By : Kwame Ampene
Akwatia is situated west of the Atewa ranges on the Asamankese Kade road.The founding fathers of Akwatia were once a branch of Akwamu.They were together with Akwamu throughout their migration from Human to Asakamu while the main body of Akwamu continued eastwards and settled permanently on the Nyanao Hill.
The Akwatia group moved under the leadership of Akrodwo who was the clan nephew of the king of Akwamu. After a sojourn, they moved to Mmetiase near Bamase.This spot near the Mmo Stream was covered with short palm trees, hence the name “Mmetiase”. The leader died at a very old age. There were six successive chiefs at Mmetiase, namely Amoa Kwaku, Kyerema Prah, Kwamina Akantan, Baah, Gyane Amoako and Kumi Awuro before OHEMEN AKWATIA whose reign, Nana Ofori Panyin of Kyebi arrived at Banso in 1702.
Soon after his enthronement, Oheman Akwatia moved further afield together with his subjects and settled on a vast stretch of land full of ‘Sentea’ trees. The ruins of Mmetiase could be found a large brass pan in which libation is poured on Friday after the Annual Yam Festival. A few years later, they deserted Senteaso and founded Abansasu which ruins are found near the Consolidated African Selection Trust Ltd (CAST). While living at Semteaso the ground at Bamase on which Ohene Kwame (the deceased nephew of king Akoto of Akwatia) had been buried, was used as the royal mausoleum till the present site at kwanhwerem near the southern past of CAST was created.
Unfortunately, the land at Abansasu was water logged, therefore Oheman Akwatia left with subjects and settle at the present market place and the lorry park. This new settlement was named after the migrant leader OHEMEN AKWATIA, whose surname, AKWATIA, suggested that he was a man of a short stature. Other group of Akwamu in the company of Akwamuhene established military post within the kingdom at Asamankese, Kwaman and Tafo, and they still refer to Akwamuhene as their clan-uncle. However, after the seat of Akwamu, they failed to join the king in his flight across the Volta.
After the war Ohemen Akwatia with the consent of his people, sought friendship and protection with the Okyenhene and became part of Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area. This story is that in 1851, the female ruler of Akyem Abuakwa, Queen Dokua, signed a peace treaty with the Administrator, Major Stephen J.Hill, thus her Traditional area automatically became a Protectorate. On an account of this, the Akwatia joined Akyem Abuakwa warriors under Amoako Ataah I as allies of the British and fought the Asante at Jukwa in 1873.In this war, a royal of Akwatia by name Yaah Fua was captured by the Juaben and given in marriage to one Oti.
The tribal wars ceased, the people of Akwatia kicked against the oppressive rule of Okyenhene which compelled Ohemen Akwatia to introduce the horn with the epigram. ”Awiaia Yenye no sa” literarily the orphan is not to be tormented referring to the type of forceful links created by overloadship. Ohemen Akwatia died peaceful after many years on the stool, but there was no royal at the time to inherit him. Consequently, they brought Boaten, son of the captive Yaah Fua Juaben to inherit his uncle, Ohemen Akwatia. As such, the order of succession was shifted to the descendants of Agyepoma which became the ruling family in the Abrade clan to this day.
Boaten was succeeded by his cousin Badu Yaw who reign during the Yaa Asantewaa war, 1900. He was succeeded by Nana Bempon 1, during his reign, diamond were discovered in Akwatia in July 1919, and with the consent of Chief Kwame Amoah I of Asamankese, he alienated a number of diamond mining concession to the CAST in 1920. Finally, Akwatia is one of the oldest surviving Akwamu towns within the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area. The famous sacrosanct Oath of Akwatia is that of “Akwamu Yawdo” (Akwamu Thursday) which takes its origin from the day of Akwamu defeat in 1733.
The Spectator Page 31 Saturday, March 17, 2012