Asantehene to mark Silver Jubilee with grandeur

eading 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.

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei TuTu II, on May 12th will celebrate his 25th anniversary of ascending the throne as Asantehene of Asanteman in grand style.

He was enstooled on April 26, 1999 after the death of his uncle Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, making him the 16th Asantehene. Therefore, this year marks exactly 25 years since his ascension to the throne.

As history would have it, this year also marks exactly 150 years since the Sagrenti War of 1874 – when the British army led by Sir Garnet Wolseley walked into the Manhyia Palace, home of the Asante throne, and stole some of their artifacts before burning down the palace when the king was not around.

However, due to the prominence and influence of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, plans are underway to bring back those stolen artifacts.

According to Juaben Paramount Chief Nana Otuo Siriboe II, who is also chairperson for Otumfuo’s Silver Jubilee celebrations, some of the artifacts which found their way to the United States of America (USA) have been brought back into the country and will be presented for all to see during theof the anniversary’s climax. He however noted that items in the United Kingdom Museum will be in the country before the anniversary’s climax for the first time since their theft.

Nana Otuo Siriboe II, at a Press Conference in Manhyia to spell out activities to mark both Otumfuo’s Silver Jubilee and commemoration after 150 years of the Sagrenti War, mentioned that on Tuesday 6th February a symposium will be held on the Asante kingdom’s history; activities that led to the Sagrenti War; what happened in the kingdom after the war; and its effects on the entire country.

After the symposium led by seasoned professors, a book on the history of Asante by Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II will be launched.

This event will be followed closely by the ‘kuntukuni’ durbar of chiefs from all of Asante Kingdom to commemorate the looting of Asanteman golden artifacts on Thursday 8th February, 2024. On the same day, the Americans will return the artifacts.

In March, there will be activities by several institutions honouring Otumfuo – including the University of Cape Coast (UCC) which will be conferring on Otumfuo an honorary doctorate degree; and a special honour from the Freemasons, among others.

Still in March, a massive general clean-up exercise led by the anniversary committee will be held in all of the Asante kingdom – and every citizen is expected to partake in this activity ahead of the anniversary’s climax.

There is also going to be a photo exhibition for residents in the Asante kingdom and outside, including the diaspora.

Fast forward to April, just as Asanteman is seen as a very receptive Kingdom, there are several tribes who have been given permanent residencies in Asanteman. These groups as part of the activities on April 24 which is an ‘Awukudae’ – third Wednesday preceding Akwasidae – would be allowed to showcase their culture. The chiefs, elders, leaders and tribesmen would showcase their rich culture in turns to the Asantehene and his subjects at a durbar in Manhyia.

On the evening of 25th April, there are expected to be fireworks displays across the major towns in Kumasi such as Manhyia, Tafo, Aboabo, Bantama among others. This will be followed by a music festival at the Jubilee Park with artiste coming from all over the country.

This will be followed by a non-denomination all-white thanksgiving service at Manhyia on 26th April. On May 6th which is the birthday of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, a special birthday dinner would be held for the King however, this event is not open to all. It would be used to raise funds to support Otumfuo’s charity works.

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