Although he has not yet formally announced his candidacy for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential primary in the lead up to the 2024 general elections, supporters of Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia are increasingly advocating for his bid. During the second Akwasidae festival of the year at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi on Sunday, Dr. Bawumia’s arrival was met with enthusiastic cheers from the crowd. Accompanied by nearly 80 NPP Members of Parliament, many of whom hail from the Ashanti Region, Dr. Bawumia was praised for his humility and admired by patrons, who regarded him as a favored candidate.
Mamponghene embraces Dr Bawumia and Samira.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Samira Bawumia were warmly received by the Asante Mamponghene, Daasebre Osei Bonsu II, the occupant of the Silver Stool of Asanteman, during the Akwasidae durbar ceremony held at Manhyia, as they exchanged warm embraces
The Akwasidae festival is observed once every six weeks on a Sunday and is considered to be the second most important celebration in the Ashanti Kingdom after National Day. The festival commences in the throne room, which is accessible only to initiates. Here, ritual offerings of blood and schnapps are poured onto the thrones of former kings as a tribute to them and their ancestors.
Following this, the Asantehene, or King, makes an appearance in the royal court, taking his place under a large, brightly-colored umbrella. He is dressed in colorful garments and adorned with antique gold jewelry, which are highly prized works of African art.
In front of the King, a corridor opens up where members of the court come forward to pledge allegiance to him and present him with gifts. The court is filled with chiefs under umbrellas, sword carriers, ritual knife bearers, armed guards with loaded rifles, and nobles with ostrich feather fans. Dignitaries of the court sit next to the king during the ceremony.
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia shares a close, personal relationship with Otumfuo Osei II, whom he regards as a father figure. When Dr. Bawumia’s mother passed away in 2021, Otumfuo sent a high-powered delegation to the funeral and issued a statement expressing his condolences to the family.
In a demonstration of their support for the Vice President, over 80 lawmakers, government appointees, and other key NPP stakeholders accompanied him to the Akwasidae festival