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Man of Principles: Asantehene Prempeh I

 Man of Principles: Asantehene Prempeh I

“The suggestion that Asante in its present state should come and enjoy the protection of Her Majesty the Queen and Empress of India is a matter of very serious consideration. I am happy to say we have arrived at this conclusion: That my Kingdom of Asante will never commit itself to any such policy. Asante must remain as of old, at the same time to remain friendly with all White men. I do not write this in a boastful spirit, but in the clear sense of its meaning. The cause of Asante is progressing and there is no reason for any Asante man to feel alarm at the prospects or to believe for a single instant that our cause has been driven back by the events of past hostilities.” (Asante Civil War 1884-1888). (Asantehene Prempeh I of Asante, in what is now known as Ghana, in reply to British offer of protection, 1891).

And, again on his enstoolment to the SIKADWA in 1894, in the presence of a British Colonial Official:

“I pray and beseech my elders, as well as my God and the spirits of my ancestors, to assist me, to give me true wisdom and love, to rule and govern my nation, and I beseech you, my good friend, to pray and ask blessings from your God to give me long life and prosperous and peaceful reign, and that my friendship with Her Majesty’s Government may be more firm and more closer than hitherto had been done, that bye-gones will be bygones, that Ashanti nation will awake herself as out of sleep, that the hostilities will go away from her, that I shall endeavour to promote peace and tranquility and good order in my Kingdom and to restore its trade, and the happiness and safety of my people generally, and thus raise my kingdom of Ashanti to a prosperous, substantial, and steady position as a great farming and trading community such as it has never occupied hitherto, and that the trade between your Protectorate (Gold Coast and my Kingdom of Ashanti may increase daily to the benefit of all interested in it.”

Prempeh I was exiled from Asanteman by the British in 1896. He returned to Kumase on November 12, 1924. He died on May 12, 1931, as Otumfoɔ Asantehene.

No wonder Dr. Kwame Nkrumah stated at a rally in Kumase that: The Convention Peoples Party was born in the colony; but its strength and soul are in Asante.” He was referring to the spirit of independence and struggle for independence through Asante history.

You have this splendid history to back you up, and learn sense. Yet you call yourself “kumerica.

By: Sankofa Asante

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