President John Agyekum Kufuor on Saturday urged the chiefs and people of the Effutu Traditional Area not to allow politics and chieftaincy disputes to destroy their rich Aboakyer festival that has gained international recognition.
He has in this regard appealed to the people to support the chiefs towards the development of the area.
President Kufuor was addressing a well attended durbar of chiefs and people of the traditional area to mark their Annual Aboakyer festival under theme: "Jubilee celebration Ghana at 50," at Winneba.
The Tuafo No 1 Asafo company brought their catch first to the durbar ground at 0.9.45 am where the Omanhene of the area, Neenyi Ghartey VII stepped on it three times to signify his acceptance of the animal for rituals.
President Kufuor said chieftaincy, family and politics would only destroy the beauty of the festival and urged them to protect the legacy left by their ancestors.
He called for peace and unity for the development of the area because no area can develop without peace and unity, adding that it is not advisable for the government to be spending money which could be used for development to maintain peace and order.
He was happy that peace was gradually returning to the Effutu traditional area, adding that three years ago he could not attend the festival due to insecurity situation in the town.
President Kufuor said there was enlightenment and civilization in Winneba and they should therefore protect the history and the chieftaincy institution of the area and pledged that everything would be done to enhance the status of the area.
He said the government would give the area its fair share of the national cake, and that efforts would be made to improve upon the fish landing facility in the town.
President Kufuor said between the next five and ten years, Winneba area would be part of the capital and urged the chiefs and people of the area to ensure proper planning of the district.
In a welcoming address, Neenyi Ghartey VII, Omanhene of Effutu traditional area, expressed concern about the false and damaging publications in the media about the festival.
According to him such publications did not only under mine the celebration of the festival but also scare investors from the area, and appealed to the media commission to help address the situation.
He also appealed to the people to register with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to enable them to receive free medical care when they attend hospital.
Among those present were Mr Sampson Kweku Boafo, Minister for chieftaincy and culture, Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Minister of Local Government, Rural development and Environment, Nana Ato Arthur Central Regional minister, Mr Samuel Owusu Adjei, Deputy Minister of Health and Member of Parliament of the area.
The President donated 10 cartons of soft drinks, five cartons beer, five crates of Guinness and a cash of 20 million cedis towards the celebration of the festival.