HISTORY OF AGOGO

HISTORY OF AGOGO

An early traditional account relates the royal Aduana family of agogo once lived at Asumegya in Asante. According to this tradition these people were fond of quarrelling among themselves and as a result they scattered and established themselves in different locations, leaving the rest under the rule of Kusi Adaku, the first chief of Asumegya whose town had moved a short distance from its original place at Asantemanso.

Meanwhile the founding fathers of Agogo under the leadership of nana Ofori Kobon trekked southward to the coast where they fraternized with the Akwamus at Nyanoase. The ruling house of the paramount stool of Akwamu is the abrade clan, la moiety of Aduana, so the related clan brothers agreed to live together. Nana Kobon was made a sub-chief, but he tried to work his way to the rank of a divisional chief and was driven out by the Akwamuhene Ansa Sasraku.with a large retinue, Nana Ofori Kobon courageously led them to a new abode situated south of the Volta-Afram confluence called Osantenso, popularly named “Ofori Kobon Osantenso”.

When Nana Ofori Kobon settled, he found disturbing conditions in the area, for the whole of the Afram plain was under the powerful guan king called Ataara Ofinam v, who ruled not only the guans but Akan’s as well. He was a king and a warrior, independent of all other states. During those days, Denkyira was ranked second to the Akwamus, while King Kweku Ackaa of Nzema was ranked third, and the kingdom of Ataara Ofinam followed. King Ataara Ofinam VI was described as a tyrant. And the authority he exercised gave rise to the saying in Twi, ’wudi tumi senea Ataara wo dii tumi wo nkyenkyenku’ literally referring to the autocratic regime of the king. King Ataara vi’ established his capital at Sremanso, located between Senchi and Akosombo – the exact location today is known as Atimpoku by the Adomi Bridge.

Nana Ofori Kobon and his followers in return for the land became a vassal chief who at each Odwira festival of Ataara had to catch a live leopard to be sacrificed to the stools of the king. This is the origin of the appellation Kobon, meaning “lion-hearted man”. Some other vassal states also supplied virgins who were as well immolated. Ataara Ofinam vii moved his capital to Soorobodan, while Ataara Ofinam viii settled at Gyaneboafo, all located on the Afram plains. Atebubu tradition recalls that king Ataara Ofinam obstructed the neighboring Akan chiefs from the rays of the sun. The tyrannical rule of Ataara Ofinam viii caused some of his vassal states to rebel against him. and the rebellion spread rapidly because of his quarrelsome disposition.

The war was started by nana Ofori Kobon; He was joined by his other clan-brothers, Kwamanhene Ntori Niampa and Kumawuhene Kofi Fekai. Their allies were Beposohene Boama Kobi, Effiduasihene Mposos Frempong, Atebubuhene Ampong Yirenkyi at Saman nearAantoa, Tafohene Safo Akonton, Kwahu Abenehene Ampon Agyei, Dukomanhene Twerefo Tim, Bukuruwahene Kwao Badu and Gyamasehene Ameyaw. These entire chief had their grievances to avenge Ataara Ofinam with respect to his wrongs. They formed an offensive alliance against the king in a major and bitter campaign, so that his kingdom was hemmed from different flanks. Such a large army was raised by the allied forces but these forces were strongly resisted by the kings’ army as they made slow progress against him. The Nsutahene Oduro Panyin (paprawe) was the son of Nana Ofori Krobon, as the father had been at war for three years ,Oduro Panyin joined the war in search of his father.the kwaman forces advanced further from their last post at Adonso and in the company of the army commanded by nana Ofori Kobon fought a guerilla war for four years .the kumawuhene kofi fekai, was killed at the at the battlefield and was laid in state in a camp which is today a village of the people of Kumawu known as Sabuso. He was succeeded by his grandson Kobina Kodia. A decisive battle was fought intermittently on the plain but lack of central authority over Ataara’s scattered troops, compelled the king to seek refuge at the bank of the Volta. Agogo and her allies became victorious.

The war lasted for seven years, 1690-1697.the Agogos maintain that they returned from the war three years before the Asante–Denkyira war was ended in mid 1701.agogo and its allied states shared between themselves, the spoils of the war which included the extensive Afram plains, the Agogo’s captured the kings famous Ntahara horns – seven horns made of elephant tusks which were later presented to the Nsutahene in appreciation of his valor Kumawu captured a metal vessel of remarkable workmanship known as the Abamu pot. The Tafo’s seized the king’s Fontomfrom drums, then unknown to the Akans. The Nkwatia’s had the brazen box, and an iron hearth, the Dokuman seized the brass boot and steel helmet.the queenmother of Ataara regime became a prisoner and was taken to Kwaman where she remained and died a natural death 14 years later(1697-1711).

The elimination of Ataara Ofinam viii created a vacancy on the afram-sene plains which the conquering states divided among themselves. The portion of Agogohene’s share in the land indicates that his troops contribution to the defeat of Ataara was immense. Legend follows that, after the war the dente fetish took on a form of a human form, went to Ofori Kobon’s abode and begged for water which was denied him. He became angry, changed himself again into a swarm of bees and attacked the settlement. Thus Nana Ofori Kobon and his people fled,pursued by the bees untill they came to the Owam river at the falls of Bomforbi where many drowned.the legend continues that a hunter from Kumawu named kwadwo Amoh, saw them and conducted them to Kumawu then known as Sumenakese where they settled .the queenmother nana Mansa Ntim died here and was succeeded by her daughter aware aframoa.later nana ofori kobon and his followers left Kumawu to find a new settlement. They discovered the Agogowa stream and settled by it. Agogowa became the name of the town and was later either shortened or corrupted to Agogo.

The story of Hwidiem and how the town originated however has this account ,the narration is that Kotokuhene Frempon Manso had earlier settled at Kotoku Adokow (between Agogo and Juansa) together with the Kwahu Abenehene Ampon Agyei.the former married Akosua Afranewa, sister of the latter and gave birth to antwi apesewa.the story adds that before frempon manso moved to Dampon, he bequeathed to his son the land of hwidiem to the west bank of the afram river , part of the land is now for the agogo stool. Antwi Apesewa and those Kotoku’s who remained built their home on an adjacent grassland whose vegetation led to the name “Hwidiem” that is grass land.


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