The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has described the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, as a pillar behind Ghana’s educational advancement and promotion of peace in the country.
He said the Asantehene’s contribution to national development transcends the Asante Kingdom and embraces the entire country.
President Akufo-Addo said this when he joined the Asantehene at the Manhyia Palace on Sunday to celebrate the Akwasidae Kɛseɛ which climaxed the 20th anniversary of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, since ascending the Golden Stool.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II ascended the Golden Stool on April 26, 1999.On that day, he held in his right hand the Busumuru sword, and swore the oath of Asanteman to be faithful to his people.
Akwasidae Kɛseɛ is the highest form of Akwasidae, which is celebrated every six weeks in line with the Asante calendar which is based on a cycle of 42-days and nine months in a year.
It is celebrated every five years to crown all such festivities.
Last Sunday’s Adae was the fifth since Otumfuo Osei Tutu, was enstooled as the 16th occupant of the Golden Stool.
For the first time in the history of Ghana, Asanteman welcomed a Yaa Naa from the historic Kingdom of Dagbon, in the Northern Region and the coastal Kingdom of Anlo.
President Akufo-Addo, mentioned, in particular, Otumfuo’s role in bringing lasting peace to the people of Dagbon and promoting a united Ghana and wished him well.
The President said he was happy to be at Manhyia on the occasion of the 20th anniversary and felt proud of the Asantehene’s achievements.
The Asantehene, on his part, publicly expressed joy and “deep gratitude” when he addressed the massive gathering at the Manhyia Palace’s Dwabirem.
“We are humbled by the presence here of so many emissaries, and eminent chiefs who have travelled from far and near, across oceans and continents to share with us tidings of amity and fraternity,” the Asantehene he noted.
“We are pleased to welcome the Vice President of the Republic of Suriname, who has made the long journey from the Pacific at the head of a 15-man delegation to be with us. Our thanks go to our own Head of State, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for the great honour he has accorded us, and for leading our elder statesmen and former Heads of State and indeed the whole nation as our special guests of honour.”
The Asantehene said, “throughout our journey, we have sought God’s guidance and protection and he had never failed us and so we must see some significance in the fact that our Adae Kese, commemorating the 20th anniversary of our reign, coincides with one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar, a day of resurrection, a day of hope and renewal for mankind.”
“You only have to look at this unique assembly here today to feel the manifestation of the hope, and the renewal that beckons for our beloved nation.
Expressing his delight at the presence of the Yaa Naa and Awomefia of Anlo, the Asantehene said, “they have come in all splendour, in peace and brotherhood, not just to share in our moment of joy, but to remind us of our common heritage and the new spirit of peace and unity abiding in Ghana.”
“For 17years, our brothers in Dagbon were in despair from a conflict setting brother against brother, and sucking resources that could have been better spent on economic development for the people”, he intoned.
The Asantehene said through painstaking efforts and applying the centuries-old tradition, peace has been restored and “we are able to welcome a new Yaa Naa to a reborn Dagbon.”
He said “last year, I invited the Awomefia of Anlo state, Togbe Sri III to come for us to ponder over the curious state into which political differences have plunged relations between our two people, we concluded that, there was absolutely no reason why politics should be allowed to undermine us.”
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI