Monday, October 1, 2007
GOVT TO HELP REVIVE FESTIVALS
BY: ROSE HAYFORD DARKO, DODOWA
THE Vice-President Alhaji Alia Mahama, has expressed the government’s desire to support the revival of the country’s cultural values through traditional festivals for the promotion of tourism and national identity.
He said this would unite the people to enable them to solve problems and plans to meet their development needs.
Alhaji Mahama said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Sheikh I. C. Quaye, at a durbar of chiefs and people of the Shai Traditional Area at Dodowa in the Dangme West District on Saturday to climax their annual Ngmayem festival.
Alhaji Mahama congratulated the current generation of leaders in the area on their ability to sustain the legacy their ancestors bequeathed to them.
He said the Dangme West District could achieve a lot from tourism if its potential in waterfalls, ancestral caves, wildlife, forests and festivals were harnessed effectively.
Alhaji Mahama commended them for appreciating government policies and programmes, especially in the educational sector.
He urged the chiefs and people of the Shai Traditional Area to take a keen interest in government programmes and encourage the youth to make the best out of themselves for their future development.
The Vice-president told the people that the government was working seriously on complaints about land acquisition and non-payment of compensation to chiefs, with a view to resolving them.
He said the government believed in fairness and would, therefore, not deny any individual or group of people their birthright.
Alhaji Mahama urged the youth to endeavour to adopt responsible lifestyles, especially during the festival, because there was no cure for HIV/AIDS yet.
The acting President of the Shai Traditional Council, Nene Awate Bana Atrokpa I, traced the history of the festival and urged the chiefs and people of the traditional area to take advantage of the celebration to map out strategies for the attainment of their development objectives.
He commended the government for the expert manner in which it handled activities that marked Ghana’s 50th independence anniversary celebrations, especially the special summit of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union and the re-denomination of the country’s currency.
He appealed to the Vice-president to intervene and ensure that lands the government acquired for state projects that were not utilized are returned to the Shai people.
Nene Atrokpa said the Shai Traditional Council would intensify its efforts to ensure that assets in the form of land belonging to the Shai people were used for the development of the area.
Daily Graphic Monday, October 1, 2007 Page: 14