President Mills, Asantehene meet at Castle
President John Evans Atta Mills, at a historic meeting with Asantehene Otumfuo
Osei Tutu II, in Accra, on Monday, restated Government’s commitment to be guided by the interest and improvement in the lives of the people.
He underscored a good collaboration between state and traditional rulers, stressing the setting of the right priorities to provide jobs, better health, education and security in the quest to improve the lives of the people.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu, King of the Asante Kingdom in Ghana, with a large retinue of sub-chiefs from the Ashanti Region, was at the seat of Government, Osu in Accra, to congratulate the president on his assumption
to the highest political office of the land.
The King also invited the President, to be Special Guest of Honour at the 10th anniversary celebration of his kingship, the climax of which would be held on April 26, 2009, at Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional Capital.
President Mills thanked the Asantehene for the honour done him and the Government, extolled and described him as insightful, impartial, objective and “somebody who cares for the people of Ghana.
He said it was a rare privilege to interact with the Asantehene, and further described him as a friend, advisor and a dependable king, promising to put to use the pieces of advice that he had received from him.
The President expressed appreciation to God for the 10-year successful reign so far chalked by the king, adding that he would also receive many happy returns.
He gave an assurance that Government would give all invited high profile guests, which included presidents and heads of states, kings and special guests from sister African countries passing through the Accra for the anniversary celebrations the necessary courtesies, and facilitate their travel to Kumasi.
“We’ll come to grace the occasion,” President Mills said.
There was spontaneous cry of peacocks, intermingled with that of the sounds of ‘mmennson,’ a troupe of traditional seven palace horn blowers, as both leaders entered the Castle Gardens at different times.
Royalty adorned the interaction as the chiefs in rich kente clothe apparel, held maces with symbolic animals at the head, in addition to praise singing and appellations from palace attendants.
The appellations and praise songs gave way to the speech of Otumfuo, who congratulated President Mills on his election and assumption to the office.
Wishing peace, progress and development for Ghana, Otumfuo Osei Tutu, also traditionally called Barima Kwaku Dua, underscored the need for the nation to maintain her democratic credentials.
He congratulated former Presidents John Jerry Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufour, who he was scheduled to later call on, for finishing their terms successfully.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu, speaking in the traditional Asante language, called on Ghanaians to rally behind, and co-operate with the new President in the national agenda to bring improvement in health delivery, transportation, sanitation.
He said the task, although Herculean, needed honesty and handwork from all appointees, functionaries as well as all Ghanaians.
The Asantehene stressed that Government must ensure that attention was given to education.
He urged the President to put the necessary arrangements in place, for his four year term, reminding the Government that Ghanaians would either renew or reject its mandate based on performance.
Aside a requiem mass that had been held, a statue of the mother of the Otumfuo, Nana Serwaa Ampem, had been placed at the Manhyia Roundabout, as part of the celebration which began last February.
The Chairman of the Planning Committee, Juabenhene Nana Otuo Siribuor announced other activities as a book launch of the 10-year reign of the Asantehene, a photo exhibition non- denominational religious services, sports and other forms and entertainments.
Busumuru Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General, and current Chancellor of the University of Ghana is also scheduled to speak at a symposium as part of the celebration.