The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has expressed confidence in the country’s ability to, once again, go through a smooth and peaceful national elections on December 7.

According to him, the country has since 1992 gone through peaceful presidential and parliamentary elections every four years, leading to change of governments, without any major problems, so he was expecting same this year.

The Asantehene, however, issued a strong caution to the citizenry, especially the major stakeholders in the elections, not to be complacent and rather carry out their mandate with dignity and fairness to ensure peace.

Speaking during a grand ‘Akwasidae’ festival to mark his 25 years on the Golden Stool of Asanteman at the Manhyia Palace yesterday, Otumfuo called for fairness so people can exercise their franchise in a peaceful atmosphere.

“This year is an election year and I believe after years of practicing democracy, our democracy is safe. Nonetheless we cannot take things for granted, we should not allow anything that would derail our efforts over the years.

“People should be allowed to make informed choices in a peaceful atmosphere without any hindrance,” the 16th Asante Monarch demanded, adding that he was expecting an incident-free polls later this year.

The cultural programmes was attended by President Nana Akufo-Addo and his wife, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Vice President Dr. Bawumia and his wife, Samira Bawumia, the Ga Mantse, the King of Anlo and other top government officials across the country.

The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Christopher Rowley and his wife, the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, MP for Manhyia South, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the clergy and others also graced the event.

The major highlight of the Akwasidae festival was when the sacred Golden Stool, which is believed to contain the spirit and soul of the Asante people, was brought out for public view.

Otumfuo also paid tribute to Corporate Ghana for their crucial roles in helping to develop the country, stressing that an enabling platform should be created for the corporate world to grow.

“Your success will create the jobs our people need,” he pointed out, noting that there is the need for government to support the corporate sector and entrepreneurs to play their significant roles to improve the economy.

“Let’s double our efforts to develop the economy,” he declared, adding that the transformation of the economy and the country should be the duty of every citizen, especially successive governments.

The Asantehene also said lands that have been destroyed through illegal mining should be reclaimed to help save the environment, adding that education should be a major priority of the country, going forward.

He saluted teachers, medical personnel, farmers, teachers and other professionals for their contributions to Ghana’s growth, and urged them to do more, saying, “Let’s double our efforts to develop the economy.”

Otumfuo also paid tribute to his late mother, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem, Nananom and all others who have contributed to make his reign successful, and called for more support from them.

Nana Akufo-Addo

On behalf of the government and the people of Ghana, President Nana Akufo-Addo congratulated Otumfuo for attaining 25 years on the Golden Stool, and said “he has played his roles to transform the country.”

He said Otumfuo’s commitment to the welfare of his people was tremendous, adding that the Asante King has re-energised the chieftaincy institution, resolved chieftaincy disputes and contributed to deepen the country’s peace.

According to him, five presidents, including himself, have benefited from the wise counsel and support of the Asantehene so far, saying, “Presidents come and go but Otumfuo carries on.”

Still praising the Asantehene, he stressed on the need for people in leadership positions to emulate the shining example of the Asante King, saying, “Let’s draw inspiration from Otumfuo’s leadership.”

Otumfuo’s reign, President Akufo-Addo pointed out, has been full of achievements, noting that the Asantehene has virtually fulfilled the promises he made to Asanteman when he ascended the throne.

The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Christopher Rowley, who was the guest of honour, on his part, congratulated the Asantehene for his roles to develop Ghana and Africa as whole.

“I say that African people have done much to help mankind, and I can mention the name of the Asantehene as an example,” he said and called for deeper relations between his country and Ghana.

“There should be more collaboration between Ghana and Trinidad and Tobago,” he said, adding that the two countries can work together in the agriculture, energy, education, trade, transportation, tourism and other sectors.

He particularly called on Ghanaians to visit the Caribbean, especially Trinidad and Tobago “to do business and also come for vacation,” adding that “Don’t let the Atlantic Ocean divide us.”

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