General News of Monday, 2 February 2015
Source: Daily Guide
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has blasted the John Mahama led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration over allegations that the Asantes (natives of the Ashanti Region) are being discriminated against in the areas of appointments and employment opportunities in the country.
With a grin face, the Asantehene disclosed that he had in recent times received several complaints and reports about how people with Asante extraction were being discriminated against on the job market, even though they had the requisite qualifications.
“Asantes are crying over neglect by the NDC government,” Otumfuo lamented during a durbar of chiefs and people of Asanteman at the forecourt of the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi on Saturday to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Asante Confederacy.
The Asantehene stated emphatically that if indeed the reports and the complaints that he had been receiving were authentic, then he would not accept them, stating that his people had done no wrong to merit such a discriminatory treatment by the NDC administration.
He stressed the need for the NDC government to be fair to all ethnic groups in the country, including the Asantes, saying that he only wanted the government to consider people who have the requisite qualifications for appointments irrespective of their tribal affiliations.
Ghanaians, he stated, are one people with a common destiny, stressing that President Mahama’s NDC government should not act in a manner that would tend to portray that Asantes were being marginalised, insisting that as the spiritual leader of the Asantes, he would not sit unconcerned for such a thing to happen.
He also charged government to distribute the national cake fairly so that all areas in the country, including Asanteman, would experience massive transformation, noting that areas such as health, roads, education, provision of drinking water, among others, needed critical attention.
Support Sitting Gov’t Otumfuo expressed gross concern about people who do not support his seeming closeness to President Mahama, explaining that as the Asantehene his position requires that he works closely with any sitting government to ensure Ghana’s growth.
He said he worked closely with past presidents like Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor and the late Prof Atta Mills, adding that he didn’t see anything wrong with supporting President Mahama’s administration by offering advice that would help develop the country.
According to Otumfuo, all the past Asante Kings, including his predecessor Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, worked closely with the sitting governments to help develop the country “so if I also work with the sitting government, I have not erred in any way.”
The traditional gathering saw the Asante chiefs, one after the other, paying homage to the Asantehene, who had the sacred ‘Golden Stool’ – which is believed to contain the soul of the Asantes – standing on his left hand side.
Among the top people who witnessed the event were former President Kufuor; Samuel Sarpong, the Ashanti Regional Minister; Kojo Bonsu, KMA boss; DCOP Kofi Boakye, the Ashanti Regional Police Commander and some foreign dignitaries.
The largest opposition political party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), was represented by its chairman, Paul Afoko; Kwabena Agyepong, general secretary; SK Boafo, ex-Ashanti Regional Minister; Alan Kyerematen and other party gurus in the region.