Ho, Sept.21 – Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has tasked traditional leaders to use festivals as a way to stimulate their people for both community and national development.
He said in this fast changing technological world, festivals must not just be about the celebrations but about opportunities to improve the lives of the people, especially, in agriculture, and family methods for national progress.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur made the statement when he joined the chiefs and people of the Asogli Traditional area at a grand durbar to climax the 2014 Asogli Yam Festival in Ho.
This year’s festival, which is on the theme: ‘Let’s Make Our Nation Great and Strong’, showcased the beauty of culture and traditions of the chiefs and people of the Asogli State through their music, stories, rituals, rich Kente cloths and Boborbor dance.
The occasion also marked the 11th Anniversary of the enthronement of Togbe Afede XIV, the Paramount Chief of the Asogli Traditional area.
Other important dignitaries at the function were Mr Prosper Bani, the Chief of Staff, Ministers of States, members of the diplomatic corps and chiefs from the other regions.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur stated that quality leadership was critical for the development of any community.
He said fortunately the nation had been blessed with individuals who had helped in shaping the visions and aspirations of their people and provided the peace and security necessary for development.
The celebration of the Asogli Yam Festival, he said, was a demonstration of such quality leadership in the Asogli traditional area.
He urged the citizens from the area to support their leaders to quicken the pace of development in the traditional area.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur stated that two years ago, the government commissioned the first public-funded university for the region and was confident that the hopes and aspirations of the people would be met like those of rest of the country.
They should, therefore, keep faith with the government.
He announced that some funds had been released to continue work on the northern and southern parts of the Eastern corridor road.
He said the government appreciated the premium the people placed on education and, therefore, had taken some measures to complete the Regional Library, ICT Centre, and the office complex for the Centre for National Culture so that those facilities could be made available to the youth.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur reiterated the call on Ghanaians to practice good environmental sanitation to prevent becoming victims of the cholera epidemic, which was affecting various parts of the country.
On Ebola, he said, statistics had showed that the viral disease threatened the survival of some of the neighbouring countries in the Sub-region so Ghanaians must be alert and well educated on the trends.
Togbe Afede XIV, the Paramount Chief of the Asogli Traditional Area, stressed the need for the nation to develop the right systems and spirit for it to bounce back towards greatness as was envisaged by the founding fathers.
He called for truthful leadership in both the central government and traditional governance systems, saying the leaders must inform the citizens about their intentions and what they were doing for them.
He urged the government to intensify its fight against corruption, saying, ‘As I have always said, corrupt officials are like termites at woodwork; they eat at the very foundations of our future development. Their behaviour and their methods undermine our match towards greatness’.
The Asogli State says the week-long yam festival is celebrated as a thanksgiving to God, and also to the gods and ancestors for a bumper harvest, and as an occasion to offer prayers for good health and prosperity for all.
It is to foster unity through forgiveness and reconciliation; offer the platform for stocktaking for all occupational endeavours, especially farming; to mobilize both human and material resources of Asogli State for job and wealth creation and to serve as an annual re-affirmation of allegiance by all chiefs and their subjects in the Asogli State to the Agbogbome stool
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