ALL ROADS in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital, led to the Manhyia Palace, the official seat of the Asante Kingdom yesterday, Monday April 26 which marked the twenty-second (22nd) anniversary of the ascension of His Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to the Golden Stool.
The Thunder gathered that because of the COVID-19 safety protocols, the Palace did not organize the expected grand durbar that would have attracted dignitaries from all over the world visiting Asanteman to pay homage to the King.
Despite the absence of a grand durbar, and with full observance of the COVID-19 safety protocols, the Manhyia Palace still became a center of attraction on the historic day as several people, including the most influential in the country, besieged the royal home to pay homage to the 16th occupant of the Golden Stool, His Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, as he was commemorated his 22 years reign anniversary on the revered Asante throne on the day.
Credible deep throats from the corridors of the Palace said there was no official programme to mark the day, but the King made himself available to receive well wishes from the excited people who came from both high and low levels of society.
The paper gathered that most of the paramount chiefs in the Asante Kingdom, which stretches beyond the Ashanti Region, were at the palace to pay homage to Otumfuo.
It was learnt that top government officials in the Ashanti Region and other parts of the country also stormed the palace just to join the King to mark the important day.
Also storming the palace were the clergy, businessmen, security capos in the region, just to mention a few, who were there to help make Otumfuo’s ‘big day’ memorable.
The Thunder gathered from the Palace sources that the Asantehene, from his body language, was overly excited as he was mostly seen beaming with broad smiles.
The paper learnt that the Asantehene’s 71st birthday would fall on May 6, 2021, which is some few days away and so people are in anticipation of the king’s birthday.
Unconfirmed reports indicated that it is likely that the Manhyia Palace would combine the 22 years anniversary and the birthday and commemorate them together.
It would be recalled that Barimma Kwaku Duah, who later became Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, succeeded his brother, Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, on April 26, 1999.
Otumfuo, who had relocated to Ghana after schooling and working in the UK and Canada, was the overwhelming favourite of the kingmakers after the Asante throne had become vacant.
He successfully passed through all the traditional processes before he was eventually enstooled as the 16th Asantehene, a throne recognized, revered and respected all over the world.
Prior to his enstoolment, there were high hopes in Asanteman that Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who was 49 years old then, would become a unique traditional leader.
As expected, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has lived up to expectation and distinguished himself as wisdom personified. During his 22 year reign, the Asante Kingdom has experienced massive transformation and development.
A few of the Asantehene’s positive achievements since he ascended the throne are uncountable as virtually whatever that the king has touched has ‘turned into gold’.
For instance, Otumfuo led a team of three Eminent Chiefs to successfully find lasting solution to the Dagbon Chieftaincy crisis, which had lingered for over 15 years.
Otumfuo, who is regarded as a just and fair leader, has through hard work, commitment and unique wisdom, has resolved virtually all the chieftaincy issues in his kingdom.
His Otumfuo Education Fund, has so far contributed to support brilliant students, who due to poverty could have become dropouts, to realize their academic goals.
Significantly, the Otumfuo Education Fund doesn’t discriminate as the thousands of beneficiaries are scattered across all corners of the 16 regions of the country.
Otumfuo’s contributions to the health sector are also massive as he has played valuable roles in helping to provide healthcare for people living in remote areas in the Ashanti region.
Also, the Asantehene has played leading roles in ensuring that potable drinking water is provided for people living in villages, through the digging of Wells with water storage facilities.
Otumfuo has also served as the father of the country, who has always been on hand to intervene, especially when political tension in the country was at the boiling point.
The Asantehene, who is the Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, has also bagged several honorary degrees.
Due to his positive contributions to improve mankind, Otumfuo has received several honorary degrees from some internationally recognised universities worldwide.
The Asantehene was recently invited by the United Nations (UN) in New York, US, where he delivered a powerful message, geared towards boosting world peace.