The chiefs and people of Techiman Traditional Area in the Bring Ahafo Region have celebrated their Annual Apoo Festival this year in a grand style, with the Chief of Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area, Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II as the special guest of honour.
A grand durbar of chiefs and people of Techiman and its environs was held at the Techiman Methodist Park to climax the celebration. The Chief of Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area, Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II and the Omanhene of Techiman Traditional Area, Oseadeayo Akumfi Ameyaw IV, who were surrounded by their retinue both, displayed their rich cultures to the admiration of all.
The Omanhene of Techiman Traditional Area, Oseadeayo Akumfi Ameyaw IV, who chaired the occasion welcome everybody and said the Apoo offers the youth the opportunity to learn, at first hand traditional dressing, drumming, and dancing outside the classroom environment. He noted that the Apoo period was a celebration of their cultural values, traditional practices and projecting the rich cultural heritage of the bono people to Ghana and the rest of the world. He called for intensive public education and awareness creation on the Ebola disease.
The Chief of Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area, Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II who was the special guest of honour for the occasion in his brief speech said the Apoo festival celebration was the period of forgiveness, therapeutic and evaluative, for people to change from wrong way of doing things and tend to change their attitudes thereafter for better life. He advised people who were aggrieved or dissatisfied on certain issues should be patient to channel their grievances to the appropriate quarters for redress.
The Okyenhene called for peace and unity among Ghanaians. He urged Ghanaians to pray and work hard for success and progress of Ghana.
The celebration of the Apoo Festival by the Chiefs and People of Techiman started from time immemorial. The festivities extend little beyond three weeks packed with the display of rich cultural activities of the people Techiman and bono as a whole. The Apoo celebrations have enjoyed massive turned out of people from within and outside Ghana.
The festival serves as a ‘safe period’ for the people to come out openly to ‘reject’ things that they have harboured in their minds which they were not happy about. Some of these things might be the hidden wrong doings of some people especially those in authorities which no one dare talked on them. This is done through songs and proverbs.
Where the authorities deserve praises too they are mentioned. Those leaders whose names come out repeatedly for engaging in certain wrong doings tend to change their attitudes thereafter for better life. Apoo festival therefore is a therapeutic as well as evaluative for the growth of the society.
The outfit for the celebrations is mock (Batakari). However, the youth both males and females wear the opposite sex attire. Some of the youth men put on women attire and the vice-versa.
Mr. Yaw Effah-Baafi, the Deputy Minister for Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, in his speech at the occasion noted that the competitive environment for socio-economic development sweeping across all nations requires peace. “Peace is a necessary ingredient for stability, development and progress. Let us therefore use dialogue to patch up and resolve any dispute that may arise so that together we can promote peaceful co-existence”, he said.
He reiterated that was peace that brings progress and development to a nation and enhances the social and economic life of the people.
The Deputy Minister assured the chiefs and people that the cardinal objective of the government was bring development to every corner of the country as espoused in the Better Ghana Agenda; and that can only be achieved in a peace environment.
“I therefore wish to congratulate Nananom as well as the citizens of the Traditional area on your efforts at fostering unity and peace among you and the Traditional area. I urge you to maintain and strengthen the bond of good relationship that your communities are enjoying today”, he emphasized.
Touching on the above subject, the Deputy Minister said Traditional festivals like the Apoo go a long way to promote peaceful co-existence because they reignite Traditional bond and relationship and Traditional royalty. “Let us therefore in our celebration patch up whatever difference that might have existed in the past”, he advised.
He noted that Chieftaincy was an old cherished institution based on customs and traditions. He alluded, chiefs as traditional rulers were seen as unifying factors not only in their individual communities but the nation as a whole. He said it was with these accolades that Chiefs for that matter, Traditional Councils are required under the Chieftaincy Act 208, Act 759 to perform statutory factions.
The Deputy Minister said the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs exists for the effective interface between the government of Ghana and Chieftaincy and Traditional Institution for the promotion of peace, good governance and the overall development of the country.
The Ministry noted the significance that the celebration of the Apoo Festival of the Chiefs and people of Techiman Traditional area cannot be overlooked as it portrays the importance of chiefs and the roles they play as far as the administration of the country is concerned particularly at the local level.
The Deputy Minister noted that such occasions demonstrate the unifying support of the people for their traditional rulers, which was an important commitment as far as development, was concerned.
Mr. Yaw Effah-Baafi the Deputy Minister for Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs noted that the Apoo festival was being celebrated at a time when societies, nations and the Global World were plunged into acts of indiscipline and lawlessness.
The Deputy Minister said people were living in challenging times where many parents especially those in rural areas and urban poor communities have lost grip on their children due to poverty and lack of parental guidance and neglect. “The rate at which we are witnessing indiscipline amongst the youth is frightening”, he warns. He noted that the time has come for everybody, especially the Nananom, to reflect on what went wrong and what has happened to ‘our positive moral values’, which our forefathers and mothers applied in nurturing the youth into responsible adults.
The Deputy Minister urged Nananom and all citizens of the Traditional area and beyond to strictly adhere to the relevance of the sanitation clean-up campaign programme which was instituted by H.E. the President John Mahama, for every first Saturday of each month. He noted that the theme chosen for this year’s celebration, “Creating awareness on health through environmental sanitation” was very appropriate at a time when every community was struggling hard to give a clean and congenial environment to its citizens.
Touching on policies, he said the Government will continue to deliver on its promise to expand Education, increase access to health delivery improved upon roads and create-employment for the youth, among others.
Source: ISD (Imoro T. Ayibani)