President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that the unity and solidarity exhibited by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, must be replicated across the country.
“The lesson that was given in Kyebi is a lesson that should be taken across Ghana about the need for unity among our people, and for us to understand that, yes, we may be of diverse origins, history and culture, but essentially we are part and parcel of the Ghanaian family, and that is what we need to hold on to, to maintain the unity, coherence and stability of our nation,” he said.
The President said this when he welcomed the Asantehene to the Jubilee House yesterday.
In the company of the Asantehene were over 20 paramount and divisional chiefs.
President Akufo-Addo noted that the Asantehene, since 1999, had visited each of the Presidents of the Fourth Republic.
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He, however, added that “this is the first time that we have seen such a powerful delegation of Asanteman here at Jubilee House.”
The President was also supported by some ministers of state and other appointees.
President Akufo-Addo stressed that the presence of Otumfuo in Kyebi was a signal that despite the attempts by some people to draw a wedge between the two traditional states, “unity and solidarity are the watchwords in the relationship between the two states.”
The events at Kyebi, the President said, should be a signal to the people of Ghana of the Asantehene’s commitment to the “One Ghana Project”, and it was one for which the Ghanaian people appreciated and thanked him for.
President Akufo-Addo noted that the events also signalled his determination to ensure that all parts of the country experienced the programme of transformation and development that his government was committed to.
“Every part of Ghana will benefit from my mandate. We don’t want it to be a mandate that will be exclusive to one side or another, so that when things need to be done, they will be done on their merit, and not as the result of any particular inclination for one set of Ghanaians or another,” he said, adding that, that explained why he was happy to cut the sod for the Kumasi Roads Facelift Project, which would see the construction and rehabilitation of some 260 kilometres of roads in the Kumasi Metropolis.
President Akufo-Addo thanked the Asantehene for the role he played in ensuring that the December 7, 2016 elections had a peaceful outcome.
“I know all that took place behind the scenes, the role you played in making sure that everything went very smoothly in our country, and that the stability and peace, which has become associated with our nation, was maintained. The Ghanaian people will continue to be grateful to you for your intervention,” he said.
According to the President, the ability of the Asantehene “to reduce tension and smoothen things over”, was again evident last Thursday, during the 75th anniversary celebration of the death of Nana Sir Ofori Atta, at Kyebi.
Expressing appreciation to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II for his immense support to the government in the implementation of the free SHS policy, the President noted that it had not been an easy matter for the nation in finding the resources and the determination to do it.
“But, I believe, if for nothing, my period on the stage of Ghana should be identified with ensuring that every Ghanaian child, no matter the circumstances of their birth, no matter where they live in our country, has access to a minimum of secondary school education, to be able to propel them to live in the 21st Century.
“It is a commitment I made, and I am not turning back on it. It is a commitment the Ghanaian people have accepted as part of the educational architecture of the country,” the President stressed.
President Akufo-Addo was equally grateful for the Otumfuo’s support in the fight against illegal mining, popularly referred to as galamsey, and reiterated the commitment of the government to win the fight and ensure “the sanitisation of our environment, of our water bodies, that all of us want to see.”
President Akufo-Addo said the 16-year-old Dagbon chieftaincy crisis was a scar on the nation and expressed the hope that under the leadership of the Asantehene, the Committee of Eminent Chiefs would find a solution to the impasse.
“I am hoping that very soon, the people of Ghana will hear from your lips that a road map has been finally agreed upon, that will allow us to come out of this crisis, and install a new Ya Naa in furtherance of the peace and cohesion of Dagbon. It will be one of the most important contributions that you can make to the stability of our nation,’’he stated.
He assured Otumfuo Osei Tutu that his administration would give him whatever support is required for this important task.
“My wish is that, when the story of our country’s history is being told, it should be said that it was during the time of two friends, Otumfuo Osei Tutu and President Akufo-Addo, that Ghana and Asanteman were put on the path of progress and prosperity,” President Akufo-Addo added.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu said he was at the Jubilee House to find out how the President was doing and also to assure him that he was praying for him to succeed in all the good things he was doing.
He indicated that just as the President promised during electioneering, it was refreshing that he had started fulfilling the promises in earnest.
Appointees must work hard
Otumfuo Osei Tutu urged the ministers and other appointees in whose hands the President had vested responsibilities to work hard and selflessly to ensure that the President’s vision was realised so that after four years, the government would have a good account to give.
He urged the appointees not to focus on making money but rather be truthful and honest in their work.
The Asantehene told President Akufo-Addo that though he might not be able to achieve all the promises since resources were scarce, he must strive to do his best, especially in the area of roads, health, education, agriculture, peace and security.
Nonetheless, he urged the President on to do whatever possible to ensure that Ghanaians reaped the best from his Presidency.