There are a group of people who when exposed on their ignorance and envy towards the King would swiftly change course to say he, the King should develop Kumase and by extension the Asante Kingdom. Let me take this opportunity to educate them. Just as Ghana has a President and then a decentralized system of local government which of course was adopted to ensure representation and development in local areas, so is the Asante Chieftaincy structure.
President – Otumfuo is the President (Supreme Monarch of the Asanteman Traditional Council/Kumase Traditional Council). In the Asante Kingdom just as it is in the case of the Republic of Ghana (for comparative analysis sake), Otumfuo appoints Ministers (Sector ministers, regional Ministers), MMDCEs, to oversee the affairs of their sectors, regions.
Ministers/Regional Ministers/MMDCEs – In the Asante Traditional Council, these are Paramount Chiefs and their paramouncies serving the Sikadwa (Golden Stool). They are in charge of supervising the development of their specific sectors, regions and districts. For example; Mamponghene, Kumawu Manhene, Tuobodom Hene, Offuman Hene, Berekum Manhene, Goaso Manhene, Yanfo Manhenes, Adum Hene, Akyempimhene, Bantama Hene, Asafo Hene, etc are directly in charge of the development of their paramouncies and towns.
CEOs/Special Agencies – In western democracies, governance include the appointment of personnel to supervise or manage the affairs of special agencies of Government. Same is of the Asante Kingdom. Special agencies/departments serving Otumfuo directly/indirectly are Mpabofoc (in charge of taking care of the King’s Sandals), Ntaharafoc (in charge of the royal horns), Kwadwomfoc (song ministers of the King), Afenafoc (wielders of the King’s Swords), Fontomfromfoc (in charge of the King’s Fontomfrom drums), Asoamefoc/Apakanfoc (Carriers of the King’s Palanquin), Atutuntofoc (gun bearers of the King), Apredefuo (drummers of the Aprede drums), Mediefoc (drummers of the Medie drum), etc…
In a western democracy, a delicate part of governance is communication. The quality of a communication department of a Government structure is of greater impact and importance to the progress of governance. This has accounted for an overwhelming increase in the interest in pursuing Communication and PR related courses in higher learning institutions. In Asante and for that matter the King’s Supreme Court at Manhyia, good communication is regarded as an important part of the activities. The ASANTEHENE (the only monarch in the world who owns and “sits” on a Golden Stool) is served by twelve (12) spokesmen known as “Otumfuo Akyeamefoc” to wit, Otumfuo’s Linguists. At the head of these Akyeamefoc is the Chief of Nsuase, Nana Nsuase Poku (Otumfuo Akyeamehene). Other Linguists of Otumfuo include Kyeame Kwaku Owusu, Baffour Kantankrakye, Otumfuo Kyeame Panin Baffour Kwaku Amoateng (Jachie Amoateng, Chief of Jachie), etc.
The long and short of this piece is to correct the erraneous calls for Otumfuo to develop Kumase and Asanteman. Though the calls for Kumasi and Asanteman to be developed is usually made by some persons who do so out of emotional pain, envy and a means to disrespect the power and authority of the King, it is worth highlighting that indeed Otumfuo has a greater role to play in seeing to the development of Kumase. But, it is equally important to mention that he has done so, is doing so and shall continue to do till the end of time.
The Otumfuo educational foundation has seen to the education of many Ghanaian citizens, many of whom are not even members of the Asante Kingdom; The success story of the ultramodern Kejetia market cannot be told without mentioning the impact of the King in the negotiation process; The peace enjoyed by Ghana after election 2016 is the brainchild of Otumfuo who started and ended a mediation process to ensure a smooth handing over of power from H.E John Dramani Mahama to H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; the granting of IMF bailout to Ghana (not Asanteman but Ghana) in the John Mahama era; regular renovation of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH); acquiring financial support for many state owned (not Asanteman owned) institutions all as a way of helping to develop Ghana for the welfare of all regardless of whether or not that institution is in Asanteman; leading the committee of prominent Chiefs to broker peace in Dagbon, a situation which has saved Ghana huge sums of money, brought peace to Ghana and improved the lives of the people and residents of Dagbon; etc…
If the residents of Mampong demand development from the institution of Chieftaincy other than of government even though they don’t pay their taxes to Nana Mamponghene, it is only reasonable for them to ask Mamponghene not Otumfuo. The residents of Worawora should demand development from Nana Worawora Manhene (only if they have the right to do so) because he is their direct traditional minister in charge of Worawora on behalf of Otumfuo. Again, it won’t make any sense to bypass Worawora Manhene to demand development of Worawora from Otumfuo who has given Worawora Manhene all the power as his custodian in Worawora.
Take it or leave it, the occupant of the Golden Stool is an asset to the Republic of Ghana. His support for the development of Ghana surpasses all traditional leaders in the history of this country. He is a gift to Ghana in the good sense of it. You may choose to honour him or not but truth remains as it is; Otumfuo is the King you wished you had as your Monarch.