None of the two Asafo companies made a catch at this year’s Aboakyer Festival of the chiefs and the people of the Effutu Traditional Area in the Central Region.
After seven hours of searching for a deer as tradition demands, the two Asafo companies — the Tuafo Number One and the Dentsifo Number Two — returned empty-handed.
A catch of a deer signifies bumper harvest for the people of the traditional area in the year.
The annual festival has been dogged by sharp differences and disputes between the two rival factions of the Effutu Stool.
To avert any untoward situation and clashes this year, the Ghana Police Service had sought an order for an interim injunction at the Agona Swedru Circuit Court to restrain the Aboakyer Planning Committee and all members of the Effutu State from celebrating the festival.
The court, presided over by Mr N.K.E. Osam, had granted the order and further restrained the people from organising any activity in Winneba for a period of 10 days.
That followed the failure, after a series of meetings with the factions and stakeholders, to appoint one person to step on the catch when it was presented to the chiefs at the durbar grounds.
However, at a meeting among the Central Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Sarpong, the two Asafo companies and the Otuano Royal House, it was agreed that the stepping on the live deer, when caught, would not be performed this year.
It was after an undertaking to that effect had been signed that the injunction was waived for the festival to go ahead.
Apart from the heavy police presence in Winneba, the durbar grounds, which used to be full of activities in the early morning with people who were anxious to see the catch, witnessed few onlookers.
Plastic chairs which were to be arranged under the canopies were packed in the middle of the durbar grounds. After long diplomatic manoeuvres, four chiefs made a procession to the durbar grounds to receive the regional minister, who had been kept waiting for some time.
When some sanity prevailed around 11 a.m., the Tufuhen, Neenyi Otuaboa Siripi II. in his welcoming address, described as unfortunate the events which had threatened the celebration of the festival and called on the youth of the area, who were craving for development, to find a solution to the feud that threatened development.
Addressing the gathering, Mr Sarpong said the festival imposed a responsibility on all to tap into its huge tourism and developmental potential for the benefit of the people of the traditional area.
He said the responsibility could only be carried out in an atmosphere devoid of rancour, petty bickering, rivalry and disputes.
He implored the present generation of Effutus to find a lasting solution to the protracted traditional and chieftaincy dispute, which had the potential to create differences among families that came from the same lineage.
Mr Sarpong said the government, in view of the limited resources at its disposal for development projects, had adopted public-private partnerships and was willing to link up with stakeholders and the investor community to develop the festival into a large-scale event in the country.
He said the Effutu Municipal Assembly was facilitating the process of setting up an oil refinery between Nsuekyir and Gyangyanadze by Kalahari Investment Company Limited to refine oil at an initial capacity of 200,000 barrels a day.
Mr Sarpong assured the people that they would enjoy their share of development projects being executed by the government.
For his part, the Municipal Chief Executive, Nii Ephraim, expressed the hope that the feud would be resolved in order to celebrate the festival without conflict and disunity in the years ahead.
Source: Daily Graphic