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03.05.2004 General News

Effutus celebrate Aboakyir

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Winneba, (C/R) May 3, GNA - For the first time in four years the two Asafo Companies involved in the celebration of the 'Aboakyir' festival of the chiefs and people of the Effutu Traditional Area, were each able to make a catch and brought it to the durbar grounds during this year's celebration on Saturday.

Most people at the durbar grounds described this sign as a symbolic of peace unlike the past years where only one group was able to make a catch.

At about 8.20 a.m. the Dantsifo Number Two Asafo Company dressed in their traditional red attire brought their catch of a live deer to the durbar grounds and while the Omanhene for the area, Neenyi Ghartey VII, was stepping on it as custom demand, the other Asafo group, Tuafo Number One also brought their catch.

Traditionally, the Omanhene did not step on the second animal because custom does not permit that.

Addressing a durbar of chiefs and people of the area later to round off the festival, the Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, commended the people for the peaceful manner the area celebrating this year's festival.

He told the people that if the festival is celebrated in a peaceful manner the Ministry could link it up with its tourism development programme. He however expressed concern about the turning of the beautiful beaches in coastal towns into 'toilet sports' by the people. Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey urged the people of the Effutu Traditional Area to protect their surrounding forests to enable them to maintain the animals for the sustenance of the festival.

He said his Ministry was trying to create land banks for investments and warned that anybody who would do anything to undermine that programme would be dealt with severely.

The Central Regional Minister, Mr Isaac Edumadze expressed regret about the numerous chieftaincy dispute in the regio9n adding that the region ranks fourth on poverty line and first in chieftaincy disputes in the country and described the situation as a big disgrace to the region. He said the troubled situation, which has always characterised with the Aboakyir does only scare investor but also make it very difficult for the government to package the festival, which has gained international recognition as an investment potential.

Mr Edumadze called on the people to do their best to ensure that all the initiatives put in place by the president succeeds in order to reduce the poverty rate and unemployment in the region.

The chairman of the National Commission on Culture (NCC), Professor George Hagan called on factio9ns involved the Effutu chieftaincy dispute to bury their differences to ensure to ensure peaceful celebration of the Aboakyir festival.

He urged them to send their children to school since education is a key to development.

The MP for the area, Mr Mike Allen Hammah, urged the youth in the area to be mindful of their sexual habits to avoid contracting the HIV/AIDS disease. He said that the peaceful manner in which this year's festival was celebrated should be maintained.

Captain Steve Kwamena Armah (Rtd), District Chief Executive for Awutu-Effutu-Senya, also asked the people to come together as one body because it is through unity and peace that they would be able to develop the district.

In his welcoming address, the Omanhene of the area Neenyi Ghartey VII, thanked the government for commencing the Mallam-Cape Coast trunk road. He appealed to the government to construct a safe-landing facilities at the Winneba beach to facilitate fishing activities.