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Opinions of Saturday, 14 October 2017

Columnist: Andrew Amenyo

Asantehene’s conduct is indefensible

Until we, Ghanaians, change our behaviour and learn to question the conduct of all persons put in leadership positions of authority and trust Ghana will never work for us and the generations to come. The ongoing catastrophic hero worshipping and hypocrisy are destroying our dear country Ghana. The whole society is rotten to the core. We bury our heads in the sand when we see corruption and worship the rich in the society regardless of the source of the wealth. The front pews and high tables are reserved for greedy people with ill-gotten wealth.

Civil servants are as corrupt as politicians, contractors and businessmen have allowed themselves to be used by shameless greedy and corrupt politicians as conduit to loot the nation and chiefs are best at multiple sale of same plot of land. Ghana cannot develop amidst the aforementioned evils of the society. We must collectively cast away the demons and stop blaming the west for all our woes. The solution to our problems lies with us all. We must change our attitude and restore morality, honesty and integrity that have eluded us.

Regardless of the privileges associated with diplomatic passports, the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has questions to answer and Ghanaians at large and the Asantes in particular must demand answers from the Asantehene. Contrary to that I was shocked to the marrow to read the nauseating statements issued by Chiefs at the Manhyia Palace and Kumasi residents in defence of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II in the money laundering case before a tribunal in the United Kingdom.

Shortly after former President Kufuor’s regime, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II made a very profound statement that politicians hoard money. In my capacity as a Ghanaian, I have the following questions for the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and his blind supporters:

1. When did Otumfuo Osei Tutu II undertake the fundraising activity or event?

2. What was the purpose of the fundraising activity; was it to raise funds to be hidden in the Asantehene’s private/personal offshore account in Jersey?

3. Why should the Asantehene who is habitually resident in Ghana open an offshore account in Jersey in addition to his account in the mainland United Kingdom to put undue pressure on the cedi thereby damaging Ghana’s economy?

4. Did he declare the huge amount of money to the Customs Service if this was not covered under the diplomatic privileges?

5. What was the security arrangement bearing in mind that gold ornaments/regalia were once stolen from him on a trip abroad?

6. Did he carry/move the money himself to avoid interbank transfer charges?

7. What measures are in place to ensure that proceeds from sale/lease of lands and royalties are duly accounted for and put to the benefit of all the citizens?

Even if the Asantehene has not violated any law I do not think morality will justify his conduct in this alleged money laundering case. The fact that he worked with the Brent Council in the UK before ascending the throne as Asantehene made him well aware that the UK was and is a cashless economy. Seeing his photograph with the Queen boldly displayed in the newspapers in the UK under such damaging headlines was very disgusting to say the least. The news/story confirmed the general belief that our corrupt leaders have been hiding their ill-gotten wealth in foreign banks.

Proceeds from sale/lease of lands and royalties could be used to set up apprentice centres for the youth who have dropped out of schools to acquire skills. There is the need to conduct audit investigation to unravel the source of the monies the Asantehene had so far moved out of the country. This case has also brought to the fore the urgent need for government to overcome the political fear and regulate the sale/lease of land throughout the country so as to ensure that all citizens benefit from the proceeds and royalties.

The government must treat all the Paramount Chiefs including the Asantehene equally. The favouritism that the Asantehene is enjoying from the government is fuelling the bad image he is creating for the country. It is very shameful for a Paramount Chief like the Asantehene to allegedly indulge in money laundering using the country’s diplomatic passport. Over the years governments had erroneously rated him above the other Paramount Chiefs and this unfortunate situation must cease.


Andrew Amenyo

andrewamenyo@yahoo.co.uk