Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has reaffirmed the enduring strength of the Asante Kingdom, asserting that no attempt to sideline or denigrate it will succeed, even as looted artefacts are returned after 150 years.
Addressing attendees at Thursday’s durbar at the Manhyia Palace, Otumfuo reflected on the tumultuous history of the Asante Kingdom, highlighting its resilience in the face of adversity.
“Despite animosity and schemes against the kingdom, it will endure,” declared the Asantehene, referencing past conflicts, including two unprovoked British-led wars aimed at eradicating the kingdom.
The durbar, known as ‘Kuntunkuni Thursday’, saw Asante chiefs from across Ghana donning black cloth in remembrance of the devastation wrought by the Sagrenti War onto the Asante Kingdom. Major-General Garnet Wosely led the British Army in the attack, resulting in the razing of Kumasi and the looting of gold and ornaments.
As the sounds of gunfire echoed over the Manhyia Palace, Otumfuo marked the anniversary of the war and the return of seven artefacts from the Fowler Museum at the University of California.
In his address, Otumfuo called for unity among Asantes and emphasized their duty to defend the kingdom, as exemplified by their forefathers’ sacrifices.
“The independent Asante existed several years before the emergence of Ghana. The contribution of Ashanti, especially in Ghanaian politics, is unmatched and cannot be sidelined in all spheres,” he asserted.
As efforts continue to repatriate 32 artefacts kept in the British Museum, Otumfuo urged the youth to abstain from drug and substance abuse.