Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia became the centre of attraction last weekend when he joined Otumfuo Osei Tutu, the Asantehene, at the Manhyia Palace to celebrate this year’s Akwasidae.
Accompanied by a retinue of 80 Members of Parliament who are mainly from the Ashanti Region, the elated crowd shouted his name ‘Bawunia, Bawumia’, as he arrived to take his seat at the function. The crowd admired his humility, which is one of his trademarks.
This is not the first time the Vice President is attending Akwasidae, which is an important event on the calendar of the Ashanti Kingdom and is celebrated on a Sunday, once every six weeks.
The ceremony opens in the throne room, where only the initiates are allowed to enter.
Ritual libations of blood and schnapps are poured onto the thrones of the former kings, as offerings to them and to the ancestors.
Asantehene then makes an appearance in the royal court, where he takes a seat under a large brightly coloured umbrella, dressed in vibrant colours and adorned with large pieces of antique gold jewellery.
The opportunity is then given for members of the court to swear allegiance to the king and give him some gifts.
Whilst these rituals are going on, the royal speaker (Linguist) will stand by the King’s side and hold in his hands a golden scepter as a symbol of the Asantehene’s power.
The Queen mother, the most important woman in the realm, is also present and surrounded by her court, exclusively made up of women.
Bawumia – Manhyia Relationship
Vice President Bawumia 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 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 honour 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 tutelage has produced a family whose impact on Ghanaian politics will be felt for generations,” Otumfuo said in his tribute.