General News of Sunday, 11 May 2014
Politics has substantially eroded the innate creative mind and enterprising spirit of modern day Ghanaian as many resort to it as the surest way of making it in life, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II laments.
Publicly decrying the over politicization of the society, the Asantehene underscored that this attitude has become a bane of the Asante Kingdom’s, and by extension Ghana’s, economic empowerment.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was speaking at a grand durbar to climax his 15th anniversary celebrations in Kumasi on Sunday themed: "Rekindling the Spirit of Creativity, Innovation and Enterprise through Traditional Leadership.” He was installed on 26th April 1999.
“Sadly, the creative energy and the enterprising spirit, which propelled the Asanteman and gave birth to the economic powerhouse that Kumasi once was appears to have deserted us,” he said.
With a straight face, he stressed, “We have become addicted to a new phenomenon of a talking craft called politics that has drained our people of all creativity and enterprise, and replaced the taskmasters who produce food and timber with the talk masters who are feeding us on air.
“The consequence of this shift is the mood of depression and pessimism; unending argument of non-performing assets; and the desperation of abandoning hard work in favour of the search for instant miracles.”
NURTURED, CONCEIVED AND SUSTAINED IN BATTLE
The status quo, he emphatically stated, is in sharp contrast with the epic story of persons who relentlessly battled to raise the Asante kingdom. He described them as men and women of valour whose sacrifices know no measure. These men and women, he recalled, conceived, nurtured and sustained the kingdom in battle. Occasions such as Akwasidae, a religious festival of the Ashantes, is therefore use to pay tribute to the martyrs of the kingdom and revere their efforts. Such a day must be used to remind people about the circumstances of their creation and renew their vows and spirit in facing the challenges for the future, the Asantehene said. He went down memory lane to bring to fore that after thriving on war, the Ashantes renounced it centuries ago but resorted to creative way of developing their kingdom. He has therefore challenged all to rekindle that ancestral spirit of creativity for the development of the nation. He said his 15 years on the throne has been centered on that regenerative spirit, which he said has created a new battle ground using education as the tool to ensure high quality of life for all. “I swore to lead Asanteman into battle, wage a new battle for my people, but the battle I spoke about was not the battle of the gunpowder but the battle of the brain power. The enemies in that battle are poverty, disease, illiteracy and all the social evils combining to destroy the quality of life of our people. STANDING BY IS ALIEN Otumfuo Osei Tutu also urged government, irrespective of the political persuasion, to be fair in sharing the national cake as he promised the unflinching support of the kingdom to whichever government that would be in power. Nonetheless, he charged Ghanaians especially Ashantes not to stand by and wait on government in everything. This, he reminded them, is alien to the Ashantes. He gave a brief history of how their forefathers built the kingdom with their own sweat rejecting offers from the colonial government. “We must rekindle that pride and sustain it,” he stated.
UNIVERSITY UNDER OTUMFUO EDUCATION FUND
Having discovered education as the tool for development under his reign, the Otumfuo Education Fund was launched which to date has supported about 9000 students some of whom are now judges, lecturers among others.
He took pride in the fact that an independent evaluation has determined that the Fund constitutes the most significant private scholarship intervention in the entire history of the country.
The value of the fund, according to experts could have built a fully fledged university, he said with delight. He therefore reiterated the refocus of the Fund to establish a new university to coincide with the next academic year.