The newly-installed Paramount Chief of Akuapem Traditional Area, Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akufo II, on Sunday, May 3, 2020, swore the oath of allegiance to all the five Divisional Chiefs in Okuapemman.
This followed the controversial installation ceremony on Friday, May 1, which saw hundreds gather to taking part despite the President’s directive banning all forms of social gatherings as a measure to further prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.
Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akufo II, known in private life as Nana Kwadwo Kese, was on Saturday morning presented as the eligible fit and proper candidate to the Kingmakers, who overwhelmingly endorsed his nomination as the Chief of Akuapem.
Traditional leaders who witnessed Sunday’s ceremony are the Krontihene, Osahene Ofei Kwasi Agyemang; Benkumhene, Osaberima Enyine Asiedu Okoo Ababio III; the acting Nifahene, Osaberima Opese Konandu II; the Adontenhene, Otobuo Gyan Kwesi as well as Gyasehene, Nana Osim Kwatia II.
The five divisional chiefs also swore the oath of allegiance before Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akufo II, as part of the enstoolment process.
The journey and controversy
For almost five years after the demise of Oseadeeyo Nana Addo Dankwah III, the Okuapehene Stool has remained vacant due to a protracted dispute stemming from the Sakyibea Royal family, whose turn it is to choose a successor to the unoccupied stool. It must be noted that the Okuapemman stool has three ruling houses- Nketia, Amogyaa, and Sakyibea.
In the process of searching for a legitimate successor, two individuals (Kwasi Akuffo and Nana Kese) emerged from the Sakyibea Royal Family and each claimed to be the right contender to succeed the late Okuapehene.
In the process, the Abrewatia of the Sakyibea Royal family nominated Nana Kese whereas the Paramount queen-mother, Nana Afua Nketiaa Obuo II without recourse to the Abrewatia selected and enstooled Kwasi Akuffo as the Okuapehene.
In view of this, the Abrewatia petitioned the Regional House Chiefs to seek relief and challenge the traditional capacity of the Paramount Queen-mother in selecting and installing a chief, which according to the Abrewatia is a clear breach of the customary processes in selecting a successor to the vacant Ofori Kuma Stool.
After 3 years of legal tussle, the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs in Koforidua on Thursday, April 30, upheld that, the selection of an eligible royal to be enstooled as Okuapehene is the prerogative of the Abrewatia, who has the right and power to select a candidate and submit the name of the chosen royal (candidate) for onward processing and not solely the queen mother.
The House also stated that, in nominating a candidate, the Queen-mother alone cannot select a candidate from the Royal Family without the involvement of the Abrewatia. The House, therefore, quashed the initial installation of Odehye Kwasi Akufo as Okuapehene null and void.
Who is the new Akuapenhene?
Odehye Kwadwo Kesse, now Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akufo II was born on 24th February 1986 to Odehye Alex Antwi, a royal of the Agona clan in Akroso-Ntonaboma in the Eastern Region and Odehye Cynthia Agyemang, also a royal from the Sakyiabia family in Akropong Akuapem.
As a devout Presbyterian, Odehye Kwadwo Kese had his basic education at the Services Basic Primary and Junior Secondary School in Burma Camp, Accra, and proceeded to the Presbyterian High School (PRESEC)- Legon Accra in 2004.
He then pursued further studies at Westchester Community College in Valhalla. He again enrolled at Mercy College in New York and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, with a specialization in Management. In 2015, Odehye enrolled in a Master’s degree programme in Human Resource Management in his alma mater (Mercy College) but was compelled to return to Ghana in 2016, following the demise of his uncle Oseadeeyo Nana Addo Dankwa, the Okuapehene.
Odehye Kwadwo Kesse Antwi worked as a floor Project Manager at both the Mark Hotel in New York City and the Empire City Casino in Yonkers, New York and also worked as a housekeeping operations manager at the Crowne Plaza Times Square, a subsidiary hotel of the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG).
He later started a Real Estate company called American Link Estates LLC, in partnership with an associate and friend, located in Park Avenue South, New York.
On his return to Ghana, Odehye Kwadwo Kesse Antwi, together with his associate and friend from New York, established a Business Consulting firm and a venture capital under the name JUPE GLOBAL COMPANY LIMITED, which he is currently a managing partner and chief consultant.
The newly enstooled Okuapehene envisions to work closely with the traditional council, government and also ensure a peaceful, strong, united and developed Okuapemman. He again aspires to promote the common principle of fairness, justice, equality, and peaceful co-existence in Akropong and Okuapeman as a whole.
He enjoys socializing and his hobbies include basketball, football, and board games. Odehye is married to Linda Kesse Antwi who hails from Asante Bekwai in the Ashanti Region and works with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.