A renowned Kumasi-based Islamic cleric, Alhaji Sheikh Abdul Karim Badreendeen, has appealed to the government and the Ministry of Aviation to consider naming the Kumasi Airport upon completion after the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
He said naming and calling the facility Osei Tutu II Airport would not be out of place considering the contributions the Asantehene has made towards the socio economic growth of the country.
The former fetish priest who converted to Islam explained his proposition that the track record of Otumfuo Osei Tutu the past 20 years since he ascended the Golden Stool is overwhelming.
He said the reign of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has been characterized by exceptional and exemplary traditional and executive leadership which calls for an honour to spur him to do more and further inspire more others to contribute their quota to nation building.
He reminded the government that “a country which does not honour her heroes are not worth dying for” pointing to the fact that some organizations and institutions as well as landmarks have been named after some prominent personalities who had contributed to the growth of humanity and that it would be proper if the Kumasi Airport is named after the illustrious Otumfuo Osei Tutu who has been instrumental in the upgrading of the status of the facility.
He cited the naming of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) after Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana, the Kotoka International Airport, Yaa Asantewaa Girls SHS, Prempeh College, Prempeh Assembly Hall, Len Clay Sports Stadium, Rattray Park in Kumasi, Afia Kobi Markets and Centre at KATH, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Rawlings Park, Tweneboah Kodua SHS among several others as the premises on which he is making the proposal.
The Islamic cleric also pointed to the instrumentality of the Ashanti King in securing a World Bank facility to provide boreholes to vulnerable communities across the country describing this feat as historical.
Sheikh Karim Badreendeen also pointed to the institution of the landmark Otumfuo Education Fund, Otumfuo Charity foundation, Otumfuo Health Fund as well Otumfuo Teacher’s Award scheme which he described as healthy achievements worthy of commendation because of the magnitude of impact on the Ghanaian society.
According to him, in the area of education, about 9,000 brilliant but needy students and the girl child have enjoyed the largess of the Asantehene at the basic education, secondary and tertiary institutions throughout the country with infrastructural facilities such as modern schools with ICT centres, Head teachers and teachers’ bungalows towards promoting education having been provided.
Touching on Asantehene’s outstanding innovations and excellence chalked in the education sector Sheikh Karim Badreendeen pointed out over 3,000 beneficiaries including headmasters, headmistresses and teachers who have received varieties of award schemes from the Otumfuo Teachers’ Award Scheme Secretariat.
It is also on record that the King also offered a vast land for the Manhyia government hospital for expansion of hospital facilities.
The peace treaty the Asantehene initiated at KNUST before the 2012 General Elections to ensure peaceful co-existence among the political parties in the, country, was seen to have contributed immensely to peace Ghana enjoyed and is still enjoying under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo administration .
Sheikh Badreendeen also mentioned the peace process the King initiated in the Abudu and Andani royal stool gates affairs and said this achievement called for the nation’s highest award to be bestowed on the Asantehene.
He disclosed that, the vital role played in resolving the Dagbon crisis to ensure peace among Adanis and Abudu’s culminating in the enskinment of the Dagbon Overlord is highly commendable.
It is for these and many more that the Islamic scholar advocated that the Asantehene deserves a lasting honor for his statemanship role in human development and appealed to the President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo to consider honouring the Ashanti King by naming the Kumai Airport after the Asantehene.
In April 2019, Parliament approved an EPC/Turnkey contract of €58.9 million between the Government of Ghana and Contracta Construction UK Limited for the execution of the development of phase three of the Kumasi Airport.
The scope of works for the development of the Kumasi International Airport Phase III are the development of a 2, 5522m2 terminal building extension, new fire station, new fire access road and new air control tower.
Others are the development of a 9,000m2 car park extension, 4,200m2 access road extension and two new boarding bridges.
Under the contract, Deutsche bank AG London branch is providing the financing under an export credit arrangement while the UK Export Finance (UKEF) is providing the export credit guarantee to enable Deutsche Bank AG London branch to lend under this arrangement.
Pix: Sheikh Karim Badreendeen