Nana Boakye Darkwa, the Benkumhene of Asamang-Tamfoe in the Eastern Region insists he remains at post despite reports that he had been destooled on the orders of the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin II.
The reports said he had been destooled over his involvement in illegal small scale mining, galamsey, which was wreaking havoc in his jurisdiction.
Nana Boakye denied the accusation and in turn accused Okyeman and the Okyenhene of engaging in propaganda aimed at tarnishing his image and having a go at him because of his anti-galamsey stance.
“I have not been destooled. It is a false propaganda by the State Secretary and Okyeman and the Okyenhene himself,” he said in an interview on Accra-based Citi FM.
He explained further that his position on the purported dismissal was anchored on the fact that he did not swear an oath before the OKyenhene and thus, his removal did not lie with the Okyenhene but rather his boss, Osabarima Kwame Ko II, who happens to be a sub chief of the Okyenhene.
“I don’t swear an oath to the Okyenhene, I swore the oath to my chief, Osabarima Kwame Ko, and the tradition is like ‘who hires, who fires.’ I didn’t swear an oath or any undertaking to the Okyenhene’s palace, I swore an oath to my chief,” he added.
He explained that despite the Okyenhene ordering his destoolment, that had not been done, hence he remained at post till that process is undertaken.
“He (Okyenhene) gave an order that go and prepare anything for his destoolment, or I can be his Benkumhene but only in Asamang Tamfoe, that is the tradition, that doesn’t change the locus.”
“Not at all,” he responded firmly when asked whether he did not recognize the destoolment. “I have not been destooled until my Chief osabarima Kwame Ko II says so,” he reaffirmed.
“The Okyenhene cannot bypass my chief after giving an order that the destoolment be effected and go ahead to do it … I do consider myself as the substantive Benkumhene of Asamang Tamfoe.”
Starr FM report about purported destoolment
Okyenhene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin ordered for the destoolment of Nana Boakye Darkwa over illegal mining.
This was after some residents in the community calling itself Concerned Citizens of Asamang Tamfoe petitioned the Akyem Abuakwa Judicial Council on November 9, 2022 accusing the chief of engaging in illegal mining polluting rivers, and degrading farmlands threatening food security and livelihood of small holder farmers.
The petition was submitted weeks after some illegal miners in Asamang Tamfoe clashed with Okyeman Environmental Taskforce on anti-galamsey operation in the community leading to exchange of gunshots on the streets.
Subsequently, the Benkumhene held a press conference on October 6, 2022 calling the bluff of Okyeman Environmental taskforce led by Chief of Akyem Apapam, Osabarima Apagya Ofori IV and dared to violently clash with them should they return to the community.
Acting on the petition, the Akyem Abuakwa Judicial Council summoned the Chief of Asamang-Tamfoe Osabarima Kwame Koh II and the Benkumhene Nana Boakye Darkwa to appear before it on 21st November, 2022 for hearing which they complied.
During the court proceedings, the Benkumhene of Asamang-Tamfoe Nana Boakye Darkwa was asked by the Akyem Abuakwa judicial council that on whose authority did he act to organize the press conference on 6th October, 2022 since the Chief of Asamang-Tamfoe Osabarima Kwame Koh II was in Kumasi on the said date.
Secondly, he was confronted with a daily graphic’s publication which he threatened the Okyeman Environmental Taskforce.
The Benkumhene admitted guilt and lied prostrate to apologize to Okyenhene and Akyem Abuakwa traditional council.
Okyenhene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin who chaired the Akyem Abuakwa Judicial Council made consequential orders for the removal of the Benkumhene.