A manhunt has been initiated by the Ghanaian authorities to find the individuals responsible for the removal of a 300-year-old kola tree, which was reputed to possess medicinal properties.
The tree originated in the Ashanti Kingdom, which is now a part of Ghana.
According to the locals, the tree originated at the location where, in the early 1700s, famed priest Komfo Anokye spit a kola nut on the ground.
Many people in the area thought that curses and illnesses might be lifted by the black and white seeds of the kola tree.
When images of the downed tree in the hamlet of Feyiase went viral online, Ghanaians expressed their outrage.
The tree was in the middle of a busy road that connected Lake Bosomtwe and Kumasi, the commercial center of Ghana.
Due of its popularity, which attracted both foreign and Ghanaian tourists, it was spared during the highway’s development.
Why it was taken down at this time is unclear.
Osei-Bonsu Safo Kantanka, the director of research at Manhyia Palace, the Ashanti royal family’s residence, told the BBC that the tree’s location was important to the Ashanti Kingdom’s past.
The Ashanti people fought the strong kingdom of Denkyira in the Battle of Feyiase in an effort to gain their independence.
The tree “was the same spot the people of Denkyira were defeated by the Asantes,” according to Mr. Kantanka.
Komfo Anokye was a strong fetish priest who was said to serve as a go-between for the living and the dead.
According to oral legend, he buried a sword on the grounds of the Kumasi hospital that bears his name; the sword is firmly buried there and cannot be taken out.
The tree served as a continual reminder of his adventures.