THE ASANTEHENE, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II yesterday descended heavily on politicians who use 'juju' to win political power and later lord it over the electorate.
The king said information available to him indicated that some power-drunk politicians used 'juju', in the form of ritual murders and other devilish acts, to attain political power.
He said what annoyed him most was the fact these politicians' sole aim of winning political power was to quickly enrich themselves and their families with the scanty state resources, at the detriment of the poor voters.
'Politics has become the shortest route to riches and people will do whatever is necessary to get there,' he observed, adding, 'The practice of occultism is rife in our politics.'
The Asantehene noted, 'Ritual murders, burying of cows alive and various nefarious activities, I am told, have become part of the repertoire. It is to win and lord over the people but not to change the destiny of the people.'
Otumfuo made the statements when he spoke at a grand durbar at the forecourt of the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, in honour of this year's Africa Achievement Prize and Millennium Excellence Award recipients.
According to the Asantehene, the way politics was done in the country of late 'is the greatest threat to all of us', noting, 'Our understanding and practice of politics really threatens to destroy the fabric of our society.'
Otumfuo lamented that the foot-soldier and serial caller phenomena had now taken center stage in the country's politics, stressing that the rise of these two groupings had fuelled the unacceptable level of intolerance 'in our body politic.'
According to him, party foot-soldiers and serial callers could be partially blamed for the recent 'fear and panic' syndrome that had gripped the entire country.
The Asantehene also blamed the government for not providing jobs for the vibrant youth, leading to the rise of foot-soldiers and their untoward acts in the country's politics.
'The lack of job opportunities and the seemingly lack of concerted efforts by politicians to solve those pressing issues of our time has spawned the foot-soldiers and serial callers.'
Otumfuo said if the youth were gainfully employed, there was no way they would engage in activities that seemed to draw the country back from reaching higher heights.
The rich cultural programme, which was used to portray the Asante culture, was attended by high-powered Africans who had played meaningful roles to uplift humanity.
The Asantehene described Ghana as the microcosm of the African continent so whatever happened in the country had a greater effect on all the people in the continent.
He lamented that the country was losing its value systems including self-confidence and self-determination, cleanliness, godliness, family system, the spirit of volunteerism and others.
For the country and for that mother Africa to transform at a faster rate, Otumfuo called for an immediate end to intolerance, lack of respect for the elderly, politics of insults and intolerance.
The award winners, including kings, business moguls and intellectuals from the continent, were led to the Manhyia Palace by Prof. Atukwei Okai, Chairman of the Board of Governors, Millennium Excellence Awards.
The Asantehene, who was richly dressed in Kente cloth with gold ornaments, gave a beautiful 'Kente' cloth to each award winner at the end of the programme.
Otumfuo said the awards was to showcase those whose exemplary hard work and achievements had helped to lift the image of Africa in the international community, urging the populace to emulate their shining example.
The Minister of Agric, Kwesi Ahwoi, Ashanti Regional Minister Kofi Opoku Manu and his deputy Animah Wilson, the clergy, paramount chiefs and business executives graced the event.
From I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi