Scores of people on Monday joined the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to celebrate his 69th birthday with a Mass at the Saint Cyprian Anglican Cathedral in Kumasi.
It was an all-white occasion as the congregation was clad in various types of white cloth, including kente, and the specially designed cloth to celebrate his 20th anniversary on the throne as Asantehene.
Among the dignitaries who attended the Mass were the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia; the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo; Chief of Staff, Mrs Akosua Frema Osei Opare, captains of industry, and some members of the diplomatic corps.
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The others were the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen; the Ghana Ambassador to Brazil, Prof. Abena Pokuah Busia; the Ghana Ambassador to the United Nations, Mrs Martha Pobi; the Regional Minister, Mr Simon Osei Mensah; the Mayor of Kumasi, Mr Antwi Osei Assibey; the Chairman of the Council of State,
Nana Otuo Siriboe and Juabenhene, and the Deputy Majority Leader, Ms Adwoa Safo.
The Mass was celebrated by the Anglican Bishop of Kumasi, Most Rev. Prof. Daniel Yinkah Sarfo. He was assisted by a host of priests and pastors from within and outside Kumasi, including the Most Rev. Peter Kwasi Sarpong, Archbishop Emeritus of the Kumasi Archdiocese of the Catholic Church.
Delivering the homily, the Retired Methodist Bishop of Kumasi, Rt Rev. Nuh-Ben Abubekr, recounted some achievements of the Asantehene, which included the promotion of formal education in the country through the Otumfuo Education Fund and the resolution of most chieftaincy disputes in the Ashanti Region which, he said, had brought about peace and was fostering development.
Rt Rev. Abubekr said Otumfuo’s greatest achievement was the pivotal role he played in the resolution of the Dagbon chieftaincy crisis which saw the enskinment of a new Yaa Naa. “Ghana is grateful to you for that,” he said.
He said the Asantehene’s selflessness and sacrifices had been unparalleled and that had endeared him to all.
Rt Rev. Abubekr added that Otumfuo‘s desire for development and job creation compelled him to ensure that the Anglo Gold Ashanti mine was reopened after two years of shutdown.
He credited the Asantehene with much of the development taking place in the region and cited the Kumasi International Airport expansion project, the Kejetia Redevelopment Project and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital Mother and Baby Unit as some of the projects that he played very pivotal roles in.
Rt Rev. Abubekr advised the celebrant to build on his achievements and continue his goal of modernising the chieftaincy institution and bringing development to his people.