The Central Regional Minister, Mr. E.K.T. Addo, has appealed to the chiefs and people of Winneba to resolve the perennial skirmishes that have characterised the celebration of the Aboakyer Festival in order to boost tourism in the area.
He said the festival was one of the notable carnivals that brought tourists to the country, leading to the earning of foreign exchange, and pointed out that any hostile environment would scare potential tourists from visiting the town during the celebration of the festival.
He noted that no tourist, whether local or foreign, would want to seek recreation in a volatile environment where his or her personal safety could only be guaranteed by the massive presence of security personnel.
Mr Addo was speaking at the annual Aboakyer Festival of the chiefs and people of the Effutu Traditional Area at Winneba last Saturday.
It was on the theme: “Unity and peace, key to development”.
He said that it was an attested fact that where there were conflict and social unrest, there was a low level of development and progress.
“I am on this note appealing to the chiefs and the people of Effutu to create an investor-friendly environment to facilitate economic growth and development,” he added.
The regional minister said the government was fully aware of the plight of farmers and fishermen in the region and would spare no effort at putting in place appropriate measures to bring about the needed change.
Advice to the youth
He appealed to the youth not to allow themselves to be carried away by the fanfare surrounding the festival and advised them to make merry within reasonable limits, as well as desist from negative tendencies such as drunkenness, the use of hard drugs and immoral sexual escapades which might expose them to sexually transmitted diseases.
The Tufuhen of the Effutu Traditional Area, Neenyi Otubua Siripi II, commended the Effutu Municipal Security Committee (MUSEC), the Swedru Divisional BNI, the Central Regional Security Committee and the Regional Minister for their immeasurable efforts towards the peaceful celebration of the festival.
He reminded the government of the need to increase premix fuel supply to the town to enhance the fishing industry in the area.
He also drew the attention of the government to the much talked about construction of a landing site at Winneba and called for the early execution of the project.
He mentioned the construction of a modern market complex at the Winneba Junction, the establishment of an oil refinery at Effutu Gyangyanadze, as well as the rehabilitation of feeder roads, as some of the projects promised them that needed to be executed by the government to help raise the living standards of the people.
The Effutu Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Nii Ephraim, in a welcome address, said peace was an important prerequisite for development and, therefore, called on the chiefs and people of the area to embrace peace to facilitate progress in the area.
The festival, which is celebrated on the first Saturday of May, is climaxed by the catching of a deer by the two Asafo companies, Dentsifo No. 2 and Tuafo No. 1.
During this year’s celebration, the Dentsifo No. 2 was the first to arrive at the durbar ground around 10:36 a.m. with a very fat deer.
Meanwhile, the gathering waited for a while in anticipation that the Tuafo No. 1 would also return with a deer, but that was not to be.
There was heavy security presence in the town, as well as the durbar grounds, apparently to deal with anyone who would cause mayhem during the celebration of the festival.
Though the atmosphere was peaceful during the celebration, patronage was low, compared to previous years.
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