In recent times, there has been a growing sentiment among some supporters of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), spurred on by their US-based hired political mercenary, Kevin Ekow Baidoo Taylor that the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, should publicly criticize the Akufo-Addo regime. While open dialogue and discussion are essential in any democratic society, it is crucial to examine the historical context and understand the role of traditional leaders before setting unreasonable expectations.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has been a revered and respected figure, not just within the Ashanti Kingdom but across the nation. Traditionally, the Asantehene is seen as a unifying force, fostering stability, peace, and continuity. However, it is unreasonable to expect him to take a stance that goes against the established traditions of his role.
Critics argue that in times of hardship, the Asantehene should publicly voice his concerns about the government in power, as a form of advocacy for the people. However, a historical perspective reveals that the Asantehene has maintained a neutral stance, refraining from public criticism of the four previous presidents, namely Rawlings, Kufuor, Mills, and Mahama, despite challenges faced during their respective tenures.
During the Rawlings era, the nation witnessed economic challenges and political turbulence. The Kufuor administration grappled with its share of issues, including economic reforms and social challenges. The Mills and Mahama administrations faced their own set of difficulties, ranging from energy crises to economic fluctuations.
Throughout these periods, the Asantehene adhered to the traditional role of a monarch – providing guidance, fostering unity, and maintaining a neutral stance on political matters. His commitment to impartiality demonstrates a deep respect for the democratic process and the principle of non-interference in the affairs of elected governments.
It is essential to acknowledge that Otumfuo Osei Tutu II’s silence on political matters is not a sign of apathy or indifference but rather a reflection of the respect for the democratic institutions and processes in Ghana. Publicly criticizing the Akufo-Addo regime would set a precedent that goes against the established norms, potentially compromising the traditional role of the Asantehene.
In conclusion, while open dialogue and constructive criticism are integral to the democratic process, expecting the Asantehene to publicly criticize the Akufo-Addo regime is unreasonable. His historical neutrality underscores a commitment to tradition, stability, and a deep respect for democratic governance.
It is crucial for citizens to recognize and appreciate the unique role traditional leaders play in the nation’s development and political landscape, and not join the chorus of political mercenaries like Kevin Taylor to cast aspersions on reverred leaders like the Asantehene.