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Otumfuo@25: 6 Things Otumfuo Is Passionate About

Otumfuo@25: 6 Things Otumfuo Is Passionate About

His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has demonstrated genuine and intense passion towards six areas in the past 25 years of his reign over the Asante Kingdom.

They include stool reclamation, fight against illegal mining, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), preservation of culture and tradition, education, and peace.

Restoring Heirs To Sold Out Chieftaincy Stools
Since ascending the venerable Golden Stool, Otumfuo set out to restore traditional stool to their rightful heirs across Asanteman, ending years of protracted chieftaincy dispute.

The latest developments include the settlement of the Offinso stool and the Sampa stool.
Some stakeholders had determined to trade off these stools to influential non-royals; however, the King stood his ground against them.

His Majesty has repeatedly addressed chieftaincy disputes characterized by dishonesty, subterfuge, and attempts to deviate from customs and traditions.

He is a staunch believer in the notion that chieftaincy positions were ordained for royals only and, therefore, cannot be bought with any amount of money as some attempted.

During a courtesy call by the Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs on June 14, 2023, he recalled how he inherited a Kingdom with numerous chieftaincy disputes. He said some of the disputes had received judicial verdicts but persisted due to the absence of truth.

“At first, there was the Judicial Committee that settled these disputes corruptly. Because they took money and ruled in favour of the rich, the disputes persisted. When I came, I overturned all the rulings. With my ruling, the factions left my presence in peace.”

At the first Asanteman Council meeting of the year 2024, Otumfuo reiterated his commitment to restoring stools to their rightful heirs.

“One thing is certain; all stools in the hands of the wrong people will be returned to the rightful heirs. There are family trees for all royals, and that will be used to set right all crooked enstoolments. If you (paramount and sub-chiefs) deprive me of your support on this journey, I will embark on it alone.”

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Fight Against Galamsey
An undisputed passion of the King is to see an end to illegal mining, commonly known as galamsey, in the country.

He has publicly time and again decried the act and called for concerted and plausible efforts in curbing and fighting it.

He is of the view that mining gold and other precious minerals can be done responsibly without destroying water bodies and forest reserves just in the manner in which the older and gone generations left the environment.

He has chided traditional rulers- about five of them getting destooled for engaging in illegal mining- and government officials for their direct and indirect roles in the menaces.

In May 2021 during a Regional Consultative Dialogue on Small Scale Mining, Otumfuo addressed, “Before I read the speech, I have some concerns to raise. Yesterday the Regional Minister (Simon Osei Mensah) and my son Jinapor came and asked that I go by the script because they think I will say something that will expose. I told them they know the ones behind galamsey. 30% of the people present now know the ones behind illegal mining activities here. About 30% of people present here are engaged in galamsey. We deceive ourselves with conferences like this one.”

Another was during the Regional House of Chief’s meeting on October 14 where he chided the chiefs for their role and inactions in illegal mining.

“Are you not aware that people are using excavators to mine and destroy the environment, and that the government is struggling with the fight? You’ve sworn an oath of allegiance to be the custodian of Essumenja, Asokore, as Asokorehene to be my representative. When you pass by galamsey sites with your cars and flags hoisted on them, don’t you see the destruction?”

This passion has driven the King to engage various international partners including King Charles and US Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia Palmer into helping in the fight and reclaiming lost vegetative cover.

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During the seventh Awukudae of the Year 2023, he disclosed some experts had been sent from the UK to ascertain the level of destruction. He said they had been monitoring some forest reserves with drones.

Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) cannot be left out when the passion of Otumfuo is highlighted.

His Majesty is an ardent advocate for the promotion of TVET as a way of addressing the country’s growing unemployment rate and thus playing a critical role in the establishment of the Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAMUSTED).

The AAMUSTED was once the College of Technology Education, Kumasi (COLTEK)- a campus of the University of Education, Winneba but got converted into a fully-fledged Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) University in 2020 thanks to the constant advocacy by Otumfuo which began two decades ago.

He asserts that the development of any country hinges on skills and not the fluency in the English Language possessed by the people.

In May 2023, his office entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Association of Automobile Artisans in Ghana to enable the unemployed youth to benefit from their training services.

Preservation of Culture and tradition
One thing the world recognizes Otumfuo Osei Tutu II for is his passion for preserving culture and tradition.

Whether on local or international duties, the King consistently showcases the rich tradition of Asanteman through his attire and public appearances. He has urged paramount chiefs, sub-chiefs, and queen mothers in his realm to follow suit.

He also never underestimates tradition in the formulation of policies.

Time and again, he has urged Asantes to be proud of their tradition. “Ma w’asantesem ho nhia” was coined by the King once while he counselled his subjects and has since become a popular slogan in the Asante Kingdom.

Otumfuo is particular about education as a right and entitlement for the young ones especially in rural communities.

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When it comes to education, in the past 25 years, more than one million brilliant but needy students across the 16 regions have benefited from scholarships through the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation (OOTIIF), formerly Otumfuo Education Fund.

In addition to that, his foundation runs educational projects which seek to bridge rural and urban gaps including the Otumfuo-Agroecom Mobile Learning Project (OAMLP).

This project provides practical education in ICT and English to students in deprived communities across the country, providing them with laptops and GES-recommended reading books for studies.

During one such tour to a village in Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region in February 2022, a student of the Essuowin Methodist Junior High School (JHS), Opoku Paul conveyed a message of gratitude to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, for the project.

In an interview after the two-week programme came to a successful end at Essuowin on February 25, 2022, Paul noted that their study, just like in many other rural schools, was capped with the practical lessons they would have otherwise never had.

“For the past two weeks that the Otumfuo-Agroecom Mobile Learning Project team has been here, they have been of great help to us. We have been taught reading strategies. Each student got a laptop for the practice”, Paul said.

In a heart-melting message, he said, “Thank you Otumfuo for being mindful of us and coming to our aid. God bless you.”

His Majesty is an embodiment of peace as he has upheld the virtue and leveraged on his wisdom and expertise to bring peace in various lethal disputes.

He is credited for the resolution of the infamous Dagbon conflict which claimed thousands of lives between 2002 and 2018.

By this, he earned the Pillar of Peace Award in 2020 and became the first recipient of the prestigious accolade.

He has also resolved numerous chieftaincy disputes in his realm including the Tepa and bloodshed Tafo stool issues.

CC: Opemsuo 104.7

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