The personality of Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia continues to be an attracting force to members within the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and outside at public events.
His presence at last Sunday’s Akwasidae at the Manhyia Palace in the Ashanti Region is testament to the fact that the second gentleman continues to be the toast of many.
Accompanied by over 80 Members of Parliament (MPs), majority of whom are from the Ashanti Region, Dr. Bawumia became the centre of attraction as patrons could not just stop admiring his humility and shouted his name in admiration.
This is not the first time the Vice President is attending Akwasidae which is an important event in the calender of the Ashanti Kingdom.
The festival is celebrated by the Asantes near and afar.
The festival is celebrated on a Sunday, once every six weeks and believed to be the next only in importance to the National Day celebrations.
The ceremony opens in the throne room, where only the initiates are allowed. Ritual libations of blood and schnapps are poured onto the thrones of the former kings as offerings to them and to the ancestors.
Then the king, the Asantehene, makes an appearance in the royal court where he takes a seat under a large brightly colored umbrella. Dressed in vibrant colors and adorned with large pieces of antique gold jewelry, he greets his people. (Ashanti gold jewelry and masks are part of the master pieces of the African art)
In front of the king, a corridor opens up where members of the court come to swear allegiance to the king and give him some gifts. There are chiefs in the shade of their umbrellas, sword carriers, bearers of ritual knives, armed guards with loaded rifles and nobles with ostrich feather fans. Sitting next to the king are found the dignitaries of the court.
The royal speaker, called a “linguist”, is standing by the king’s side and holds in his hands a golden scepter as a symbol of the Asantehene power. The Queen mother, the most important woman in the realm, is also present and surrounded by her court exclusively made up of women. To accompany the ceremony, “griots” tell the glorious stories of the past Ashanti kings, musicians play drums and ivory horns giving the rhythm to the ceremony and women wrapped in bright red clothes dance performing traditional steps characterized by a succession of delicate and rapid movements.
Bawumia -Otumfuo Relationship
The Vice President has had a very personal relationship with the King of Ashanti, who he considers as a father.
During the funeral of Bawumia’s mother in in 2021, Otumfuo despite sending a high-powered delegation, issued a release to commiserate with the family.
A distraught Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II said he was sad the mother of Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Hajia Mariama Bawumia would not be alive to see what the future holds for her son.
“On the roll of honor belongs Hajia Mariama Bawumia. She not only was the steady heart behind one of the titans of politics in the North during the most tumultuous periods of Ghana’s history, her guidance and tutelaghaveas produced a family whose impact on Ghanaian politics will be felt for generations,” Otumfuo said in his tribute.