The stump of the revered Okomfo Anokye Cola Tree in Feyiase, Ashanti Region, which was clandestinely felled a month ago, has begun sprouting, according to Okyeame Frimpong, a linguist at the Feyiase Traditional Council.
The linguist, in an interview, revealed that the site has been restricted to the public, with ongoing purification rites following the unfortunate incident.
The Feyiase Traditional Council decried the felling of the historic Cola Tree, termed a "doom and unfortunate" event.
Researchers from the Crops Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have visited the site to examine the felled tree, emphasising its historical and medicinal significance to the Asante Kingdom.
Known as the Okomfo Anokye Bese, the cola tree, planted 300 years ago, is said to have grown from the saliva of the revered chief priest, Okomfo Anokye, as he chewed cola nuts during his journey through the community.
Locals believe the sacred tree possesses magical properties, capable of curing various ailments and spiritual curses, making it a vital part of the community's heritage.
Despite the significance of the tree, it was felled under mysterious circumstances on November 7, 2023, prompting heightened measures to protect the site.
Solomon Amponsah, the suspected perpetrator, was granted bail of GH¢20,000 with one surety by the Atasemanso Circuit Court in November. However, he failed to meet the bail conditions, leading to a revised charge from unlawful damage to illicit felling of the tree.
Solomon Amponsah pleaded not guilty to the new charge during a court session on December 6, presided over by Judge Gloria Mensah.
The case has been adjourned to December 28, 2023, following an order for the prosecution to submit relevant documents related to the trial.
The community remains deeply affected by the incident, grappling with the repercussions of the desecration of a cherished symbol of their history and spirituality.