I think about my people and the next generation – Otumfuo
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, has reaffirmed his commitment to the welfare of his people and generations to come as the occupant of the Golden Stool and leader of the Asante Kingdom.
“The Constitution stipulates that we are non-political, and from this position I think about my people and the next generation and not about the next election,” he told the United States of America’s Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia E. Palmer, when she called on him at the Manhyia Palace.
He said chieftaincy as an institution in Ghana was candid and honest with the political authority, adding that they advised and cautioned whenever necessary as key stakeholders in national development.
He said his focus was about what he could do to promote peace and harmony as well as creating employment for the people.
Chieftaincy, Otumfuo Osei Tutu said, had a role to play in peace-building and also served as catalyst for development.
“The budget is with the government.
“We don’t take taxes from anyone and for that matter we are not involved in building roads and other infrastructure, but what we do is to make sure that with the moral authority that we have we caution and advise the government when the need arises,” he observed.
He said he was aware of pockets of chieftaincy disputes in the country and that Ashanti, Bono and the Ahafo areas were generally peaceful, but was quick to add that other areas such as Bawku were creating unnecessary apprehension for the whole country.
The Asantehene said he had had some engagements with the National Security Minister on how he could get involved to find a lasting solution to the Bawku conflict.
He had also spoken to the various parties in the conflict and looking forward to building on the initial discussions to resolve the perennial impasse.
His fears was the instability in Burkina Faso, which could escalate the already volatile situation in Bawku due to the porous nature of the Ghana’s border with Burkina Faso.
He appealed to the US government to support the National Security Ministry to improve surveillance on the Ghana-Burkina borders to ward off activities of violent extremists.
The Ambassador applauded the Asantehene for his exemplary leadership transcending the Asante Kingdom and the significant role he had played in conflict resolutions over the years.
She said the visit, among others, was to discuss economic development of the region and to get Otumfuo’s insights into the chieftaincy disputes nationwide and how they might be a source of conflict.