A symposium to commemorate 150 years of British invasion and brutality on the Asante kingdom, has been held at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

It formed part of activities marking the silver jubilee celebrations of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the 16th occupant of the golden stool.

The Sagrenti War, which was fought in 1874, between soldiers of the British colonialist under the command of Sir Garnet Woseley, and the Asantes, saw the burning of the palace of the then king of the Asante kingdom, Kofi Karikari, and the looting of many priceless objects, regalia, gold ornaments and other artefacts from the palace.

The war was occasioned by three major factors – namely, colonial competition, control over trade routes as well as ethnic and religious tension at the time.

The symposium was attended by Ministers of State, Members of Parliament, traditional leaders, religious leaders, members of the academia and historians, among others.

Professor Thomas C. McCaskie, Professor of Asante Hi
story at the Center of West African Studies, Birmingham University, in the United Kingdom, who traced the history of the war, said 150 years ago, the British forces under the command of Sir Garnet Woseley, entered Kumasi, when the king was absent, looted the palace of priceless regalia and set it ablaze.

He said though the Asantes and the British had fought many wars over the 19th century with each side winning victories, the Sagrenti War, took a different turn due to the superior warfare carried by the British because of the industrial revolution, which was taken place in Europe at the time.

The occasion was also used to launch a book on Asante history, written by Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II, the 14th occupant of the golden stool in 1939 and finally scripted in 1949.

Already, some of the looted objects have been returned from the American museum, while others from the British museum are expected to arrive in the Manhyia palace on Thursday February 08, 2024.

The returned artefacts would be presented to th
e Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu, during the ‘Kuntunkuni’ durbar of chiefs and people of Asanteman at the Manhyia palace, on Thursday February 08, 2024, to mark the 150th anniversary of the Sagrenti War.

Prof. McCaskie used the occasion to urge Ashanti leaders to continue to pursue further for the restoration and repatriation of all the looted treasures of the Asante Kingdom.

Source: Ghana News Agency

By admin