July 13, 2024
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Stop abusing sickness clause in the Oath of Allegiance –  Otumfuo to Chiefs

The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has warned chiefs in the Asante Kingdom to halt exploiting the sickness clause in the oath they took before him and other respected Chiefs in Ashanti.

In the Ashanti Kingdom, the process of becoming a recognized chief involves swearing the Ashanti great oath and pledging allegiance to the paramount chief or Asantehene OtumfuoOsei Tutu II, depending on the occupied stool’s status.

This oath of allegiance ensures that chiefs are accountable to their community and emphasizes their commitment to be present regardless of weather conditions, except in cases of sickness.

However, concerns have arisen regarding some chiefs exploiting the sickness clause in the oath as a means to evade responsibility for their actions by Otumfuo Osei Tutu II during the Kumasi traditional council meeting on 20th October 2023.

Misuse of the sickness condition

Recent events have brought to light a growing issue within the Ashanti Kingdom—chiefs utilizing the sickness clause mentioned in the oath of allegiance to avoid being held accountable citing the case of Kwaprahene Baffour Adugyemfu Kumani. He used the clause to decline three times invitation of Otumfuo compelling him to summon Kwaprehene with his condition to come in person or vacate his position as a chief.

Otumfuo expressed his disapproval, stating that some chiefs have been purposely employing this provision to decline invitations and evade repercussions for their misconduct, even when they are well aware of their offences.

Addressing the Kumasi traditional council meeting Otumfuo emphasized that no chief should believe they can hide behind the sickness clause for protection.

“The oath signifies a chief’s commitment to being available to the community in all circumstances, except when genuinely ill. Chiefs are expected to uphold and respect their responsibilities and cannot simply use sickness as a shield against accountability” Otumfuo explained.

Promoting Accountability and Integrity

In order to preserve the integrity and uphold the values of the Ashanti Kingdom, it is imperative that chiefs adhere to the principles of accountability and transparency. Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II urges chiefs to demonstrate their commitment to the community and fulfil their sworn duties with honesty and integrity.

Strengthening Governance and Oversight: Public concerns

To address concerns surrounding the misuse of the sickness clause, it may be necessary to implement measures that ensure the authenticity of illness claims made by chiefs. Establishing protocols in collaboration with traditional councils could help verify sickness-related excuses, separating genuine cases from those intended to avoid accountability.

 This would promote a fair and just system, allowing chiefs who genuinely require medical attention to receive support, while preventing exploitation of the oath’s provisions.

Preserving Tradition and Leadership

The Ashanti Kingdom’s oath of allegiance has long been a symbol of the sacred bond between chiefs and their communities.

It is crucial that this tradition is respected and preserved; with chiefs embodying the values of accountability, transparency, and loyalty to the community they serve.

By firmly addressing the misuse of the sickness clause, the Ashanti Kingdom can ensure that its leadership remains strong and trustworthy.

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