Banmuhene Nana Kwame Bampo II (with arms raised) acknowledging cheers as he led a large army of traditional warriors to bring Odwira home from the ancestral forest.
This year’s Odwira festival for the chiefs and people of Akropong-Akuapem in the Akuapem Traditional Area of the Eastern region, which would be climaxed on Friday, promises to be a memorable one with the expected attendance of the flag-bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Nana Addo’s father was from the area.
President John Atta Mills, who has been invited, would be represented by the Eastern regional minister, Dr Kwasi Akyem Apea-Kubi.
Since the president was elected, he has never attended the programme even though he is invited every year.
In the evening of Tuesday, a large number of tourists and people from all walks of life thronged the town to witness the ‘arrival’ of Odwira from the ancestral forest, accompanied by drumming, firing of musketry amid great joy by the indigenes of the area.
The task is performed by the Banmuhene of the Akuapem Traditional Area and the present Banmuhene, Nana Kwame Afari-Bampo II, who has received negative media reportage as an alleged ‘wanted’ chief, was in the thick of affairs.
He led the traditional warriors to the ancestral forest to ‘bring Odwira home’.
Dressed in his ‘warrior’ regalia, Nana Afari-Bompo burst into the streets of Akropong-Akuapem with a large gathering of people including his traditional warriors.
Women and men danced and extolled the virtues of Banmuhene who was described as a brave chief.
Constant firing of musketry accompanied the large procession to the Omanhene’s palace where the Omanhene, Osaedeeyo Nana Addo Dankwa III, sat in state to ‘receive’ the ‘Odwira’ from the Banmuhene.
Speaking to DAILY GUIDE about the negative publications about him, the Banmuhene said the story was planted by his detractors just to destroy his reputation and level false charges against him.
“Your own paper wrote that I have run amok at Akropong in a Rambo style, threatening to kill people without consulting me for my side of the story. Even if there is any truth in the story and with that story in their hand, my detractors have petitioned my kingmakers to destool me,” he said.
According to him, nobody had banned him from the town as the story portrayed and that he was very much loved by the people, especially the youth in the town.
“I absolutely do not have any problem with any chief and I am performing my role as the Banmuhene,” he said.
According to the Banmuhene, before he went to the ancestral forest to ‘bring’ the ‘Odwira’, he went to see the Omanhene to consult him on some important matters pertaining to the celebration of Odwira and the Omanhene also advised him to ensure incident-free traditional rituals to bring ‘Odwira’ home successfully.
Nana Afari-Bambo said he would continue to serve the people of Akropong-Akuapem as long as he remained the Banmuhene of the traditional area.
From Thomas Fosu Jnr, Akropong-Akuapem