Scores of people yesterday joined the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at a thanksgiving Mass at the St. Cyprian’s Anglican Cathedral in Kumasi to mark 20 years of his enstoolment.
There was also a heavy attendance of the clergy, including the Archbishop of the Anglican Province of West Africa, Rt Rev. Daniel Yinkah-Sarfo; a former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rt Rev. Dr Sam Prempeh; the former Bishop of the Kumasi Diocese of the Methodist Church, Rt Rev. Dr Osei Sarfo Kantanka, and the Archbishop Emeritus of the Kumasi Archdiocese of the Catholic Church, Most Rev. Peter Akwasi Sarpong.
Other members of the royal family, including the Asantehemaa, Nana Konadu Yiadom III, and the Wife of the Asantehene, Lady Julia Osei Tutu, also attended the mass.
Other high-profile persons at the Mass were former President Jerry John Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings; the Chairman of the Council of State, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, Juabenhene, and Dasebre Osei Bonsu II, the Mamponghene.
Also in attendance were the Majority Leader in Parliament, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu; the Member of Parliament for Subin, Mr Eugene Boakye Antwi; Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the State Enterprises Commission, and Mr Akwasi Opong-Fosu, a former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was enstooled on April 26, 1999, following the death of Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, on February 26 of the same year.
In a homily, Most Rev. Sarpong commended the Asantehene for his exemplary leadership which, he said, had gone a long way to bring peace to Asanteman.
He said Otumfuo Osei Tutu’s leadership style was worthy of emulation and asked other chiefs in Asanteman to follow his style in order to bring peace and development to their various communities.
Most Rev. Sarpong said the Asantehene’s humility and service to mankind had helped him chalk up successes in his reign and implored him to continue to exhibit those qualities that had endeared him to the people.
The Archbishop Emeritus asked chiefs to live in peace with their subjects in order to engender peace and development.
He underscored the importance of peace which he said made God come down to earth in the form of Jesus to restore peace between man and God.
According to the prelate, holiness, mercy and forgiveness were three qualities necessary for peace and explained that for any community to enjoy peace, it ought to exhibit those qualities.
He expressed gratitude to God for gifting the people of Asante with Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and commended the Asantehene for coming back to God to thank him for his mercies.
Most Rev. Sarpong prayed for more prosperous years for the Asantehene.
The Asantehene, in turn, expressed gratitude to the clergy for the huge attendance at the Mass and especially to Most Rev. Sarpong for accepting to deliver the homily.
He also thanked the people of Asanteman, especially the chiefs, for their support and prayers over the years and prayed for the same support in the years ahead so that together they could bring development to the people.
He said but for their prayers and support, he would not have achieved much.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II singled out his wife, Lady Julia, whom he said he owed a greater part of his successes and achievements to.
He advised his divisional chiefs to always be humble in their leadership and not to lord it over the people and most of all to always speak the truth, irrespective of the consequences.