Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II, the Asantehene, has bemoaned distortions to the history of the Asantes and the Anlos, saying they have “adversely affected our relationship.”
He said the two tribes had, in the past, forged concrete alliance during an era dominated by intense warfare and had collaborated on many issues in their mutual interests and for Ghana as a whole.
The Asantehene made this known at this year’s Hogbetsotsoza at Anloga, the traditional festival of the chiefs and people of Anlo, attended by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who represented President Akufo-Addo.
King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II, the Ga Mantse, Daasebre Akuamoah Agyapong II, the Kwahuhene, chiefs and people of Eweland, and people from all walks of life, including neighbouring Togo, Benin, Nigeria and the Diaspora, attended the festival.
Otumfuo Osei-Tutu blamed the “complexities and vagaries of body politics” as having cast the uncomfortable shadow over the Asante-Anlo relations.
He said: “Our people have become associated with differences in political choices to an extent that, that has injected some unwarranted mistrust and compromised the bubbly harmony conceived by our forefathers.”
While no one could question the political affiliations of people from both tribes, it was wrong to deduce from such differences the existence of any inherent animosity between them, and asked for sources of all unwarranted discord to be flushed out, the Asantehene said.
“Clearly, it is only fair that we begin to debunk the myths and learn to separate the machinations, which drive the conduct of individual politicians from the roots of their birth or their religious orientations.”
He said just as the Hogbetsotsoza provided a period of reflection and soul searching for the settlement and resolution of disputes within families and among the people with the “nugbidodo” (reconciliation) rite, the Asantes and Anlos and the entire Ghanaian people ought to purge themselves of “past contaminants” to provide a healthy environment for discourses towards a united country.
Togbi Sri III, the Awoamefia (Parament King) of Anlo, described the 2022 Hogbetsotsoza as historic and special, saying it was the first time a reigning Asantehene graced the festival.
“His presence affirmed the bond of relationship between the Anlos and the Asantes,” he said.
Togbi Sri called on all industrious sons and daughters of Anlo serving Mother Ghana and the world to return home and support development projects of the land.
On the theme: “Uniting for Development, Sustaining our Unique Cultural Commonwealth for Future Generations,” the festival marked the Anlos’ 60th celebration of the legendary exodus of the Ewe-Dogbo folks from Notsie in present day Togo.
The Anlo Ewes remained one of the closest allies of the Asantes with the two sides supporting each other in times of war.
The relations between the two parties, which took the form of military alliance, dates to the mid 1750s of the 18th Century, and continues to count.