Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Benin, Togo nationals join
counterparts at Aflao festival
SCORES of nationals of Benin and Togo on Saturday converged at Aflao in the Volta Region to give an international character to the durbar mar king the climax of the Godigbe festival of the chiefs and people of the Aflao Traditional Area.
The festival commemorates the migrations of the people of Aflao from the Middle East and their subsequent stay in places across Africa, including Niger, Ethiopia and Nigeria then to their present settlement.
More than 800 people conveyed in 32 buses from Benin, comprising different groups of Ewe, each group dressed in identical attire performed both graceful and physical dances around the football park size arena to herald the durbar.
Traditional dances and mystic performances overwhelmed the crowd at the durbar.
The theme of the festival which also marked the 10th anniversary of the enstoolment of Togbe Amenya Fiti V, Paramount Chief of the area was “Education the Bedrock of Development”.
Togbe Fiti asked government to make Aflao, with about 55,000 population, a municipality and also demarcate it as a political constituency.
He expressed concern that infrastructure projects started years ago to make Aflao township reflect its urban status had stalled.
Togbe Fiti commended government for work on the Accra-Aflao Highway, completed so far to Sogakope and called for a speedy work to extend it to Aflao.
Mr. Kofi Dzamesi, Volta Regional Minister said culture represented the birth right of the people and should not be undermined or underestimated.
He announced that a cultural festival was scheduled for Kumasi in November this year as part of the Ghana @ 50 celebrations, after which November every year would be marked countrywide as culture month.
Mr. Justice Cudjoe, Ketu District Executive (DCE), said the festival would boost relations between Ghana and her Togo and Benin neighbours and also market Ghana’s wares.
The continuing conflict between Christianity and traditional religion was again manifested at the festival when Bishop William Besa Fiadonu of the Church of Christ Brotherhood, who said the Christian opening prayers, stormed out of the durbar grounds when it was time for the pouring of libation. – GNA
The Ghanaian Times - Tuesday, September 4, 2007 Page: 25