Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has revealed why the British eventually sent King Agyemang Prempeh I to exile in Seychelles.
According to Otumfuo, the British authorities at the time were struggling to keep him close to his subjects who thronged places they knew he had been detained at.
He linked that state of affairs to the absolute loyalty that the subjects had for King Prempeh even in detention.
He said: “Wherever he was kept within the Gold Coast or West Africa, his people were prepared to walk to try and rescue him. Eventually they had to send him across the oceans to the Island of Seychelles.
“Even then, the people waited for all the 25 years he was in exile until the British allowed him to return to Kumasi before they committed their loyalty to the Gold Coast,” Otumfuo added.
The revered monarch was speaking during a lecture at the University of Memphis, in the United States of America on May 5, 2022.
He also addressed the historic financial, military and territorial strength of the kingdom he leads today and how it had defended itself robustly against invaders.
According to him, the British bid to control the kingdom was fiercely resisted for years before it took place: “we successfully fought off attempts at colonial conquest and remained fiercely independent until the beginning of the last century when King Prempeh I was taken into exile and Asanteman agreed to be integrated into the Gold Coast under British rule.
“We have been resolute and true to our integration into the new nation state which is now the Republic of Ghana and have been unflinching in our determination to ensure its continuing prosperity,” he stated.
The lecture was under the theme: “Contemporary challenges in US and Africa relations” and took place at the Rose Theatre of the University.
Some of the participants included academics, students, university administrators, and some members of the Ghana Community in Memphis.
In 1896 the British arrested and deported the Asantehene, Agyeman Prempeh I, to Seychelles in their efforts to colonize the Asante kingdom.
This photo shows Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh when he arrived in the Seychelles from Sierra Leone to begin his exile
Following this, and for a brief time, the Asantehene was exiled to Elmina, and then subsequently to Sierra Leone, before he finally settled in Seychelles.
It must be noted that he however returned to Ghana in 1924, but only under the official designation of a “private citizen.”
Two years later, Agyeman Prempeh was re-enstooled as “Kumasihene,” – only a king over the Kumasi, rather than of all of the Asante kingdom, a status he retained until he died in 1931.