On 26th April, 1999, my good friend, Barima Kwaku Duah, a royal of the Osei and Opoku royal family and a fellow member of the Oyoko clan, became Asantehene, as the 16th occupant of the Golden Stool, taking up the name of the founder of Asanteman and 1st Asantehene, the legendary Opemsuo Osei Tutu, to be called Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, following in the line of the great Asante Kings.
Fully adorned from head to toe in the Batakarikesee, he pledged, on that day, at the Kumasi Sports Stadium, to follow the traditions and paths chartered by his 15 predecessors, and continue to make Asanteman a model traditional state in our country.
I was present on that day, and I believe, by all accounts, we can safely conclude that he has lived, and continues to live, up to this noble undertaking.
On behalf of the government and people of Ghana, I join all well-wishers in extending warm, hearty congratulations to Otumfuo Osei Tutu Ababio on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of his ascension onto the great Golden Stool.
It has been an amazing journey for him so far, with his imprints stamped firmly on many aspects of the life of Asanteman, and, indeed, of our nation, the results of which are evident for us all to see.
Helping to ensure access to education through the Otumfuo Education Fund, joining the fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS, re-energising the institution of Chieftaincy, and, recently, as Chairperson of the Committee of Eminent Chiefs, helping to bring peace, at last, to Dagbon, and to install a new Yaa-Na, are but a few of his many achievements and successes as Asantehene.
From my days as his lawyer to those as Leader of the Opposition, he was a source of sound and consistent advice. This has not changed since I became President of the Republic.
It is my prayer that Almighty God will continue to bless him with wisdom, good health, long life, and prosperity, and, certainly, many more years on the throne, and my hope is that our friendship will continue to remain strong.
Once again, Nana Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, congratulations, and I am convinced that your best years and those of Asanteman, and, indeed, of Mother Ghana herself, lie ahead.
Happy 20th anniversary. Enjoy every bit of it.