Ga-Asante History

By 1483, there was a Ga Federal Kingdom at Ayawaso. That Kingdom collapsed in 1680 after its defeat by Akwamu. That led to full coastal migration of the remnants of Ayawaso. Akwamu ruled Ga for 50 years. With the help of Akyem, Akwapim and Fante, Ga defeated Akwamu in 1730.

Asante was founded by Anokye and his friend Osei Tutu I in 1701 after defeating Denkyira. Within a generation, Asante was the supreme politico-military force on the land. The youngest Akan Kingdom had become the strongest ever. The “last shall be the First and the First the last”. Scripture fulfilled.
In 1740, Asante signed its first ever treaty of friendship and co-operation with another Kingdom – GA. Asantehene Opoku Ware I signed this treaty with Ga Mantse Tetteh Ahenakwa. Asante was attacking other coastal kingdoms but never Ga. The treaty held for 84 years.

In 1824, the British deceived Ga and the latter joined the former in the First Anglo-Asante war – the Asamankow war. British boss Sir Charles McCarthy was beheaded. Asante won. Ga broke the treaty. Asante was infuriated. Asantehene Osei Yaw Akoto vowed to punish Ga. The result Katamansu war of 1826.
Ga and its allies Akyem, Akwapim and Fante (with a small contingent of 60 British troops) defeated Asante. The outcome of this war was very important for Ghana, Ga-Dangme and me personally.

Asantehene Osei Yaw’s wife Akua Basoa and her 2 daughters Manu and Yaa Dom were captured. Akua Basoa was released to Kumasi but the daughters were married to two Ga prominent men with deep business connections in Asante. Manu to Henry Richter of Osu and Yaa to James Bannerman of Jamestown.
My great grandmother Osekua Richter was a Great granddaughter of Manu and Henry. Who is more Asante than myself? Karikari Bannerman is from Yaa Dom and James line. I have relatives with pure Asante names – Agyeman, Osei, Tutu, Karikari all living in Osu.
I met my Great Grandmother. I was her pet. I used to read the Ga Bible to her from the age of 8. She told me many stories. Do you know why the 2nd largest suburb of Osu is called Ashanti? Blighted bees seek wisdom. Some of you are just too “rootless”.

The tension between Ga and Asante persisted for another 120 years. In 1946, Asantehene Nana Osei Tutu Agyeman Prempeh II thawed the ice with a state visit to Ga Mantse Nii Taki Kome. Brother became Brother and Friend became Friend again.
Those days when the Asantehene got to Nsawam, he would send a delegation to Ga Mantse who would send a senior priest with the delegation to go and pour libation before Nana would step his foot on Ga soil. Beautiful, mutual respect. Who said we didn’t understand governance before?

That meeting between the two friendly Kings I was told had to do with Asante entering into the Gold Coast Legislative Council for the first time. Apparently, Nana (Osei Tutu Agyeman Prempeh II) had been promised the ceremonial head of state of independent Ghana. He came to Ga to seek the blessing of his brother Nii Ga. He got it. ‘’Eba kɛ nine kome, ahere lɛ kɛ nijii enyɔ’’, he came with one hand and was received with two hands.
Yes, I said they were Brothers. One of the two royal clans of Ga is AGYEMANKESE We. Nii Taki Kome was from that We. Nii Amugi was also from Agyemankese. The royal house of Asere, the largest Ga sub-state is called FRIMPONG WE.
Are the agent provocateurs listening?

10 years after this meeting, Asante was under pressure, NLM and CPP were tearing the Kingdom apart. Where would help come from? Attoh Kwashie packed his supporters from Ga into a train to Kumasi to support Asante NLM. “Yɛ de Nkrafuo aba oo!!!! Who says Ga hates Asante? What for?
When UP was formed, Attoh Kwashie was mandated at its 1st Congress in Kumasi to choose a Ga Chairman. He chose Dr. Johnny Hutton-Mills. Johnny was threatened by Kofi Baako for arrest. He chickened out. Attoh then appointed Solo Odamteen

Just as Nii Taki Kome was confident so accepted headship of Asantehene, I am also very confident so I write about Asante and have adapted aspects of Asante political system into Afremocracy – Anokye Federal System, TSEMPE (proportional parliament) and Ghanamanshiamu Council of State. I have written more about Political Asante than most in my generation. So why hate Asante? What for?

Some are just too fragile and they make their fragility everyone’s headache. I remember someone telling me that signing off as ‘’Tswa Omanye Aba’’ (TOA) may alienate non-Gas. Well, the aliens can go to Mars. If I had said the same thing to this person who is Asante, I would be an instant anti-Asante. Many now use “TOA.’’ Thank you for accepting our linguistic diversity.

Rev. Reindorf from Osu published a book in 1895, “History of the Gold Coast and Asante.’’ That tells a story. All Ghanaian Kingdoms evolved. *Asante was created, so attention to detail is 100%. That is the difference.
We are a young artificially created nation-state. We are bound to have inter-ethnical differences just as we have intra-ethnic, intra-family and even intra-sibling differences. It’s all part of normal organic growth. Only insecure people will see such differences as hatred.

Politics has made a difficult situation worse. There is obvious ethnic preference for political parties. The simpletons therefore see everything tribal. But Nkrumah, an Nzema won all but one seat in Asante in 1951 and 54. Why? Ethnophrenics, it’s not always about ethnicity.
People need bread wae.

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