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History behind the relationship between Okuapehene and Okyenhene

They are two independent paramountcy, each with their unique traditions and customs but they are historically linked, a link that has united both camps in a special way.

After his installation as the youngest Paramount Chief of Akuapem, Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akuffo Ababio paid a courtesy call on Okyehene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panyin, as part of his first official working visit.

History indicates that the Ofori Panin stool has blood relations with the Ofori Kuma stool of Akuapem of which the former is the senior stool and the latter a junior stool.

Explaining exactly what the relationship is and how it came to be, Kronti Osafohene of Akuapem, Nana Addo Kwata explained to GhanaWeb, on the People&Places show, that the Akyems had twins who were ruling them in the past; Ofori Panyin and Ofori Kuma.

The two had to be separated when the Akuapems, who were being oppressed by the Akwamus at the time, sought the assistance of the Akyems (who were superior at the time), so they could defeat them and gain their independence.
At the time, the younger twin’s people, led by Safori (a war leader) chose to come down to the people of Akuapem and help them in the war.

With a successful war which saw the Akwamus driven out, the Akuapems decided to ‘keep’ the Akyems who had participated in the war, have them rule them (the Akuapems) as overlords, so that they had an assurance of safety, in case any other ‘big war’ emerged.

So, it was, they stayed; Ofori Kuma and the rest of the Akyems who came from Kyebi. They became overlords of the Akuapems, with some 5 divisional chiefs from among the Akuapem people, supporting the chosen overlord; the Okuapehene.

Narrating the order of events, Nana Addo Kwata told GhanaWeb’s Wonder Ami Hagan,

“Every Okuapehene is from the Akyem line. He traces his lineage to the Ofori Kuma stool. Those who came, they were twins, Ofori Kuma and Ofori Panyin. Ofori Kuma came with Safori leading them. Safori was a nephew of the Okyehene so he came and fought for us. After we defeated the Akwamus, they stayed. Now Ofori Kuma’s descendants are ruling us.”
He however was emphatic about the fact that the two paramountcy; Ofori Kuma and Oforoi Panyin are entirely independent of each other though they are very much related.

“The Okuapehene is not under the Okyehene, they are two separate paramountcy,” he said, adding, “Ofori Kuma is the paramountcy in Kyebi and Ofori Panyin in the paramountcy in Akuapem and they are Asonas.”

The acting Krontihene further explained that the Okyehene is a direct uncle to the Okuapehene and it is for this reason each has to pay a courtesy call on the other when they are newly enstooled.

“Okyehene is a direct uncle and so when Okuapehene is installed or enstooled here, he has to go there and greet him. The only thing is that they the Akyems who are here have a connection with the Okyehene. In the same vein, when the Okyehene is installed, he comes down to greet the Okuapehene. It’s mutual understanding between the two,” he noted.

Below is the full interview:

Written by James Alami

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