The Asantehe, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has revealed, to the surprise of many, that the 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was his personal lawyer, and the pair still remain good friends.
According to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, “Akufo-Addo is my lawyer, I want all of you here to listen. I used to go to court with him, at a time he was not involved in frontline politics, and when I was not a Chief. He never charged me a pesewa for the cases he did for me. We even sat in the same car most of the time.”
The Asantehene also noted that “the tradition out of which the NPP was born hailed from the Manhyia Palace. The financing of the party was also done by Manhyia, leading it to what it has become today. Baffuor Akoto, the leader of the National Liberation Movement, was even ‘sacrificed’ for the cause.”
His status as King of the Ashanti Kingdom, however, means he cannot engage himself in partisan politics and openly declare his support for any of the political parties.
Therefore, “as a Chief, all I am fighting for is education for all the school going children, quality and affordable healthcare for my people, good roads for the communities and jobs for my young men and women. The good of Ghana and of my people is what I am after. I am after one who will come work for my people.”
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II made this known when Nana Akufo-Addo paid a courtesy call on him and the Asanteman Council, at the Manhyia Palace on Thursday, July 14, 2016, as part of the NPP flagbearer’s tour of the Ashanti Region.
The Asantehene remarked that two weeks ago, President Mahama, also called on him as part of his ‘Accounting to the People’ tour, where he urged the President to also “account to the people for all the things he promised to do, which he could not achieve, as well as account for all the things he has done. I also asked him to tell the people of Ghana what he would do for them if they gave him another term in office.”
To the NPP flagbearer, he stated that “it the same thing I am also telling you. As you are campaigning, I am closely monitoring what you are saying and the policies you are outlining to the people. What I am happy is that you have assured Asanteman that you are going to add on to the successes chalked by President Kufuor. Wherever your campaign takes you to, take your time and outline the various interventions you will put in place to ensure access to education, healthcare, good roads and jobs.”
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II also urged the NPP flagbearer, in the course of the campaign, to find time to tell Ghanaians what he would do to ensure that the three arms of government – the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary – are truly made independent of each other.
Otumfuo blesses Akufo-Addo
“I pour my blessings on you. Go forth, and when you become successful, implement these policies you have outlined for the wellbeing of Ghanaians. All we are looking for in Ghana is progress and development. It is not about violence or insults,” the Asantehene said.
He indicated that both President Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo had given him their word that they will make sure that there is no violence before, during and after the conduct of the 2016 elections.
To this end, the Asantehene stated that “let us stop the insults and the use of intemperate language on the airwaves. Let us only promote what unites us, rather than what divides us. We have no country apart from Ghana. Whatever you say in the electioneering period, let it be based on policies and not on insults.”