private institutions for Akwamu citizens
i. to refine and enhance our indigenous cultural practices and maximize their economic and social benefits
j. work with the District Assembly to ensure a high sense of social discipline, law and order and a strong public consciousness and active participation in enforcing environmental safety and cleanliness

The Queen Mother, Nana Afrakomah II, my elders and advisors join me to thank you again. We will continue to pray to the Divine Creator to protect and guide us, deepen our wisdom, endow us with optimum health; show us the way to create wealth, prosperity, peace and unity among us all wherever we will be residing.
Surely, Akwamu is rising again, and goodness and mercy will continue to follow us all throughout our effort to get Akwamu arise again and make it better than we came to meet. It is a hope, belief, and aspiration embedded in the “Ntam Kese” (The great Oath) I swore to the Chiefs and people of Akwamuman. The vision shall be fulfilled.
Thank you again.
May God bless you, Akwamuman and Mother Ghana.