Chiefs And People Of Tumu Traditional Area, In The Sissala East Municipality Celebrates This Year's (2024) Paragbielle Festival

By Razak Luriwie Braimah
Culture & Norms Chiefs And People Of Tumu Traditional Area, In The Sissala East Municipality Celebrates This Year's 2024 Paragbielle Festival
MAR 29, 2024 LISTEN

Tumu the Municipal capital of Sissala East in the Upper West Region was given a spectacular life once more, with the celebration of its annual festival (Paaragbielle), whose celebration was halted since 2019 because of COVID-19 and it's containment measures. The forecourt of the Tumu paramountcy was thronged by dozens of thousands of people, from all facets of life, both far and near, to catch glimpse of various cultural and traditional display of music and dance, dress, firing of musketry, poetry, appellation and drumming, artifacts to mention; but a few which were very appeasing to human soul and delightful for the eye to behold.

The theme for this year's celebration of the festival was "Curbing the rising incidence of chieftaincy, land and political violence; a call to embrace diversity". This was chosen with the aim of promoting social cohesion and peaceful co-existence amongst various groups and individuals in the area in the face of our various differences and interests.

In the light of this theme, the Paramount Chief of the Area and member of Ghana's Council of State, H E Kouro Richard Babini Kanton VI, in his welcome address made mention of a special notice "...we are all witnesses to the recent pockets of tensions and intolerance especially amongst the youth of different political, religious and chieftaincy inclinations which leaves no well-meaning individual to be desirous about ...". As a result of these ugly occurrences Kouru, implored traditional kingmakers to eschew any self-seeking interest and adhere to laid down customs and traditions in the ; nomination or selection for confirmation and installation of prospective chiefs in their communities as the Sissali tradition has it that, 'Chiefs sprout from their parent plant, and do not germinate'. He further charged all actors and agents of development to seek settlement of land and its related disputes within the confines of our customs and traditions, and the laws of the country in order to curb the many violent confrontations, which are causing many loss of lifes and properties across the country.

H E Kouro Richard Babini Kanton VI, lauded President Akufo Addo's government for the implementation of the following sector specific flagship programmes:

Free Senior High School Program, Planting for Food and Jobs, One Constituency, One Ambulance, digitalization of the public sector etc. Additionally, he commended government for the implementation of some other life touching development works in the Sissala East Municipality, these include, ongoing Tumu town water project, opening up of Tumu town roads, construction of Astro Turf at the Tumu Sports Stadium, provision of buses to Kanton SHS, Tumu SHTS and St. Claires Vocational Institute etc.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, Kouro Richard Babini Kanton VI expressed his frustration about the seeming neglect of Bolga - Tumu - Wa high way by various governments including H E Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo's regime; which gave him and his people the strongest of all assurances, yet none of the routes that link Tumu to any of the regional capitals has been linked via tared road. He lamented and I "We are indeed tired of assurances, and the only language we can understand is when we see action on these roads to completion". He was still somewhat optimistic, by appealing to government to tar at least the Tumu -Jeffisi - Wa trunk road during the rest its stay in government.

Still on the road network infrastructure, the overlord of the Tumu traditional area recounted the blatant discrimination that the Sissala area suffered in the EU-GAP farm access roads project in the region, given the fact that the area is the bread basket of quality maize and other grains of the country and yet was not considered for the construction of even a 'needle hole' portion of its farm roads under this donor funded project of over 600 km of roads in the Upper West Region, this has remained a major concern of his people, he mentioned.

Further related to agriculture, the Chief bemoaned the farm inputs and the produce price predicament of the farmer's in the area. He noted that the relationship between the cost of farm inputs in 2023/24 farming season against the current market price of farm produce " not only unfortunate but also a huge risk to maize production this coming season". As a result, he appealed to government to institute a pricing policy for maize in order to prevent middlemen from taken undue advantage of the poor and innocent farmer.

In appealing for development, the traditional leader reiterated or re-echoed the following as they were left unattended to despite his previous pleas:

  1. Creation of a new constituency out of the Municipality
  2. Rehabilitation of silted Tumu dam to support all year irrigation farming
  3. Tarring of Bolga-Tumu-Wa road
  4. Provision of ultra modern hospital to serve the health needs of the people
  5. Inclusion of Nursing Assistant Preventive Programme/Course to the Midwifery Training College
  6. Revival of Tumu Cotton Ginnery, which he said was very dear to his heart.

Before the overlord descended his royal podium, he paid a glowing tribute to Mr. Eric Johnson, the late CEO of Royal Cossy Hotel ( Jirapa Dubai), whom he said was a main sponsor of the Paaragbielle festival over the years. He called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and other security agencies to do all what 's within their power to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to book.

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