Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II
Leading the Committee of Eminent Chiefs to restore peace to Dagbon after 17 years of fratricidal chieftaincy conflict is a monumental achievement for which Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is worth celebrating, the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has asserted.
According to him, Otumfuo demonstrated resilience, applying tact and diplomacy to lead the committee to bring Dagbon to normalcy after many had given up hope of a peaceful resolution.
Dr Bawumia said this when a team from the E ON 3 Group and its partners in the Otumfuo commemorative gold coin project presented the fourth of the coin to him at the Jubilee House in Accra.
The Executive Chairman of the E ON 3 Group, Mr Richard Adjei Mensah Ofori Atta, led the team to the Jubilee House.
Mr Olumide Olatunji (left) presenting the gold coin and the Otumfuo peace initiative brochure to Dr Bawumia
The first coin was received by the KGL Group, which purchased it during the launch in Kumasi, the second was received by the Asantehene and the third by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Describing peace as critical for national development, the Vice-President said the restoration of peace had set Dagbon towards the path of progress.
Dr Bawumia, who graced the launch of the gold coin at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi on December 12, 2021, said honouring Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was, therefore, appropriate.
Pillar of peace
Dr Bawumia emphasised that it was not for nothing that Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was given the award of Pillar of Peace.
He explained that over the years, the nation had benefitted from his wise counsel and peace initiatives.
The General Manager of the E ON 3 Group, Mr Jesse Agyepong, who spoke on behalf of the delegation, said Otumfuo’s role in peace-building was a demonstration of his commitment to national development.
He noted that the invitation extended to Otumfuo to deliver the keynote address at the high-level forum of the 20th Anniversary of UN General Assembly’s adoption of Culture of Peace in 2019 attested his credentials as a driver of peace.
Describing the gold coin as a life-long project, Mr Agyepong said the project would be part of Ghana’s cultural heritage.
Dr Bawumia (middle) with members of the delegation. They are Mr Richard Adjei Mensah Ofori Atta (3rd from left), Mr Olumide Olatunji (2nd from left), Mr Paul Asimenu (left), Mr Jesse Agyepong (3rd from right), Mrs Yvonne Antonio (2nd from right) and Mr Seth Sorgah.
Members of the delegation to the Jubilee House were the Executive Chairman of the E ON 3 Group, Mr Richard Adjei Mensah Ofori Atta; the General Manager of the company, Mr Jesse Agyepong; the Managing Director (MD) of the Access Bank, Mr Olumide Olatunji; the Head of Retail Banking of the Access Bank, Mrs Yvonne Antonio, the Legal Advisor, the Gold Coast Refinery, Mr Paul Asimenu and the Head of Sales and Distribution, Coronation Insurance, Mr Seth Sorgah.
Asantehene is our role model -Chief Justice
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is a role model for some of us in the Judiciary, the Chief Justice (CJ), His Lordship Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, has said.
Receiving the Otumfuo commemorative gold coin at his office in Accra on Wednesday, February 2, 2022, the CJ said over the years, the Asantehene had settled many land disputes in a fair manner which had reduced the workload of the courts.
Mr Paul Asimenu (left) hands over the gold coin to the Chief Justice
“When he ascended to the Golden Stool, there were several land disputes in court and he made it clear that he was not going to endorse a chief who was involved in the double sale of land and his efforts are very commendable and I wish that some other traditional rulers may also emulate him and also continue to assist the Judiciary,” Justice Anin Yeboah stated.
His Lordship Justice Anin Yeboah was the fifth of selected personalities to receive the gold coin.
Land disputes & investments
Justice Anin Yeboah said currently, many of the cases in the courts were related to land disputes.
“Beyond the fact that they [ land cases] prevent people from investing in the country, they also bring down the development of the country. So if we have somebody who is very fair in bringing some of these disputes to early resolution, he needs all the support to do more,” he said.
Justice Anin Yeboah also thanked the delegation for the honour of presenting the gold coin to him.
The CJ said the Judiciary was fully aware of the importance of peace because, without peace, the nation could not progress.
“This is why Otumfuo’s peace-building efforts must be commended.
“We appreciate his efforts in bringing peace to endemic disputed areas, especially the Dagbon one and the efforts he is making in other areas to bring peace to the country,” the CJ said.
Pillar of peace
The General Manager of the E ON 3 Group, Mr Jesse Agyepong, who spoke on behalf of the delegation, thanked the CJ for gracing the launch of the gold coin occasion in Kumasi.
He emphasised that the foundation for the gold coin was grounded in the award Otumfuo received on December 29, 2019 as the Pillar of Peace at the Africa Premiership Award.
“The foundation of that award is the leadership role Otumfuo played in bringing finality to the Dagbon conflict. He and the other members of the Committee of Eminent Chiefs did an excellent work,” he stated.
Otumfuo’s peace initiatives, he noted, also manifested in the resolution of the Techiman dispute over the Tano Subin towns, as well as the KNUST crisis, and some of the difficult political terrains the country went through particularly in 2012 and 2016.
“All this culminated in his invitation to the UN General Assembly High-Level Forum on Culture of Peace whereas the Guest of Honour, he spoke on his ability to use traditional methods and culture to engender peace in Asanteman and Ghana as a whole.
The Chief Justice (3rd from right) with officials of the Bench and the visiting delegation. They are Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie (right), Mrs Yvonne Antonio (2nd from right), Mr Jesse Agyepong (4th from right), Mr Richard Adjei Mensah Ofori Atta (4th from left), Mr Paul Asimenu (3rd from left) and Mr Olumide Olatunji (left)
The delegation to the CJ’s office was led by Mr Richard Adjei Mensah Ofori Atta, the Executive Chairman of the E ON 3 Group. The other members were Mr Paul Asimenu, the Legal Advisor of the Gold Coast Refinery,Mr Olumide Olatunji, the Managing Director of the Access Bank and Mrs Yvonne Antonio, the Head of Retail Banking of the Access Bank.
Kufuor extols Otumfuo’s contribution to Ghana’s exit from HIPC
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has extolled Otumfuo Osei Tutu II for his contribution to the economic development of the country.
He mentioned specifically the Asantehene’s input in Ghana’s exit from the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, at a time the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was hesitant to.
Mr Kufuor receives the Otumfuo peace initiatives brochure from Mr Richard Adjei Mensah Ofori Atta whilst he admires the gold coin
The former President made the remark when he received the Otumfuo commemorative gold coin at his residence in Accra on Monday, January 7, 2022.
Explaining how Otumfuo facilitated Ghana’s exit from the HIPC initiative, Mr Kufuor mentioned that his administration did so well to attain the completion point of the programme, but just before the country could exit the programme, the board of the IMF, which was meeting in Washington, USA, decided that the government had not observed the conditionality of not increasing wages and salaries so they were going to take the country out of the programme, which could have come with some grave consequences.
Coincidentally, he said, the Asantehene was in Washington on the invitation of the then President of the World Bank, James D. Wolfensohn.
“So I sent a message through the Juabenhene [Nana Otuo Siriboe II], now the Chairman of the Council of State, who was travelling to the USA to join the Asantehene on the trip, to get Otumfuo informed of the development. Nana Juabenhene stepped out of my office and phoned Otumfuo who immediately called me and we had a conversation and I pleaded with him to get Mr Wolfensohn to talk to the IMF on the assurance that we would correct the anomaly, and Otumfuo did it, saving the country from being taken out of the programme,” former President Kufuor stated.
Mr Kufuor, who endorsed the commemorative gold coin project, said it was appropriate and a great moment for the Asantehene to be honoured.
The former President remarked that when the Dagbon disturbances broke out in 2002, he as President at the time, set up the Wuaku Commission to go into the criminal aspect of the unfortunate incident.
“But I realised that the problem had deep-seated traditional roots and, therefore, I decided that apart from the criminal aspect, the traditional aspect should also be tackled using our traditional leaders,” he said.
Consequently, the former President said, he made an appeal to three traditional rulers of high repute – Asantehene, Nayiri and Yagbonwura – to help, which they readily accepted, leading to the realisation of the peace process during the Presidency of Nana Akufo-Addo.
Former President Kufuor praised the E ON 3 Group and its partners for coming out with the gold coin project.
“I believe it is correct and timely and I’m happy it was done by a good collection of private institutions. The good thing is that the Bank of Ghana has put its seal on it. This gold coin, 99.99 per cent, is something I haven’t heard anywhere. So this is pure gold and it shows the effort and perseverance Otumfuo and his fellow ancient monarchs, fathers of the nation, made in restoring peace to Dagbon, which is a very important part of the country,” he said.
Briefing the former President, the General Manager of the E ON 3 Group, Mr Jesse Agyepong, said it was significant that the Dagbon peace process started during his [President Kufuor’s] time, travelling through his predecessors and ending with President Akufo-Addo.
He further told Mr Kufuor that the gold coin was a life-long project which was intended to be part of Ghana’s culture and heritage.
He announced that after the road map for presenting the gold coin to selected leaders, “we will go to the public in April 2022”
Former President Kufuor with the visiting delegation including Mr Jesse Agyepong (sitting left) and Mr Paul Asimenu (sitting right). Standing from the right are Mrs Yvonne Antonio, Mr Seth Sorgah, Mr Richard Adjei Mensah Ofori Atta and Mr Festus Ofosu Yeboah
The delegation from the E ON 3 Group, as well as its partners who were at the residence of President Kufuor, was led by the Executive Chairman of E ON 3 Group, Mr Richard Adjei Mensah Ofori Atta. The other members were Mr Paul Asimenu, the Legal Advisor of Gold Coast Refinery; Mrs Yvonne Antonio, the Head of Retail Banking for Access Bank; Mr Festus Ofosu-Yeboah, Business Head, Adjiringanor branch for Access Bank, and Mr Seth Sorgah, the Head of Sales and Distribution, Coronation Insurance.
Mahama recognises Otumfuo’s role in IMF programme
Mr Richard Adjei Mensah Ofori Atta (left) presenting the gold coin to Mr Mahama
Former President John Dramani Mahama has said the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, was instrumental in the country securing an Extended Credit Facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2016 to strengthen the economy.
Receiving the Otumfuo Commemorative Gold Coin at his office in Accra on Tuesday, February 8, 2022, he said when his government faced crisis with the economy in 2013/2014, Otumfuo was at hand to rescue the situation.
Home Grown Fiscal Programme
Giving details, Mr Mahama said, “We had implemented the single spine salary policy from President Mills’ time and somewhere in 2013, the arrears were kicking in. So we overshot in terms of revenue which became a burden on the budget. Wages and salaries shot up astronomically so we did the Senchi forum and after that, we came out with the Home-Grown Fiscal Consolidation Programme.
“We tried to implement it but international investors thought that without discipline we could not do that. We tried to convince them but they would not budge”, he stated.
He continued that the government, therefore, decided that to get the credibility, it needed to go to the IMF to buy into the implementation of the home-grown fiscal programme.
However, the former indicated that when his administration wanted to talk to the IMF they kept delaying.
Mr Mahama (right) receives a copy of the Otumfuo peace initiative brochure from Richard Adjei Mensah Ofori Atta
Mr Mahama said one day during a visit to Kumasi, he called on Otumfuo Osei Tutu to enquire from him whether he could get his friend, the President of the World Bank, Mr James D. Wolfensohn, for him to work on the IMF programme for the government and the Asantehene readily accepted the request.
“Because of that programme, he (Otumfuo) flew to Washington to have talks with Mr Wolfensohn, who together with Otumfuo went and spoke with the IMF Director, Madam Christine Lagarde and within a short period of time, we had the Extended Credit Facility.
“That was the programme that turned the economy around because under that programme, in 2016, almost for the first time in our history, we did not overspend the budget,” Mr Mahama said.
Ex-President Mahama said he had a personal relationship with Otumfuo, dating back to the days when the King was a student at the Sefwi Wiawso Secondary School.
“Certainly, if anybody was to be celebrated in this country, you couldn’t go past Otumfuo. He has been a part of consolidating our democracy since the time of President Rawlings,” he said.
He added: “Otumfuo gives good counsel at all times especially during times of crises.”
He said as Presidents Kufuor, Mills and himself used to drop by at the Manhyia Palace anytime they visited Kumasi.
Emphasising that he could go ahead to say many good things about Otumfuo, the former President said on the Dagbon conflict he was the prime mover in terms of settling the crisis.
And that also hinged on the historical link between the Asante Kingdom and the Dagbon as well as Dagbon and the Gonja and Mamprusi.
“So we are proud of him and we are happy that this coin had been issued”, Former President Mahama said.
In his briefing, the General Manager of the E ON 3 Group, Mr Jesse Agyepong, said it was appropriate that Mr Mahama was presented with the gold coin since he played a part in the resolution of the Dabgon conflict while as President.
He said the gold coin was a life-long project that would build on the country’s cultural heritage.
The delegation to the former President’s office was led by the Executive Chairman of the E ON 3 Group, Mr Richard Adjei Mensah Ofori Atta.
Former President John Dramani Mahama (arrowed) with members of the team that called on him.
The other members were Mr Paul Asimenu, Legal Advisor of Gold Coast Refinery; Mrs Yvonne Antonio, Head of Retail Banking for Access Bank; Mr Festus Ofosu-Yeboah, Business Head, Adjiringanor Branch for Access Bank; Magmay Mefful, Strategy- Retail Banking for Access Bank and Mr. Seth Sorgah, Head of Sales and Distribution Coronation Insurance