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Chieftaincy dispute rearing its ugly head at Shama Yabiw

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THERE is uneasy calm at Shama Yabiw, a fishing community in the Shama District of the Western Region, as a result of chieftaincy dispute that is rearing its ugly head in the area.

The dispute is between the Chief of Shama Yabiw, Nana Kwamina Wienu II, who is now the Acting president of the Shama Traditional Council and the royal Nkronu-Ahemfomba family of the Yabiw Stool.

The royal Nkronu Ahemfomba family, who are the kingmakers, are up in arms against the conduct of the chief over certain traditional blunders they consider as stool ‘desecration’. Consequently, the royal family has asked Nana Kwamina Wienu II to abdicate the stool for peace to prevail in the town, else he would be forced out.

Addressing a press conference last Friday, the Spokesperson for the royal Nkronu Ahemfomba family, Mr. Prince Isaac Kwegya told the media that the chief did not qualify to ascend the royal stool in the first place.

According to him, to qualify as a chief for the community, the candidate must be a member of the Ankobia Asafo Company and must come from the patrilineal gate and belong to the Nkronu-Ahemfomba cult.

The sitting chief, they alleged, does not belong to any of the aforementioned groups. Again, the family considers his misapplication and loss of some regalia under his custody.

The Royal Nkronu-Ahemfomba Spokesperson, surrounded by other members clad in red bands, told the media that the chief desecrated the stool by giving out the Yabiw Royal Sword to another sub-chief to be used to swear an oath of allegiance to the Yabiw stool.

This was because the said sub chief failed to come along with his sword to swear to the Yabiw chief.

“This action of Nana Kwamina Wienu II contravenes the traditions and customs of Yabiw,” she said.

Continuing, the Spokesperson told the media that the Shama Yabiw sword represented its symbol of authority.

Therefore, for the chief to hand over the symbol to another chief to be used in swearing, meant that he had handed the authority of the people of Shama Yabiw to another chief.

“This is serious traditional blunder and a desecration of the stool”.

It is as a result that they wanted the chief to save himself from embarrassment by abdicating the stool peacefully.

The Spokesperson further added that the conduct of Nana Wienu was reported to his family, where he reportedly admitted to the traditional blunder.

However, the spokesperson continued that attempts to convene a meeting with the various traditional leaders in the Shama Yabiw community, in order to take the necessary traditional action against the sitting chief proved futile.

He said anytime the recognized traditional groups attempt to convene a meeting to decide the fate of the chief, the meeting would be disrupted by security officials suspected to have been sent by the chiefs.

Speaking in an interview with news men in his palace, Nana Wienu admitted giving the said sword to a sub chief to swear, but explained that he has not breached customs and traditions of the stool by allowing a sub chief to use the royal sword of Yabiw to pay allegiance to him (Nana Wienu).

He explained that the sword, which was used by the said sub chief, was not the original royal sword of the stool, but rather a ‘spare’ sword which he procured himself.

According to him, the ‘spare’ sword was on a number of occasions given out to various cultural groups and religious organizations to be used for their programmes.

Besides, he said, the decision to allow the sub chief to use the said sword was not a unilateral decision, but arose out of consensus from the entire elders and chiefs of Yabiw.

Nana Kwamena Wienu II also refuted claims that some royal regalia belonging to the Yabiw stool could not be traced under his watch.

He said, all regalia belonging to the stool were intact, contrary to claims recently made by some purported royals of the area. “Nothing is missing”, he stressed.

He explained that when he was installed chief for the area about some 34 years ago, only three items were presented to him for keeping.

These were a royal crown, a sword and a royal umbrella. He said through his efforts and with the help of his elders, he had been able to procure other regalia to add to what was initially presented to him, adding that a new royal sword has been procured through his effort.

Though the royal Nkronu-Ahemfomba family accused Nana Kwamina Wienu of not accounting to the people, the latter denied the accusation.

He said his elders, on his behalf, have on yearly basis accounted to the people of Yabiw and so suggestions that he was not accounting for his stewardship was out of place.

He said as a chief, he did not directly handle monies meant for the stool and that the elders responsible for that have always rendered account.

Source: Alfred Adams || The Chronicle, Takoradi

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