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23.03.2004 Regional News

Rename town communities

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Manso (B/A) March 22, GNA - The chiefs and people of Manso in Nkoranza District of Brong-Ahafo have appealed to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to rename the town, Bono-Manso, in recognition of its status as the capital of the ancient Bono Kingdom. Making the appeal at a press conference at Manso, Mr. Seth Asah, Assembly Member, recalled that the area was one of the slave markets during the slave trade and there was the need to revert to its old name for posterity sake.

There are a number of symbolic items that reminiscent of the slave market, he added, saying that the Nkoranza District Assembly had decided to assist the people to develop the area into a tourist centre. Mr. Asah announced that officials from the Ministry of Tourism had completed feasibility studies in the area and had shown interest in promoting tourism there.

In January this year, the World Emancipation Day of Black Americans was celebrated at Bono-Manso in memory of the African American civil rights leader, the late Martin Luther King Junior, who fought for the total emancipation of people of the black race.

Mr. Asah noted that the occasion was well attended by people from all walks of life and re-lived the suffering that, "our forefathers" went through at the hands of whites during the slave trade.

The people have pledged to assist in the development of the area into a tourist centre, he said, and appealed to the government to help in this direction for an improvement in their living standards.

Nana Kwaku Kontor, Gyaasehene, disclosed that elders in the community had provided a five-hectare piece of land to be developed into a Martin Luther King Village where blacks in the Diaspora could visit. He mentioned one of the historic sites as Abiriyeso, a battlefield where warriors from the Bono Kingdom were deceived to bury their guns in a stream while preparing for a fight against the Ashantis to increase their potency but eventually lost miserably.

Nana Kontor said the elders also have in their possession a silver container, which was believed to have descended from the sky to assist the people to induce rainfall for their farming activities. The people still expect to get rains three days after they have mobilized virgin girls to fill the silver container with water in the dry season.