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Otumfuo is a paramount chief, not a king – Anokye Frimpong settles debate

The question of whether Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is a king or not has been resolved by Yaw Anokye Frimpong, a lawyer and historian.

He claims that Otumfuo is a paramount chief rather than a king, as has long been made to think.

Speaking to GhanaWeb, the historian emphasized that the Asantehene is not a king because the nation’s laws—to which the Otumfuo himself is subject—do not support the establishment of kings and the once-dominant Ashanti Kingdom has vanished.

According to him, Asantehene is a paramount chief rather than a monarch, like England’s King Charles II, because monarchs are often the head of state of their nations and are not bound by any institutions of the state.

“The words kingdom and king are not in Ghana’s chieftaincy laws and regulations. Because to be a king means to be the head of a kingdom, and to have a kingdom means you have a king who has his own parliament, who has got his own judiciary and has an executive under him and the people of the country are subject to him without question.

“With this maybe you would remember some of the Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia and others, we don’t have that (kings) in Ghana and that is why the words kingdom and king are missing from our laws,” he said.

He added that “properly speaking he (Otumfuo) is not a king because he is subject to the parliament of Ghana, and courts and whatever; as opposed to King Charles of England, over there he is the King of England and parliament would make bills for him to sign before they become law… He (King Charles) is the head of state of United Kingdom, the Asantehene is not the head of state of Ghana, and his powers do not go beyond the frontiers of the Ashanti land”.

The Asantehene, according to the historian, is a “super paramount chief” because he possesses abilities that no other paramount chief in Ghana does.

He said that in contrast to other paramount chiefs in the nation, the Otumfuo is the kingmaker of all the stools under his authority, the Ashanti land, and that he has the power to enstool or destool any paramount chief under his control.

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