KNOW THE ORIGIN OF TOWNS
THE STORY OF EJURA
STORY: KWAME AMPENE (Founder of the Guan Historical Society)
THE myths and traditions of Ejura relate that in the remote past, the Ejura area was the place where “God the creator sanctified or purified himself”. The expression “odwira ne ho” became corrupted into EJURA.
It is clear from the legend that the name E J U R A was in existence long before a group of Asona family came to occupy the area and the story recorded in traditional history is that the ancestress of this Asona family group was Abrewa Musu who lived at Adanse Ayaase near Asante Bekwai. Her grand-daughter called Boahwene had a son called Bonsie-Twi, and a daughter called Bomdawu.
Bonsie-Twum and his followers accompanied the Tena royal family who left Adanse and settled at Behinase, Realising that they were hammed in at Behinase, Juaben and Nsuta near Otikrom (Juabenmma) they moved north-eastwards and settled at a place called Mampon-Akrofose under the leadership of Boahenantuo, the first Beretuo royal to occupy the Mampon Stool. The preceding three chiefs belong to Tena royal family.
It was during his time that Asante overthrew Denkyira, in mid 1701 Boahenantuo commanded the whole national army at the express command of Ejura, Nana Bonsie-Twum accompanied his superior officer to the war. Akuamoa Panyin succeeded Amaniampon. He is reported to have visited the site of Mampon and even began to build the town.
Oral tradition has it that when they all moved from Mampon-Akrofoso to new Mampon, the Asona group under the leadership of Bonsie-Twum settled at Kubesinase. As they were still multiplying, they could stay and expand. So Nana Bonsie-Twum dispatched his nephew called Boakye on reconnaissance mission and to explore the hitherto unknown lands. He was provided with one hundred gun-men. Their wandering took them to Anyinasa in the neighbourhood where the aboriginal settler directed them to look yonder and pitch their camp near the Odum tree.
However, they observed that the land was not suitable for their purpose, and continued the intensive search till they reached a place where legend has it that “God the creator purified himself” regularly.
The only woman they met was Oduomponsem who had a brother, Kuruboakuma, who never entertained visitors on the land. Such an affront suggested open confrontation.Therefore, Safohen Boakye returned to Mampon to give account of his mission. And since he was determined to settle on that particular land, his uncle increased the size of his army and they marched to the converted land.
Soon the aboriginal settler and his invisible men were defeated and so Ejura came into the possession of the Asona royal group from Mampon-Asante. For some obvious reason, the chief of Apa who was a member of Mampon royal house envied the land acquired by the Asona family. So the Mamponhene instructed Nana Bosnsie-Twum and his adherents at Kubesinase to make Ejura their permanent home.
Thus Nana Bonsie-Twum became the first chief of Ejura and Adontenhene of Mamponhene of Mampon-Asante traditional hierarchy. Successive occupants of the Stool were Nananom Boakye. Oti Owusu Bekoe, Dua Aboodee, Apau Kumadee, Osei Hwedee, Osei Asumadu etc. In the early days, Ejura commanded the trade route known as “Amaniampon Tempon” i.e. Amaniampon Highway, spanning between Kumase and the Hausa states in the north. The geographical position of Ejura therefore, made it a prosperous market centre where live-stock, blankets and smocks were brought there from the north, while traders from the Asante region brought kola nuts in exchange for cattle and coarse blankets. The trading activities advertised the wealth of Ejura and attracted more influential persons who contributed to the economic and cultural development of the state. Ejura now became the economic heart of the north-east.
Finally, Ejura was made the administrative capital of north-eastern Asante, comprising Effiduase, Mampon, Nsuto, Asokore, Ntonso, Amanten, Atebubu, Wiase and Dwan. Also a District Commissioner’s office was established as well as a District Magistrate court up to try both civil and criminal cases in 1913. The offices were removed to Mampon Asante at the instigation of the Mamponhene, Nana Osei Bonsu in 1921.
THE SPECTATOR PAGE 31 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2010,