Thursday, September 6, 2007
Awutus disappointed at President’s absence from Awubia Festival
From: GODFREY K. NYANNEY, Awutu
THE hopes of hundreds of citizens of Awutu Traditional Area to welcome President John Agyekum Kufour to a grand durbar here on Monday to round off a week-long Awubia festival were dashed when he failed to turn up.
A large retinue of chiefs, Asafoatsemei, fetish priests and priestesses who accompanied the Ga Mantse, Nii Tackie Tawiah 111 to grace the occasion went back home highly disappointed and dejected.
This was because of the inability of the President, Mr. John Agyekum Kufour, who was allegedly invited as the guest of honour for the occasion, to turn up.
Also disturbing was the failure of the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Awutu-Effutu-Senya and Oppey Abbey, Member of Parliament for Awutu-Senya who are both citizens of Awutu to attend the function.
As if by a design, some government and party officials invited to the function also failed to honour the invitations.
There had been enough publicity throughout the past week in the area, about the President’s participation in the Awubia durbar.
As a result, a lot of people both old and young from all over the area thronged the Awutu township some either to catch a glimpse of the President for the first time or listen to his reaction to their request for creation of a separate district for Awutu.
As early as 7am, the streets of Awutu and every available space in the town were unusually filled by enthusiastic people.
The Awutu chief led by the acting Omanhene, Nai Ncharkey Okine 111, had earlier paraded the town sprinkling “mpo-po,” the festival food to their ancestral gods and departed chiefs amidst drumming and dancing.
Addressing the people at the durbar, Nai Okine lamented that the failure of the President and government officials to honour their invitation to celebrate the festival with them went to confirm the perception held by people of Awutu that they have been discriminated against in the provision of their developmental needs.
He reiterated the appeal of the people of Awutu to government to consider creating a separate district for them.
Nai Okine also appealed to the government to reconstruct and re-tar the Awutu town roads, the Awutu-Bontrase trunk road and also to rehabilitate the Bawjiase market.
Nii Tackie Tawiah said the presence of the large number of people at Awutu for the festival was to renew the century old brotherly relationship that existed between the Gas and Awutus.
He explained that the Gas and the Awutus were historically one people with similar traditional rites but that had broken down.
He assured that, the old relationship would be revived during his reign and promised to relate closely with the chiefs and people of Awutu traditional area in all fields of human endeavours.
He supported the call by the Awutus for the creation of a separate district for them, stressing that the creation of a separate district for Awutu was long overdue.
Nai Kwao Otuo V, the Ankobeahene of the Awutu Traditional Area, who chaired the function, appealed to the traditional council to ensure that the funerals of all dead chiefs are performed and the vacant stools filled with the rightful person without any further delay.
Mr. Kwashe Opei, secretary of the Traditional Council, later told the Times that the President’s invitation letter was sent to Mr. Kwadwo Pianim, Chief of staff at the Castle by a three-man delegation led by Nai Kwaku Bentum 11.
The Ghanaian Times - Thursday, September 6, 2007 Page: 16