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30.10.2005 General News

Unite to fight ethnic rivalry- Daasebre urges chiefs

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Hohoe, (V/R), Oct. 30, GNA - Daasabre Osei Bonsu II, Asante Manponghene on Saturday called on chiefs to brace up to fight tribal tendencies that promote division in the country.

He said the various cultures of the country must be harnessed for the good of the people.

Daasebre Osei Bonsu was addressing a durbar at Hohoe to climax the 10th "Gbidukorza" (Unity Festival) of the chiefs and people of the Gbi and Peki traditional areas.

Daasebre Bonsu said his participation in the festival was not only a reflection of the growing bonds between the Ashantis and the Ewes but also echoed lessons that national unity was an important tool for development.

He counselled chiefs to ensure that unity forged at the traditional council levels would descend to the ordinary people in the form of peaceful co-existence.

"This means that all forms of chieftaincy and land disputes, petty squabbles and all other negative tendencies that could derail the development agenda must be nipped in the bud," Daasebre Osei Bonsu, who is also the Vice-President of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs stated.

He urged traditional authorities to put in place early warning systems to identify conflict situations and recommended the use of the alternative resolution mechanism to settle disputes. The "Gbidukorza" was instituted and first celebrated in December 1995 to link up the people of the Gbi and the Peki traditional areas who had been separated for more that 300 years by "historical, geographical and political circumstances'.

Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, Minister for Regional Cooperation and NEPAD said the problem in Ghana was poverty, illiteracy, ignorance and HIV/AIDS, which all must unite to fight.

"As a people we must re-focus our energies to fight these problems rather than fight among ourselves," he stated. He said successful countries were built through use of advanced technology and consensus.

Mr Kofi Dzamesi, Volta Regional Minister said government was doing all it could to improve the eastern corridor road link between the south and the north to facilitate the movement of people and goods. He said approval had been given for the award of contracts for routine maintenance of selected feeder roads in the Hohoe District totalling about 180 kilometres.

Mr Dzamesi said by the end of the year, the Hohoe District Assembly would have received five billion cedis as its share of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) to fund development projects and programmes, such as the provision of educational infrastructure, markets development and expansion and waste management in the district.

Togbega Gabusu VI, Paramount Chief of the Gbi Traditional Area said this year's festival was unique, as it was the first time chiefs from far and wide attended.

Giving an overview of the celebration of the festival over the past 10 years, Madam Rose Atiegar, Co-Chairman of the National Festival Steering Committee said it had contributed to the revival and expansion of the hospitality industry in the two areas.

She said the festival had also contributed to "a drastic reduction in the number of chieftaincy disputes in the Peki and Hohoe traditional areas as concerned groups have often taken the initiative to work with feuding factions to arrive at amicable settlements".

Among the Chiefs and dignitaries at the durbar were Naa Banamini Sandu II, Kaleo-Na and Vice-President of the National House of Chiefs, Togbega Kpangbatriku, Paramount Chief of the Dodome Traditional Area and Member of the Council of State and Mr Edward Obeng Marfo, Director Chieftaincy Secretariat.

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