THERE WAS heavy military and police presence at the Manhyia Palace ‘B’ Polling Station in Kumasi where the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and his wife Lady Julia cast their ballots yesterday.
Dressed in splendid cloths, the Asante Monarch and his entourage including some Asante royals, stormed the polling station at exactly 11:45 am to exercise their civic rights of voting.
Also accompanying Otumfuo to the polling station was the Kumasi Mayor, Samuel Sarpong, former KMA boss and an Asante royal, Nana Akwasi Agyeman among other top dignitaries.
Scores of people in the Garden City that got wind of the King’s visit to the polling center also converged on the place to catch a glimpse of the Asantehene.
The media, both local and international, also stormed the polling station which is just in front of the Manhyia Palace in large numbers to take coverage of the Asantehene’s voting.
Most of the media practitioners arrived at the place as early as 6:30am but they had to wait for several hours until the Asante Monarch finally stormed out of the palace to cast his ballot amid tight security.
Beaming with smiles, the Asantehene intermittently waved back at the jubilant crowd as he majestically walked alongside his wife to the polling station to cast his ballot.
Records at the Manhyia Palace ‘B’ Polling Station indicated that the center had a voter population of 711 registered voters and the Asantehene was the 289th person to vote.
The wife of the Asantehene, Lady Julia, who also voted at the same polling station next to the Asantehene, was the 290th person to cast her ballot in the presidential and parliamentary polls.
Significantly, there was heavy police and military personnel accompanying the Asantehene and his large entourage including some Asante chiefs.
The Asantehene, after casting his ballot, waited for some minutes for his wife who voted just after him to also complete the voting process after which they proceeded back to the palace.
The large army of media personnel including practitioners from the print and electronic media was seen following the Asantehene’s team to the palace in anticipation of the King’s addressing them.
But Otumfuo, who hardly speaks in public, made sure that protocol was not broken this time around, as he led his team back to the palace peacefully with the disappointed journalists looking on.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi