25.02.2019 Feature Article

Asanteman: The Way Forward

Asanteman: The Way Forward
25.02.2019 LISTEN

Permit me to extend my warmest felicitations to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, on the 20th anniversary of his ascending to The Golden Stool of Asante. I pray to the Almighty God, Tweiduampong Kwame, the Only One God of the universe, who made all things and sustains all things with His radiant energy, to continue to grant him wisdom to reign.

On 24 April 2009 I did a compilation titled "Otumfuo Celebrates 10 Years Of Purposeful Leadership", which was used extensively in the media. In that compilation, I drew attention to the great things he had done during his first 10 years and urged him to continue in that direction.

This time around, I am writing about things he should have done but has not done. He should by this time have been able to stop Asantes from voting for New Patriotic Party (NPP) en-mass. My reason is that because Asantes vote en-mass for NPP, they are taken for granted by NPP governments.

Just take a look at what the National Democratic Congress (NDC) under President John Dramani Mahama has done to Kejetia. Can any NPP project in Asante Region be compared to that? While I was in active service one of my boys told me that he heard a Member of President John Agyekum Kufuor's Cabinet complaining that President Kufuor had told him "mo nfa mo Asante sem no nfiri me so nko" to wit "don't bother me with your Asante matters". I had no reason to doubt, what my boy told me.

As I have always maintained, I am an Asante, that is the reason why I am a Ghanaian and not the other way round. In fact I was born an Asante before I became a Ghanaian in 1957. Our forebears were able to build a kingdom because they had something their contemporaries did not have.

They developed the Asante war tactics for jungle warfare. I can state on authority that "Asante Jungle War Tactics" is taught at The Royal Military Academy ,Sandhurst, United Kingdom. Now the mechanism has changed. I am of the strongest view that Otumfuo Osei Tutu II should have developed tactics to suit our current situation.

He should have evolved tactics to ensure that Asante got its fair share of development. Almost all the money is being spent on developing Accra. Feeder roads in the hinterlands, where the bulk of the money is generated, are very bad while bridges are built over land in Accra.

I believe that Asante has the clout to get the Government to give Asante its due share of development. I don't think that Asante should vote en-block for NPP again to an extent that NDC could not get Asante Members of Parliament to appoint as Ministers.

During the Asante war years, my Great Grandfather, Aduana Akura Ameyaw, a obuka benkum petre, had the duty to move towards the left-hand side of the Asante war formation and did not join the main army. His task was to get behind enemy lines to cut off their supplies.

What strategy has Asante adopted under this dispensation?

Our Elders say "obi nnim a, obi kyere" to wit "the one who knows should teach the one, who does not know". Fortunately I worked in Northern and Upper East Regions as Regional Correspondent/Manager of Ghana News Agency (GNA) for 12 years, from 1986 to 1998. I benefited from the wisdom of Sandem-Nab Ayieta Azantilow, Paramount Chief of Builsa Traditional Area. "Me koo esrem no, maa nko we nkatie kwa" to wit "when I went to the savanna belt, I didn't go there to chew groundnuts only".

Flight Lieutenant J.J. Rawlings, Chairman of Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), was to visit Sandema on his campaign trail. The Media Team got there long before he arrived, so I got the opportunity to converse with the wise Sandem-Nab, who happened to be the longest reigning Chief in Ghana at the time.

I noticed that posters of all the parties have been posted on the walls of the palace, so I asked him why he had allowed

that since it was the NDC candidate, who was visiting.

The Venerable Chief broke into laughter. He told me to notice that the posters were by different windows. He said his children belonged to different parties and each had pasted his party's poster by his window. He said that meant that any party that won, would have one of his children.

True to what he said, one of his sons, Stephen Azantilow was appointed as Deputy Minister of Sports by President Rawlings.

I wish to suggest that Otumfuo Osei Tutu II should, as a matter of urgency, set up a committee to draw plans to enable Asante to get its fair share of development projects.

About the Writer:
Boakye-Dankwa Boadi was the Supervising Chief Editor and Acting General Manager of Ghana News Agency, when he went on retirement in November 2011.