The Power of Traditional Rule in Modern Ghana – Lessons learnt from the Kumasi Curfew

The difference between the developed countries and developing countries like Ghana is the adherence to law and the building of strong and functional institutions. I chanced to have a short conversation with an old man in a trotro from Atomic Junction to Accra central three months ago.
In the course of our discourse, I asked him how can young people be the change agents and shape our country.
His response was that our mindset as people have to change first before we can see that change we desire.
So I gave him a follow up question on how the mindset of the people can change.
With a soft voice he responded that the mindset of the older generation is exposed to corruption and other cankers.
This old man tapped on my shoulder and whispered into my ears, that young man,my generation has failed me but your generation shouldn’t fail.
You should instill some kind of patriotism in the kids who are not exposed to these vices before they also join the corrupted minds.
I became quite and couldn’t utter a word.This man didn’t talk to me again because suddenly my mood changed. I became sad and begin to think about how young people can make this change agenda a reality.
Two weeks later, I travelled to my hometown in the Ashanti region. I was told the Otumfuo, Asantehene has lost his mother Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem so there is a ban on funeral ceremony till further notice.
All the traditional rulers in the Ashanti region ensured that this ban was strictly adhered to. The Power of the King!
The Ashantis have shown the world the beauty of their culture. People from all walks of life joined the Asantehene to mourn the Queen.That was impressive!
May the Queen’s soul rest in peace!
I was watching TV on Wednesday evening when the news broke that the Asantehemaa to wit the Queen of Ashanti will be buried on Thursday so there is a holiday for all schools in the Kumasi metropolis. A caution was given to the people living in Kumasi.

not to go out in the evening of Thursday since the remains of the queen will be sent to the Breman fie-that’s where the Royals of the Ashanti Kingdom are buried.
I was waiting to see how the people were going to observe this curfew.
Surprising, on Thursday evening around 4pm, the streets of kumasi was empty like the road leading to Gambia’s state house (lol)
Adum and Central market area which is always flooded by people was silent like a
“nsamanmpo” cemetry. It was then that I confirmed the level influence of the Otumfuo.
But as citizens who are not spectators, what did we learn from this?
I have learnt that our people revere the traditional rule than the constitutional rule.(it’s a fact)
As Africans,i think it is always prudent to remember our origin. The people of Kumasi showed how they obey their king. That’s very impressive but then, why do we always sit down for people of authority to tell us what to do before we do the right thing?
If we are going to replicate this same attitude shown on Thursday to the laws of our land, trust me Ghana will develop within a year.
Unfortunately, same can’t be told of because most of the people who are elected constitutionally do not obey the laws so the people do not respect them. Corruption has made many political leaders lose respect in society.
Apathy on the part of our people is killing the progress of the country. People litter around anywhere in the streets.
A lot of people do not pay their taxes as citizens. If these traditional rulers like Otumfuo and his abrafuos are given the ultimatum to ensure law and order, our cities will be clean and beautiful.
In that regard, Ghana is backsliding based on separation of powers and there can also be a progress on that advantage .
Per thursday’s occurrence ,I believe that, to move Ghana forward, it will demand our chiefs stern actions for people to obey basic rules of our dear nation.
The traditional rule is more of spiritual matters and the people obey spirituality than that of the constitution.


People are more afraid of Antoa than Nsawam prisons.
A friend once said “the constitutional law is just a matter of getting a good lawyer who can talk well”
The simplicity of governance is that,we deal with people based on their level of understanding.
Ghanaians give recognition to chiefs concerning regulatory issues so with this regard, it will be prudential for the chiefs to act as state governors purposely for law enforcement.This would bring sanity in our towns and cities.
Though we have a whole ministry for chieftaincy issues, I think It’s high time we converge our chiefs into the matters of the state with seriousness because our people regard them the more.
Most of our traditional rulers have been independent for long and exhibited true statesmanship and as a result of that,they have gained the maximum respect from the people.
Their level of influence can make the people to become law abiding citizens not spectators.
Making reference to the case study of what happened in Kumasi, I think we need the involvement of our chief for an effective enforcement of state laws.
Our MPs are law makers but they don’t enforce laws..Besides, we elect and house them in the capital city.
I believe it’s time to involve these traditional rulers in law enforcement and Ghana will become a beacon of hope and opportunity.
Our people should also change their mentality because the kumasi curfew has opened our eyes to the fact that, we can obey the law if it’s coming from our strong kings.
Long live Ghana!
Long live Asanteman!!
Long live our leaders!!!
By : Kenneth Gyamerah