A mammoth enthusiastic crowd from the Asanteman enclave besieged the Kumasi airport in the evening of Tuesday to witness the arrival and welcome Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene from New York City in the United States of America (USA).
All the streets in the city hub, from where the King’ statue is located leading up to the Manhyia Palace to the airport, were also blocked, with some of residents lined up on walkways and street shoulders to wave welcome to Otumfuor.
The dignified Asante Monarch was invited to participate and address the United Nations General Assembly, in the earlier weeks.
Hours before his arrival, the motley crowd including traditional rulers, religious leaders, Zongo community leaders, political figures and corporate heads, Market women and other teeming Kumasi residents, were already at the airport.
Sounds of traditional drums mixed with thunderous shouts from the excited crowd, held in a suspense for hours to see the king, filled the air as the aircraft carrying His royal majesty, the Asantehene touched down at the airport.
Their excitement went into a high gear when they sighted the much-awaited King in a black designer suit descending from the aircraft, the crowd gave the security personnel deployed to the airport a hard time as they tried to control them as each person tried to catch a glimpse of the King.
Touted as the first occupant of the Golden Stool to be accorded the high honour to address the UN General Assembly, the king looking hale and hearty waved to the cheers and made some graceful traditional “Adowa” dance moves to the sound of the rhythmic traditional drums.
Prior to his coming, a group calling itself Protectors of Traditions and Asanteman, which arranged the event, disclosed that all manner of people were expected to meet and welcome Otumfuor who made Asanteman, Ghana and Africa in general very proud during the U.N Assembly’s address at the United states of America.
Speaking for the group, Esther Nana Agyemang, one of its leaders, disclosed that though political players were invited, no party colours or paraphernalia, would be entertained.
Barimah Asumadu Sakyi, Director of the National Cultural Centre, who was present at the welcoming ceremony disclosed to the media that Otumfour was indeed a hero worth to be celebrated.
He described Otumfour’s gesture during the UN address as a true reflection of bravery, truth and the pride of Africa.
“He was called not only to witness the programme in the New York City, but was asked to deliver a speech; and truly, he delivered to make impact in Africa and the world as a whole”, he said.
On his part, General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. John Boadu described Otumfour as an embodiment of peace and truth who played a major role in the Ghanaian governance and Africa as a whole.
He said Otumfour had sold out Ghana’s positive image to the world and should be the pride of Africa, which should be the record of Africa.
“The only king amongst all African kings who has been invited to project Africa like this is indeed worth appreciating and be proud of”, Mr. John Boadu remarked.