For the first time in five years, the chiefs and people of Buipe in the Northern Region have celebrated their annual Damba festival in unity and fanfare.
Damba, the most prominent festival among Gonjas, is celebrated to mark the birth of the founder of Islam and it is celebrated among many ethnic groups in northern Ghana in different forms.
Despite its traditional and religious importance to the people of Buipe, Damba could not be celebrated for the past five years due to the acrimonious chieftaincy dispute that characterised the area.
With the dispute now resolved, the chiefs and elders of the area came together to celebrate the festival in unity and to demonstrate to the world that they had settled their differences and were now united to chart a new path of development for themselves and the whole country.
Clad in royal regalia and paraphernalia, the Paramount Chief of the Buipe Traditional Area, Buipe Wura Jinapor II, sat in state in a grand durbar and was assisted by his sub- chiefs and aides — some of whom were his opponents in the chieftaincy dispute,— to mark the occasion.
In attendance were people of different ethnic and professional backgrounds including the Wangara Chief, who came from Kintampo with his elders; tourists and Fulanis.
In a speech read on behalf of the Buipe Wura, his spokesperson, Dr Ahmed Jinapor, said the chiefs, queens, elders and people of the Buipe Traditional Area carefully settled on “Peace and Reconciliation for Sustainable Development”, for this year’s Damba for good reasons.
He described the occasion as a joyous one for him as it marked the first anniversary of a Damba during his reign where all the chiefs, stakeholders and people of Buipe were behind him and actively participated in the celebration of the festival.
He said there was genuine peace, reconciliation and togetherness among all the people of Buipe and “I want to use this opportunity to reiterate my irrevocable and unflinching commitment to sustain the peace that exists in Buipe and to ask all and sundry to join me in this noble endeavour”.
The Buipe Wura thanked President John Mahama and Yagbonwura Borenase for their contribution to the restoration of peace and tranquillity in Buipe.
The Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji A.B.A Fuseini, thanked the people of Buipe for their sense of tolerance and maturity which had enabled them to peacefully resolve the chieftaincy dispute that characterised the area some time ago.
He said their Dagomba counterparts also exhibited the same spirit of reconciliation and togetherness for the first time in many years during this year’s Damba festival by coming together to mark the occasion.
He expressed delight that the decision of many traditional areas in the Northern Region to resolve their chieftaincy problems and come together would chart a new path for the rapid development of the region.
The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mr Bilijo Nayong, asked the people of Buipe to take advantage of its strategic location and attract investors to come and develop the huge aquaculture potential in the area.
Such a move, he noted, would create a lot of employment opportunities for the youth and also create wealth for many people in the area.
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