Reports available to Coverghana.com.gh have confirmed that, Chieftaincy among some clans and communities in the Mafi Traditional Area of the Volta Region is on the rise.
The turn of events so far as Chieftaincy is concerned is reported to have splitted the Traditional Area into segments, which, if not addressed properly, could break Mafi Traditional Area apart very soon.
Addressing the Chieftaincy situations in the area, the Manklalo of Mafi Traditional Area Togbe Brentua Asafo IV has taken the pain to enlightened the citizens of area at a press conference organized on Tuesday, 21st December, 2021 on the subject matter.
Addressing the pressor at his Palace in Mafi-Kumase, the spokesperson of the Manklalo of Mafi Traditional Area, Dumega William Amartefio explained the role of the Manklalo including administrative division of the Traditional Area, Organogram, Chieftaincy crisis and it’s effects, rival installation of chiefs in some communities etc. in the area.
Speaking on the administrative divisions of Mafi Traditional Area, Togbe Brentua Asafo IV said, Mafi Traditional Area is made up of Eight (8) Divisions according to various Clans namely: Torfi, Gborta, Akorto, Gevie, Foto, Aklorbor, Aziewa and Toh/Tovie. Each Clan has a Head Chief who is also a Divisional Chief of Mafi Traditional Area. The eight clan Divisions have also been further divided into sub-divisions. Torfi clan has Bagbe, Kekpo, Asrogboe and Avieto. Gborta has Dzặ, Yiboe and Ʋuvieto. Akorto and Foto clans have it as Afegame and Afevieme while others have Principal Families. Therefore, the leaders of the sub-divisions are called sub-divisional chiefs. Chiefs under them in the sub-divisions are sub-chiefs. This is very explicit in Mafi Traditional and Chieftaincy system.
He further said, Mafi has organogram; administrative organogram as well as traditional military organogram.
According to the Manklalo, administratively, at the apex is The Paramount Chief of Mafi Traditional Area. Closely after him is the Manklalo of Mafi Traditional Area.
The Traditional Area also have Divisional Chiefs of Mafi who are also the clan Head Chiefs. Below them are the sub-divisional chiefs, sub chiefs and the Headmen. Finally, we have Family heads.The Traditional Military structure is as follows: The Captain of Mafi Traditional Army presides over the leaders of the Three Military Wings (Aυanutↄ).
Explaining the administrative roles, he said, the Paramount Chief of Mafi Traditional Area is the General Overseer and Commander-In-Chief of Mafi Traditional Military in the Traditional Area. He presides over the affairs of the Mafi Traditional Area. The Divisional Heads (Clan Head Chiefs) preside over the affairs of their various clans and the Traditional Military Wing Leaders (Aυanutↄ) led by the Captain of Mafi preside over the Traditional military operations of Mafi Traditional Area.
The Manklalo of Mafi Traditional Area, is the second in command in Mafi Traditional Hierarchy. This position is confirmed by Togbe Assem III, The Paramount Chief of Mafi Traditional Area in a letter dated 16th July 1986 to the then three military wing leaders of Mafi namely Togbe Awudza Adabla XIV, Togbe Anorba Sasraku IV and Togbe Asafo Buatri IV. Part of the letter stated, “…Please, be informed that the Manklalo of Mafi is my next in command. If I have any matter relating to war or military, I shall consult the Mafi Captain who will have a meeting with you.” Togbe Brentua Asafo IV added.
“Furthermore, Mafi had a State Council list dated 1st. August, 1958. It indicated, Togbe Assem III, Paramount Chief of Mafi Traditional Area as President and the Manklalo of Mafi as the Vice President. With regards to the role of the Manklalo (which is my main focus today), he is in-charge of chieftaincy matters.”
“These include the process leading to the enstoolment and the introduction of a new Chief to the Fiaga (Paramount Chief) and other Mafi authorities. The traditional practice is that, before the enstoolment of a new Chief in Mafi Traditional Area, the clan leaders should inform the Manklalo of Mafi Traditional Area who demands to have certain vital information from the clan leaders.”
“When satisfied, he sends his representative (s) to inspect the Stool, take part and supervise the enstoolment process. After the enstoolment, the new chief should be shown to the Manklalo of Mafi by the Clan leaders. Then, the Manklalo on a later date introduces the new chief to the Fiaga of Mafi Traditional Area in the presence of the Divisional Chiefs (Clan Head chiefs), Leaders of the three military wings (Avanutor), other chiefs and People of Mafi.”
In authenticating the information, Togbe made reference to an example of such activities which took place in 1983 and said. “…Togbe Dordoye III, the newly installed Chief of Mafi Zortikpo, Foto Clan of Mafi, was today, in accordance with Customary law, been formally introduced and presented to Togbe Assem III, Paramount Chief of Mafi Traditional Area, Chiefs and People of Mafi by Togbe Asafo III, Manklalo of Mafi Traditional Area… in a colourful ceremony at Mafi Adidome on Thursday, 27th January, 1983.”
This practice, according to the Manklalo, had been confirmed by the Fiaga of Mafi, Togbe Assem III in Agyeman Badu Committee Report, 73rd sitting, Friday 20th September, 1974, page 11.
“Togbe Assem III stated that any Chief installed under Togbe Assem, the Paramount Chief of Mafi Traditional Area would have to be brought to the MANKLALO OF MAFI TRADITIONAL AREA; and this chief would have to be brought to the Paramount Chief by THE MANKLALO FOR RECOGNITION. He added that the Manklalo of Mafi is “the overall Kingmaker.”
“Again, the same role has been emphasized in a document signed by Mafi Chiefs and addressed to the Manklalo of Mafi Traditional Area, dated 6th January, 1946, part of which reads, “…we unanimously resolve…according to custom, you are the one who install Fia or Asafohenes in Mafi before showing them to authorities; and whereas it is from time immemorial, it cannot be changed in this modern times…”
Touching on the crisis in Mafi Chieftaincy affairs and its effects, Togbe Brentua Asafo IV said, currently, it may interest you to note that Chiefs have been indiscriminately installed in Mafi Traditional Area, championed by the group calling itself ‘Mafi Avanutor / Aυanutↄs’ without any notice to the Manklalo of Mafi Traditional Area. It is clearly the usurpation of the administrative function and position of the Manklalo of Mafi Traditional Area by the Mafi Three Military Wing (Aυanutↄ) leaders. He noted that, the role of the Manklalo of Mafi has been hijacked and this has led to the collapse of Mafi Traditional system administratively.
The adverse effects are visible.
Togbe Manklalo has enumerated some adverse effects of Chieftaincy in the Mafi Traditional Area. These include:
1. Installation of three Paramount Chiefs in Mafi by three Torfi sub-clans: Torfi Bagbe, Torfi Kekpo and Torfi Asrogboe.
2. The on-going installation of two chiefs in one Community. So far, the affected Communities include Amegakope, Mafi Tove, Avakpedome and currently, Adidome.
3. Feud and disunity in some Mafi Communities such as Amegakope, Dadoboe, Mafi Tove, Avakpedome, Adidome and many others.
4. Elevation of some sub-chiefs to Divisional status by the Military Wing Leaders. Some of these sub-chiefs are from Gborta and Torfi clans.
5. Disrespect among chiefs since the hierarchy has been tampered with. Some sub-chiefs speak disrespectfully to senior chiefs.
6. The Avanutor/ Aυanutↄ (Three Military Wing) Leaders have completely dissociated themselves from the captain of Mafi Traditional Military.
7. The operation of Togbe Assem III’s queen mother, who has elevated herself above chiefs of Mafi and has the courage to carry out traditional operations as if she is the paramount Chief of Mafi.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, not until we, leaders of Mafi Traditional Area, return to the status quo, Mafi is likely to break down into two factions permanently because there is a clique of chiefs (Mafi Avanutor) who are engaged in the installation of parallel chiefs in some Mafi communities; and I believe, their expectation is to divide Mafi.”
“In this context, I wish to inform the Mafi general public who are in dilemma about the current state of Mafi Chieftaincy crisis to open their eyes and be vigilant about the peddling of lies around them. Certain chiefs who are not accredited wing leaders but have been elevated fraudulently by some members of the group calling itself ‘Mafi Avanutor’ to that position have taken Mafi for a ride.”
“We cannot sit to see them destroy Mafi and re-institute a new organogram and a new system of traditional administration in Mafi. Mafi is not at war and does not need the operation of such Avanutor wing leaders.”
Rival installation of chiefs in some Mafi Communities, according to Mafi customs and tradition, Chiefs are installed on traditionally accredited stools. He said what is happening now in Mafi is double installation of Chiefs at Mafi Tove, all bearing The Stool Name Togbe Nyassor Ababio V; then at Mafi Avakpedome; all the two chiefs are using Togbe Awudza Adabla XV.
He unequivocally stated that, the introduction of a self-styled chief of Adidome to Mafi Aʋanutor and the Central Tongu District Chief Executive Hon. Thomas Moore Zonyra is uncustomary according to the customs and traditions of the Mafi Traditional Area.
“On Saturday, 27th November, 2021, a man who styled himself as ‘Togbe Kwasinyi Kakaklolo Agyeman V’ has been introduced to the group calling itself ‘Mafi Aυanutↄ’ (Mafi Military Wing) as Chief of Adidome. This same group on Monday, 6th December, 2021 has introduced the same rival chief to the District Assembly as chief of Adidome. All these happened without my consent.”
“The composition of ‘Mafi Aυanutↄ’ includes the Captain of Mafi Traditional Military and Three Wing Leaders representing Torfi Clan, Gborta Clan and Domeawo.” He added.
“Currently, the Gborta Clan has two rival head chiefs and there is no specific representative of the clan. Also, Togbe Anorba Sasraku IV, who served as leader of Domeawo had been unanimously voted out in 2020 as leader of Domeawo and a new person has been elected to take that position.”
“In this regard, it is weird for some three chiefs, one of which is a sub- chief but fraudulently elevated as a Divisional Chief of Gborta Clan to call themselves ‘Mafi Aυanutↄ’ to receive ‘atam’ on behalf of Mafi Paramountcy. Gborta Clan, like other clans of Mafi, has one Divisional Chief. The group calling itself ‘Mafi Aυanutↄ’ is uncustomary. It does not have the capacity to receive ‘atam’ on behalf of Mafi Traditional Area.”
Again, it is administratively wrong and uncustomary to do what they did. It is performing the role of the Manklalo.
“I am the Manklalo of Mafi Traditional Area. I am aware of one of the Chiefs, Togbe Nyasor Ababio V, installed at Mafi Tove whose Stool Father is Emmanuel Adza Ahortor. He had been introduced to me as legitimate Chief of Mafi Tove. The installation of the other one (also called by the same stool name, Togbe Nyasor Ababio V) was championed by ‘Mafi Avanutor.'”
The Manklalo again said, presently, it should be made clear that, he is very much aware of the enstoolment of Togbe Kwasinyi Agyeman V (whose Principal Stool father is Foster Norgbedzi), the person from Norgbedzi family, who has been enstooled after the demise of Togbe Kwasinyi Agyeman IV.
He was properly and traditionally enstooled by his Kingmakers and the Kwasinyi Agyeman Stool is in the possession of the Stool Authorities, the Norgbedzi family.
Togbe Brentua Asafo IV disclosed that, his representatives were there to take part and supervise all the processes leading to the enstoolment.
“He has been shown to me as instituted by custom and tradition. I recognize him as the legitimate Dufia of Mafi Adidome.”
According to him, Togbe Kwasinyi Agyeman V has been led through all the Mafi traditional practices and rites and has been enstooled. He also has the support of all the eleven Heads of the Principal Families which make up the Toh/Tovie Clan.
The Manklalo dissociated himself from a “self-styled chief” of Adidome who was introduced to the Avanutor. “The second installation done by some members of Fiagbenu (who rebelled against the leadership of their unit Fiagbenu family of the Principal Ahorne Family) championed by the group calling itself ‘Mafi Avanutor’ is unacceptable. The Adidome Stool called Kwasinyi Agyeman Stool is not in their possession.” He added.
“The Mafi people who know the truth should not fall for the lies being peddled around. The introduction of Chiefs which took place at Adidome-Sogakope junction on Saturday, 27th November, 2021 was uncustomary. It should be ignored. The administrative role of the Manklalo of Mafi Traditional Area should not be tampered with. From Today, I declare that until all chiefs installed in Mafi passed through the right channel, I do not recognize them.” He added.
Togbe Brentua Asafo IV, Manklalo of Mafi Traditional Area said, all Mafi must unite and come together to disregard and undo the injustices going on in Mafi.