The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has expressed his displeasure at the hatred and hostility that some people have towards the Asante kingdom and its people. He said that Asantes have always lived in peace and harmony with other ethnic groups on their land, and wondered why their love was being met with hatred.
“We live here in love… The Zongos are on our land, we live in peace. Ewes are here, and we have Anloga here, as well as Fantes in New Town. Why is our love being reciprocated with hatred? Let’s be united. Asante is alive,” he said.
The Asantehene was speaking at the Kuntunkuni Durbar at the Manhyia Palace on February 8, 2024. The durbar was part of the events to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Sagrenti War, which was fought between the Asantes and the British colonial forces in 1874.
The Sagrenti War resulted in the destruction of Kumasi, the capital of the Asante kingdom, and the looting of many Asante artefacts by the British troops. However, the Golden Stool, the sacred and symbolic throne of the Asante kings, was never captured by the invaders.
The Asantehene said that the Golden Stool was the soul of Asanteman and that the ancestors had shed their blood to protect it. He warned that anyone who attempted to take out Asante would be overcome by the power of the Golden Stool.
“150 years ago, the whites destroyed this city, but the Golden Stool remained untouched. So far as the Golden Stool remains, no one can touch Asanteman. It is the soul of Asanteman, and Nananom used their blood to protect it. You will be overcome if you decide to take out Asante. All those who plot against the kingdom must stop,” he said.
The Asantehene also advised politicians to rule with love and not with power, as power was transient and would soon end. He said that all political parties should recognise the importance of Asante to the stability and development of Ghana. He said: “Politicians must know that power is transient. Use love to rule. If you rely on your power, remember that your time will end soon. All political parties must know that without Asante Ghana cannot stand. We are not above anyone; we are equals but I won’t allow anyone to cheat us.”
The durbar was attended by thousands of people, including chiefs, queen mothers, elders, and dignitaries from various sectors and regions.
The durbar was characterised by the rich display of Asante culture, such as music, dance, and regalia. The Asantehene and his retinue of chiefs wore the traditional mourning cloth, Kuntunkuni, to signify the solemn nature of the event. The durbar also witnessed the return of some of the Asante artefacts that were looted by the British troops, which were handed over to the Asantehene by the Fowler Museum of the University of California in Los Angeles.