Don’t Be Armchair Leader – Otumfuo

President Akufo-Addo greeting Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at Manhyia

Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has counseled President Akufo-Addo to always seek independent verification of updates on progress of projects being supervised by his appointees.

“It is good for the President to visit the projects himself. If you listen to reports from the people, they will always deliver the positives. But if you visit the projects, you will see the negatives and make necessary changes,” he said.

The Asantehene therefore gave a thumbs-up to the President over the latter’s decision to periodically tour the country to inspect projects and freely interact with the people.

The 16th King on the Golden Stool was speaking when President Akufo-Addo, who is currently on a working tour in the Ashanti Region to inspect government projects, paid a courtesy call on him at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi on Friday.

The Asantehene said the President’s regular visits would surely enable him to know at firsthand, if indeed the programmes and policies of his administration were making positive impact in the lives of the citizenry.

He also said the President’s tour of the 16 regions would prevent situations whereby his appointees would paint an erroneous impression that all was well in the country.

He said it would have been a blunder on the part of the President, had he decided to be an armchair leader, who sits in his office and depends solely on his appointees to tell him the reality on the ground, and said he (Otumfuo) fully supports the President’s regular tour of the country.

“To be a leader is a difficult task. This is because your subordinates or appointees would always brief you about the positive things and hide the negative ones from you all the time. You have taken the best decision to always tour the country and independently observe what is going on in the country, and that is the best so I will urge you to sustain this positive action and it will help your government,” he said.

Listening Well

The Asantehene also admonished the President to offer his ears to the ordinary Ghanaian during his nationwide tour as they (ordinary people) could be the right source for him to know what is indeed pertaining in the country currently.

Again, he advised the President to open his eyes wide during the tour so that he would personally see some of the real challenges facing the people, which his appointees may have hidden from him for obvious reasons.

Commending Nana

Otumfuo said President Akufo-Addo’s administration has done a lot of infrastructural projects in the Ashanti Region to improve the lives of the people, saying “I know you don’t disappoint. I trust you and I know you will honour Asanteman.”

He stated that people from the Oyoko clan, of which he (Otumfuo) and President Akufo-Addo trace their ancestry, are bold people, who always embark on greater things, saying “continue to be bold and deliver big for the people.”

Spontaneous Laughter

President Akufo-Addo, started his address on a lighter note by informing the Asantehene that two of the members in his entourage were nursing ambitions to succeed him as president after he had exhausted his second term in office.

In a jovial manner, he said “Otumfuo, let me introduce our Agric Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto to you; Otumfuo for your information, Akoto is nursing an ambition to become president after I have left office,” he said amid laughter and applause.

When the laughter was subsiding, President Akufo-Addo introduced another one when said again that “Otumfuo this is Alan Kyerematen, the Trade and Industry Minister, he has also eyed the presidential seat for a long time.”

International Airport

Returning to serious business, the President announced that the Kumasi International Airport project was progressing steadily, noting that the airport would be put on test on January 2022, which is just three months away.

He also disclosed that the airport would commence full operations in June 2022, saying “I will fly with Otumfuo on the same plane from Kumasi to London and back on that historic day to officially open the airport to business.”

The President stated that the Kumasi International Airport project when completed, would make travelling easier for the people, create more businesses, beautify the city of Kumasi among other numerous benefits for the state.

According to the President, he inspected progress of works at the Kumasi International Airport project site before heading to the Manhyia Palace on Friday, and stated emphatically that he was pleased with how the project was being executed by the contractors.

Boankra Inland Port

On the Boankra Inland Port project, which seemed to have delayed, the President announced that virtually all the bottlenecks that caused the slight delay have been removed now so the project would bounce back soon.

He pointed out that the Ministry of Finance was now going through the financial components of the project in order to ensure that Ghana would get a good deal.

Unprecedented Roads

President Akufo-Addo, sounding confident, stated that his government has delivered more road projects for the Ashanti Region in a record short time to improve the movement of people and goods.

“In the area of road projects in the Ashanti Region, my government has performed more than all the past government’s in the Fourth Republic. Unprecedented road projects are taking place all over the Ashanti Region now.”

Thanking Asanteman

President Akufo-Addo said that the unflinching support and huge figures in terms of votes that he secured in the Ashanti Region helped him and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to retain political power during the 2020 polls.

“I am here to show my gratitude to you and Asanteman for your support in the last elections. You have supported the NPP since time immemorial, and in the last elections, but for your unshrinking support and that of Asanteman to me and the NPP, we would not have been in government,” the President said.

He continued, “I am here to show you and the entire kingdom my gratitude for that solid support that has seen us in power. I know that Asanteman was the main pillar behind my success during the 2020 elections and starting from the Asantehene, I wholeheartedly thank the people of Asanteman for your continuous support,” he indicated.

Calls For Support

President Akufo-Addo reminded the people of Asanteman that he has just started the second term of his administration, so he was heavily counting on them to support him so that his second term in political office would be successful.

“I am counting on the full support of the entire Asanteman, especially Otumfuo; I need Otumfuo’s wise counsel and spiritual support, which would surely make my administration one of a kind,” the President remarked.

FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi