LET’S LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT AKYERENSUA STATE
Akyerensua state was among the state in the BONO AHAFO region elevated to paramountcy status by Otumfuo Opoku Ware Il, (ASANTEHENE) in 1981. According to Nana Agyewodin Adu Gyamfi Ampem Kese the paramount chief of the state.
The Akyerensua were Asantes from Kumase. According to history, King Opoku Ware l waged war against the Akyems and when the Asante Nation was at the battlefield at Akyem, Ebiri Moro, the chief of sefwi invaded Kumase, fought the women, children and the aged who were left behind, defeated them and took some of the captives. Casualties of the war included the mother of Opoku Ware l.
When the King heard of the attack, he dispatched the Bantamahene, Baafuo Amankwatia and his troops, and the Akyempemhene, Oheneba Owusu Afriyie and his troops to fight Ebiri Moro and his troops and rescue the captives.
Ebiri Moro and his troops were defeated by the Asante troops while crossing River Tano. Ebiri Moro was killed and the rest of his troops fled.
His land was taken by the Asante troops and renamed it ‘Ahafo’ the place used as hunting grounds for the King. People were detailed to watch over the area so that Ebiri Moro’s people did not return to the place.
Some members of the group remaining the outposts established to keep surveillance of the area settled there permanently.
Another school of thought states that the name “AHAFO” given to the area was derived from the comments made by the settlers which described the living conditions there as cheap, expressed in Twi “Ɛha yɛ fo” was polluted to Ahafo.
History has it that the early settlers of Akyerensua were all Asantes from Kumar traditional area. They came to the place in two major groups.
The first group who belong to the ‘Barim’ Division of the Kontire subdivision were led by Nubin and Dankwa.
Another batch of Barim groups settled thereafter the Takyiman war. They were veterans of the war. The third batch of settlers which was a small group also came from Ano. They belonged to the Hyiawu subdivision of the Gyase division of Kumase. The descendants of the Nubin and Dankwa groups are referred to as Kontire up to today.
The second large group that settled at Akyerensua was led by a woman called Fobi Akokoaa and Atuahene Panin. They were from the Nkonson Subdivision of the Gyase Division of Kumase.
Most of the people of Akyerensua explained that the settlement was near a stream called Akyerensua or the stream of Okyere i.e. “Okyere Asuwa” which later polluted Akyerensua.
The two groups of settlers i.e. the Kontire group and the Nkonson group settled at different places. That notwithstanding they began to marry among themselves. There was an incident when one night there was a devastating gale. This gale uprooted a big silk-cotton tree that stood in the middle of the settlement of the Nkonson settlers. It claimed the lives of over sixty people.
After the tragedy, the two groups decided to settle in one place and that place was the present location.
The history behind the Nkonson settlers was that one Atuahene, a member of Asantehene manciples organisations was compelled by financial circumstances to move from Kumase to live at Kenya’s. Fobi Akokoaa whose brother’s son was Atuahene, set out to search for him. She arrived at Akyerensua and was lodged at the house of Asantewaa of the Kontire clan. After some few days stay, she left her hostess and set off for her destination. The day was a Friday. The news the hostess received was that the guest had fallen from the canoe into the river. The ferryman tried but could not rescue her. Search parties from Akyerensua and Kenya’s were employed to rescue the body but could not retrieve it. Oracles were consulted. The oracles revealed that the woman was not dead. Several days later, Fobi Akokoaa was alleged to have appeared from an undisclosed place carrying on her back and head, some talisman and certain objects. Asuhyiae Tano was consulted and he revealed that the objects were deities.
The Asuhyiae Tano again helped in establishing three deities from the objects. The deities were: Ofiri Kwadwo, Asubɔnten and Kɔkɔɔ. Collectively they were known as Teekofi of Akyerensua.
Fobi Akokoaa settled at Akyerensua and became the first priestess of the Deities. Atuahene also came to stay at Akyerensua and supported Fobi Akokoaa. Other People from Nkonson groups also came to settle at Akyerensua. When Fobi Akokoaa passed away, Yeboa the son of Asantewaa, the hostess of Fobi Akokoaa got possessed by the deities and he became the second priest of Teekofi. He appointed Atuahene as the treasure to the deities and also as a liaison officer between him and Asantehene.
It must be noted that Asantehene Osei Kwadwo accepted the Akyerensua Tano into membership of his consultant deities when Fobi Akokoaa was the priestess and the dirty was making accurate predictions. During Yeboa’s stewardship, the deity continued to make an accurate prediction and therefore he became famous. Several titles were converted on the deity. The most important among the title was “Agyewodin”.
King Yeboa was successful in his career, he also became very rich. The Asantehene recognised his services to Asanteman in peace as well as wartime and conferred on him the right to use paraphernalia, of a distinguished leader “Ɔbrempɔn” these include a palanquin (Apakan), an Asipim chair, ceremonial umbrella (Bankyinie) and state swords.
The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Kwadwo went further and created a stool for Atuahene and the people of Akyerensua for Atuahene meritorious services to the Golden Stool. His stool name was Atuahene Panin. The Asantehene advised him to use the influence of Teekofi (Tano Kofi) and his wealth to attract people to come and settle at Akyerensua to increase the population of the town. The Asantehene on his part sent people to the Akyerensua Tano as donations in appreciation of the deity contributions to the development of the Asante Kingdom. Initially, when the Atuahene Panin stool was created the Abakomanhene of Asante served as the host of Akyerensuahene whenever he went to Kumase to see the King. Later, when the Abakoma stool was abolished, the Asantehamaa became the suzerain between the Atuahene Panin stool and the Golden Stool. One of the reasons why the Asantehene gave great respect to Teekofi was the help given by the deity when the royals house faced the problem of getting a male child to inherit the male stool. At that time Konadu Yiadom, the daughter of Mamponhene Nana Safo Kantanka who later became the Queen-mother of Asante, was pregnant. Teekofi was consulted and the priest predicted that the baby was a girl, as predicted by several deities contacted, but Teekofi would change the sex and a baby boy would be born on Saturday. Konadu Yiadom went into labour on Wednesday and the King thought that the baby would be delivered before the stated Saturday, sent messengers to Akyerensua to invite the priest, so that if the prediction was a fault he would be executed. But the prediction came true. The woman was in labour till Saturday when she gave birth to a baby boy. The second batch of the messenger was sent, this time to decorate the priest with white clay (hyire) to signify victory. The King conferred the title Agyewodin on the deity. The baby grew up and became Otumfuo Osei Kwame Panin, the 5th King if Asante…..
To be continued