Misleading! Dormaahene never said Mahama agreed to remove Asantehene from Chieftaincy Act

On Tuesday, October 17, 2023, claims emerged suggesting that the Omanhene of Dormaa Traditional Council, Oseadeayo Agyeman Badu II had a conversation with the Former President John Mahama on removing the name of Asantehene, Otumfour Osei Tutu II, from the Chieftaincy Act or upgrade other chiefs to his status.

According to the claims, John Mahama also agreed to grant his request when he returns to power.

The claim was first sighted on the NPP Projects Bureau Facebook page on October 17, 2023, and has since garnered 104 likes, 148 comments and 31 shares before the publication of this report.

The statement was contained in an artwork supposedly published by ‘News Afrika’, a platform that claims to be a media outlet. The artwork has been shared across other social media platforms (see here, here, and here).

Fact-Check Ghana has verified the claim and presents the findings below.

Claim: “I have had a conversation with the NDC flagbearer on this serious issue. We will remove the name of the Asantehene in the law or all Chiefs above paramount chiefs should be mentioned. He agrees with me.”

Verdict: Misleading

Explanation: A journalist from GhanaWeb conducted an interview with Oseadeayo Agyeman Badu II during which they delved into a wide range of subjects, including the environment, corruption, sports, and chieftaincy, among others.

The interview was subsequently published on the media outlet’s YouTube channel on October 12, 2023.

The Fact-Check Ghana team has watched the complete video posted by GhanaWeb on their YouTube channel. The Omanhene of Dormaa Traditional Council did not make any such claim. Indeed, at some point in the interview, the topic of chieftaincy was discussed (See 17:10 to 26:00 timestamp). During that part of the video, John Mahama’s name was not mentioned nor did the Chief make any statement insinuating that he had an engagement with the former president on the matter.

On the matter of chieftaincy, here’s what Oseadeayo Agyeman Badu II said:

“Who is he? What sort of chief is he? Is he chief or a king? A king, I have already told you, before there were kingdoms in Ghana, but the moment we became a unitary state, Ghana. There is no king.

“Even the Chieftaincy Act ought to be amended, so the name of the Asantehene ought to be removed from it.

“I know some of the chiefs from the north are trying to be [Kings], I agree with them. If it is not removed, all of the others have to be there. The Nayiris names ought to be there, the YaNaa ought to be there, the Yagbon Wuras ought to be there (sic)”

Thus, even though the Dormaahene talked about the need to remove the title of king attributed to Asantehene in the Chieftaincy Act, he never said John Mahama agrees with him.

The team reached out to the interviewer, Daniel Oduro, and he clarified that he did not mention the name of the former president, John Mahama, during that session of the interview.

Also, Fact-Check Ghana’s internet search revealed no prominent media house has reported the claim that making rounds on social media.

The team also reached out to the administrator of the News Afrika page, who categorically denied publishing the claim. He said the artwork did not originate from their platform.

From the above, it is clear that the claim in circulation is misleading and fictitious.

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