Akropong Akuapem, Sept. 29, GNA – President John Dramani Mahama has commended the chiefs and people of Akuapem for re-uniting as one people after a protracted chieftaincy dispute.
He has also urged other traditional areas in the country to emulate the chiefs and people of Akuapem.
This was contained in a goodwill message delivered on his behalf by the Minister for Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, Dr Henry Seidu Daanaa at the grand durbar of chiefs and people of Akuapem to climax this year’s annual Odwira festival on Saturday.
This year’s festival was held on the theme: “Introducing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into Traditional Administration”, and attracted people from all walks of life.
President Mahama said Odwira festival was a period of sober reflection and therefore should be used to promote unity, goodwill, and community development.
He said the government was committed to ensuring the sustenance of tradition which could be a source of income for the country through tourism.
President Mahama urged the chiefs and people to use the festival to start life afresh, renew their commitment to peace, build bridges which was the ingredient of development in every human society.
He called for solid collaboration between chiefs and government.
Ms Helen Adjoa Ntoso, Eastern Regional Minister, expressed happiness that chiefs from the various divisions in the area celebrated Odwira festival together as one people.
She commended the traditional council on its decision to introduce ICT into the administration of chieftaincy and urged everybody to support them to succeed.
The Regional Minister said President Mahama had spearheaded the distribution of several thousands of laptop computers to school pupils, students and institutions across the country to make ICT education an integral part of the human resource development.
She said ICT education was one area the President attached great importance to, and therefore pledged the government’s commitment to join hands with the traditional council to bring ICT to the area.
The Okuapemhene, Oseedeyo Addo Dankwa III, in a welcoming address read on his behalf, said throughout their travels and settlements, the people of Akuapem never forgot their ancestral leaders and their maker that brought them safely to their present home.
He said the celebration of Odwira festival was a period of remembrance of their past kings and warriors and also served as a re-union of family and social ties.
The Okuapemhene said the introduction of ICT into the administration of chieftaincy was necessary to make traditional rulers to be abreast with modern development in a rapidly changing world.
He said the traditional form of government had sustained the communities and kept the people together in spite of the numerous chieftaincy challenges in certain traditional areas.
He said the use of ICT in traditional administration would help to reduce or eliminate completely conflicts or misunderstandings, thereby promoting stability, unity and development.
The Odwira festival is the traditional new year of the chiefs and people of Akuapem and the time when Akuapems all over the world come home to meet friends and relations.
The event was attended by large crowd of people including diplomats, Members of Parliament (MPs) and government representatives
The festival was first celebrated in 1826 during the reign of Nana Addo Dankwa the First.