A birthday is an important and momentous occasion, which can hardly be underestimated. It is a time to celebrate, reflect and give thanks to God for his blessings and pray for more fruitful years.
And how true this assertion is as we celebrate the 70th birthday of His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II , the Occupant of the Golden Stool (Sika dwa), the sacred stool that binds the Asante nation together.
With proud heritage from Tepaman (Tepa Baanie) and Asante Mampong (Silver Stool), I wish to pay homage as we commemorate three scores and a decade of our King.
Your preparation for Kingship was birthed by your uncle Kwame Kyeretwie, (Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh II) and the Hiahene, Oheneba Mensah Bonsu.
As a teenager, Barima Kwaku Dua, as you then was, was not sent to Prempeh College after you passed your common entrance examination and was offered admission to the prestigious school. Rather, you were sent to the Sefwi Wiawso Secondary School by your guardian uncle, Oheneba Mensah Bonsu where you went through your Ordinary Level education, under the guidance of the Omanhene of Sefwi Wiawso, Nana Kwado Aduhene II. It was a move that defeated pampering and rather prepared you for a great tomorrow.
With 301,980 students having received full scholarships and bursaries from the Otumfuo Education Fund, young people many of whom would have had difficulty furthering their education, wereable to pursue their education at all levels.
In healthcare, Otumfuo established a health fund aimed at pursuing a basic health care plan for the reduction of maternal and infant mortality, glaucoma and other eye diseases, buruli ulcer as well as guinea worm.
Otumfuo has also set up the Serwaa Ampem AIDS Foundation for children under the leadership of his wife, Lady Julia Osei Tutu to help children who have become victims of the HIV/AIDs pandemic.
As Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Otumfuo Osei Tutu had catapulted the university to greater heights.
Support for governance
His Majesty’s support for local governance has been unparalleled. Recently, you charged traditional authorities to take active interest in governance issues especially at the local level. I remember in 2003 , a delegation of Presiding Member in the Ashanti Region led by the then Regional Minister, Mr. S K Boafo paid a courtesy call on you, where you admonished us to use our offices to ensure the right things are done.
During my tenure as District Chief Executive (DCE) for Ahafo Ano North, the district became a beneficiary of two basic schools and two boreholes under the Asanteman Council’s Promoting Partnership with Traditional Authorities Programme, sponsored by the World Bank. Many other districts also enjoyed similar developments.
The Asantehene during my seven-year membership of the Ashanti Region Coordinating Council (RCC) ,was very supportive as he provided leadership in counsel for the administration of the region. This, effort I believed successive RCC teams, have enjoyed from Otumfuo.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu’s role in the restoration of peace to Dagbon and the subsequent enskinment of a new Ya-Naa cannot be overemphasised. It brings to bear the wise counsel of the King.
As the wise King commemorates his 70th birthday, I would like to extend an appeal to his high office for the consideration of support for traditional leaders to get involved in the work of the districts’ disaster management committees.
This would afford traditional authority the opportunity to partake in the disaster management initiatives to be taken at the district level.
Happy Birthday my Great Nephew
Long Live Otumfuo Osei Tutu II
Long Live Asanteman
Long Live Ghana
Ohene wo nkwaso , Nya Nkwa Daa
The writer Eric Nana Agyemang-Prempeh, is a Local Government Practitioner, a Former District Chief Executive, former Presiding Member, , a Politician and currently the Director-General of NADMO
Source: Eric Nana Agyemang-Prempeh, Director-General of NADMO
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