A chief of Kwahu Tafo, Nana Okogyeedom Oheneba Ntim-Barimah, has given an explanation as to why the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, is no longer part of the National House of Chiefs.
According to him, the Asantehene is no longer part of the House of Chiefs because he is safeguarding the identity of his empire, the Ashanti Kingdom.
Oheneba Ntim- Barimah, who made these remarks in an interview with One Ghana TV, indicated that being part of the National House of Chief means traditional rulers in Ghana have accepted the ‘paramount chief’ title forced on them by the British during the colonial era.
He said that the phrase ‘paramount chief’ was coined by the British to demean the status of the traditional rulers they came to meet so that only the British monarch is referred to as a King.
He added that the National House of Chiefs of Ghana should be a National House of Kings just like in other African Countries like South Africa.
“We have accepted having a National House of Chief, which should be National House of Kings. That is why the Otumfuo says he is not a member (of the National House of Chief). People would say, he is being proud but they are protecting the empire.
“We can’t call our monarchs, chief; those of us who served them can be called chiefs… read the bible, which of the 42 kings were called chiefs. Read your bible, we have King Jehosaphat, King Hazia, King, King Jotham, King David… have you ever seen the word chief in the bible? The Bible recognises every monarch as a King,” he said in Twi.
He added, “… Ashantis say Otumfuo, which means a glorious monarch if you want to translate it to English, it means King of Kings. The ruler of Juaben is a King, the ruler of Kumawu is a King, the ruler of Agogo is a King, the ruler of Offinso is a King. And Otumfuo is the head of all of them so he is a King of Kings”.
He said that some traditional rulers including the Dormaahene Osagyefo Agyemang Babu II have wrongly accepted that they are not Kings because “the Asantehene” is their target.
He said that the traditional rulers must rather come together to fight to ensure that their current ‘paramount chief’ title is dropped for them to be addressed by their proper title, kings and the National House of Chief be changed to the National House of Kings.