Home / The Reign Of Nana Mensa Bonsu

The Reign Of Nana Mensa Bonsu

THE REIGN OF  NANA MENSA BONSU
(    1874  –  1883   )


Nana Kofi Kakari was succeeded by Nana Mensa Bonsu in the same year (1874) . His main objective on his enstoolment was to restore the Asante Kingdom to its former glory and status . To do this ,  he planned first to get the states which had broken away back to the fold .
His first target easy to get Dwaben back into the fold . He discovered that Dwaben had been joined by Asokore , Nsuta, Effiduase and Oyoko . He therefore explored all avenues at his disposal to get them back in a peaceful way . After all such efforts had failed , he took arms . States like Kokofo, Bekwai and Asumegya joined Kumase state to subdue Dwaben. According to W.Claridge, the war was fierce but Dwaben ran out of gunpowder after three days of heavy fighting and was defeated . This was on the 3rd of November 1874 .
Asafo Agyei , the chief of Dwaben and his men broke away and found refuge with the Akyems where they founded New Dwaben , Asokore, Oyoko and Effiduase near Koforidua. He and his people were told to live there peacefully , but in 1877 the government detected that Asafo Agyei and some coastal Chiefs had planned to fight Asante Nation to pave way for Dwabens in exile to come back to their own land . The Governor , Sandford Freeling heard of the plan and sent messengers to warn the Dwaben chief Asafo Agyei to desist from those threats . When the Governor found out that Asafo Agyei ( the Dwaben chief ) did not heed to his warning , he deported him to Lagos .
Nana Mensa Bonsu reigned from 1874 to 1883 . Because of what happened to Asante Nation as a result of the 1874 war, Nana Mensa Bonsu resolved never to have any confrontation with the British . He also decided to find peaceful ways of winning back the states which had broken away from the Asante Kingdom. He realised that his moves to get the other states back to the Kingdom was supported by the Asante States . After the Dwaben war , he made Gyaman and the other states his next target. However, his dislike for war created annoyance among a section of the Kumase people who were warlike . They realised that the British were victorious in the 1874 war because they used superior weapons ,so they procured some of the superior riffles and engaged a German adventure named Neilson to train them and a corps of Hausa troops they had engaged . Their main aim was to wait foe a chance when they could sort it out with the British. It was at that particular time that a neighbouring tribe attacked the Banda people . They sought protection from the Gyaman state .
The Gyamans gave them land on which to stay . However, the Bandas realised their mistake in bargaining their independence from protection and wanted to transfer their allegiance to Asante ,even though they were still occupying the Gyaman land . This led to trouble between the two states and gave the war party in Kumase , a chance to bring both the Banda and Gyaman states back into the Kingdom through the might of gun. However , Nana Mensa Bonsu , insisting on his vow of no confrontation with the British sent to ask for the Governor,s advice . This latest move by him made the war party and some of the Chiefs angry and therefore they destooled him . They were disappointed that he could not be a warrior like Nana Osei Asibe Bonsu whom he was named after. The other charges levelled against him were imposing heavy fines for small offences and also being lustful