The Concerned Youth of Asanteman has expressed indignation at a statement issued by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) headed, “GJA urges extreme caution in coverage of Asantehene/Dormaahene conflict”.
According to the group, the statement, dated 19th January 2022 and signed by the President of the GJA, Affail Monney, sought to ‘equate the Asantehene with the Dormaahene in terms of status.’
“This is sacrilegious and we demand an unqualified apology from Mr Affail Monney to the occupant of the Golden Stool, His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. There are 65 Paramount Chiefs from the Ashanti, Bono, Bono East and Oti regions who owe allegiance to him. Again, the Asantehene is clothed with the law to elevate stools to paramount status,” a portion of the statement read.
The group argued that “The GJA President if he was well versed with tradition, as well as the constitution and the Chieftaincy Act, should have known that the Asantehene is above the Dormaahene in status.”
“It is, therefore, preposterous for anyone to put them at the same level,” the group claimed.
The Ghana Journalists Association has implored the media to be circumspect in its reportage of the ongoing rift between the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and the Dormaahene, Osagyefo Agyeman Badu II.
In a statement dated Wednesday, January 19, 2022, and signed by its President, Affail Monney, the GJA said the conflict between the two traditional leaders owing to its sensitivity, can degenerate into a conflict of unthinkable proportion.
“It is needless to state that the hyper-sensitive issue involving the two prominent chiefs can degenerate into a conflict of unthinkable proportions, if it is not handled with the highest degree of circumspection, especially by the media.
“The sensational tilt and explosive angles which have characterized the coverage of the verbal exchanges should, therefore, give way to conflict-sensitive reporting which will allow tempers to cool down and the issue to be contained or resolved in the long run,” GJA said.
But the Concerned Youth of Asanteman, however, disagrees with the head of the media fraternity.
“Again, we disagree with the GJA President that there is a conflict between His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and the Dormaahene, Osagyefo Oseadeeyo Agyemang Badu II.”
The group maintained that “Otumfuo has been a man of peace, something that is recognised the world over.”
“His Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is credited for leading the charge to bringing peace to Dagbon after 17 years of mediation between the feuding parties. In the instant matter, we believe that the Asantehene while addressing the first meeting of the Asanteman Council, only sought to discredit some assertions made by the Dormaahene with respect to history. This in our view, does not constitute conflict.”
“We also want to advise the GJA to endeavour move with the changing times where the internet has taken over the dissemination of news/stories as against traditional media, which the GJA overlook,” the statement said
Adding that “the unfounded history being told by the Dormaahene in recent times, has been carried on the internet, and not by traditional media, which the GJA overlook.
“Therefore, Otumfuo’s response to Dormaahene’s distorted history went viral long before the GJA issued its statement, making the GJA statement moot. Traditional media does not trend, but the internet does.”