Asante And Anlo To Institute Festival To Portray Alliance

The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and Awomefia of Anlo State Togbe Siri III have consented to the institution of a festival to portray the longstanding alliance between the two tribes.

Before the celebration of the 2022 Hogbetsotso festival, there was a notion that Asantes and Ewes were rivals.

This was rubbished when His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II honoured an invitation from Togbe Siri for the 60th edition of the Hogbetsotso festival.

Relations Between Asantes And Anlos As Recounted By Asante Nation:
Traditionally, the Asantehene is the one who buries the Anlo Awoamefia. The relationship between the two parties which took the form of a military alliance dates back to the mid-1750s of the 18th century (Damfo Relation).

At times Anlo state sent emissaries to the courthouse of Asantehene to relate messages from the Awoamefia and the war councils. Due to the cold relationship between Asantes and the British and their allies, whenever the trading ports of the Asantes were blocked directly, the Anlos act as middlemen and supply Asantes with large quantities of firearms and ammunition.

“They also supplied Asantes with salt. Asantehene Kofi Karikari subsequently presented a sword to Awadada Axorlu I, the military commander of Anlo to seal the alliance between Asante, Anlo and Akwamu.

“The sword is still preserved today and is among the regalia of the Kaklalu Stool of Anlo. It is this strong alliance that made Asantehene give the Anlos a vast land to settle on in Kumasi in large numbers and name the new place Anloga or Anloga Junction after their original home in the Volta.

Kotoko was conferred on them- “Anlo Kotoko”. Today, a “Royal Anlo Ewe” can easily form part of the Asantehene’s circle to perform rituals in the sacred stool house during Akwasidae or Odwira.

In his speech during the 2022 Hogbetsotso festival, Otumfuo pointed out that “the complexities and vagaries of modern politics” are responsible for the “uncomfortable shadow” cast on the relations Asantes and ewes have.

He said, “It is undeniable that our people have become associated with differences in political choices to an extent that has injected some unwarranted mistrust and compromised the brotherly harmony conceived by our forefathers.

“It cannot be our role to question the political choices people make in our modern democracy but I am sure we can all agree that it is patently wrong to deduce from the differences in political choices or religious beliefs the existence of any inherent animosity between our people. And it is patently wrong to allow such differences to erode confidence in our heritage and generate enmity and strife between kith and kin.”

He noted, “today, we have come to Anloga not just to reciprocate the visit of Togbi Sri III but even more importantly, to declare to the nation and to the world that Asante and Anlo stand together in friendship and solidarity in the spirit and letter of the Alliance consecrated by our forefathers over 150 years ago.”

His Majesty then proposed the institution of a “machinery” to celebrate the alliance between the two.

“To mark the reaffirmation I hope we will establish a machinery for the celebration of Asante-Anlo Solidarity in years ahead.”

The proposal of Otumfuo has received the consent of Togbe Siri according to a delegation from the Anlo State who joined Otumfuo in the celebration of the last Awukudae in 2022.

Leader of the delegation, H.E. Dan Abodakpi, Ghana’s former Ambassador to Malaysia, told Otumfuo the proposition has been accepted by Togbe Siri.

“Otumfuo proposed that we institute a festival to buttress the unity of Anlo, Asante and Kwahu. Togbe Siri says I should tell you that he agrees. Very soon he will collaborate with you on that”, he said after extending the appreciation of Togbe Siri to Otumfuo for his presence at the festival that took place in November.

Source: Fuseini

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