Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has lamented about the sale of lands belonging to Osei Kyeretwie Senior High School (OKESS).
Addressing a colourful durbar for the 85th anniversary of his alma mater on October 8, the revered king stated that it was painful for such a thing to have occurred.
Otumfuo said that even upon his ascension to the throne, he got wind of the activities of some chiefs regarding the sale of land which he intervened for it to be reduced.
The Asantehene, who is bent on protecting the remaining lands given to OKESS, cautioned chiefs gathered at the event not to come anywhere close to the lands.
“What is painful is the sale of the land given to the school and spending of the money by some chiefs. They had already sold the land before I ascended the throne. The little that was left of the land, I was told chiefs are encroaching. I believe it has reduced. All chiefs present here, if you think your land is here, don’t come after the school lands,” Otumfuo Osei Tutu II told the gathering in Twi.
Otumfuo to finance the construction of toilet facility for OKESS
The Asantehene further said he will finance the construction of a toilet facility for female students of the school. To this end, he has asked the board chairman to furnish him with the estimates for the project on which he intends to embark on.
Additionally, he asked the board and headmaster of the school to further bring estimates for ICT things the school needs.
“The board chairman told me the female students do not have a toilet facility. I will ensure that it is constructed for them. There are two ICT things and I have asked Dr. Opoku Adusei, the board and headmaster to bring the estimates so that they come for money for it. This is the beginning just to show that I have not forsaken the school,” Otumfuo said.
Osei Kyeretwie Senior High School was the first second-cycle institution in the Ashanti region and was established in 1937 by the late J.T. Robert who was a Sierra Leonean. At the time, it was christened Asante Collegiate and was sited at Asafo, a suburb of Kumasi.
The Ministry of Education in September 1962, took over the administration of the school. However, the name, Asante Collegiate, was maintained. Subsequently, at the beginning of the 1968/69 academic year, the school was renamed after the late Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh II, known in private life as Barima Kwame Kyeretwie, in his honour.
Shortly after the renaming ceremony, the school was relocated to a new site at Dichemso formerly occupied by Modern City Academy. Afterwards, the school population increased significantly. As a result, His Royal Majesty Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh II, by his kindness, acquired a new site at Old Tafo, Kumasi.
A committee was set up through the Lands Commission to demarcate the site in 1970. Nine years afterwards, the school started operating the two sites which was a very daunting task. Running the school became very expensive besides the risk of transporting students to and fro the two sites daily. The school eventually moved to the new site at Old Tafo, Kumasi in the 2004/05 academic year.
As a result of the gradual encroachment of the land, in 1998, the President, (late) Flt. LT. Jerry John Rawlings, by an Executive Instrument, compulsorily acquired the land which was 168.28 acreage.