General News of 2014-07-08

Mahama snubs Edina chiefs

The chiefs and people of the Edina Traditional Area in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo- Abirem Municipality (KEEA) have expressed disappointment in President Mahama for failing to attend their annual Bakatue Festival which was celebrated over the weekend, despite a series of invitation letters and telephone calls to his office.

What rankled the chiefs most was that the Office of the President did not even deem it necessary to send a representative for the President, if he could not make it. The situation was so embarrassing that some National Democratic Congress (NDC) members of parliament, who were having their meeting in a nearby hotel, had to rush to the durbar grounds uninvited, to occupy the seats reserved for the President and his team.

A source within the Bakatue Planning Committee revealed to The Chronicle that several letters inviting the President to the durbar were sent to the KEEA Municipal Assembly and the Regional Coordinating Council, as well as the Chief of Staff, to be delivered to the President some months ago. The Traditional Council was later informed that the President would attend the event.

The source, which claimed this was not the first time the President had embarrassed the chiefs, said several telephone calls were made to the Office of the President when the date was approaching, but nothing came of it. Some of the chiefs who thought the President could have sent a message, or call to explain why he could not honour the invitation, threatened to boycott any decision by the planning committee to invite him (President) again for any festival in the area.

Speaking on the theme: “Time to Promote Ghana’s Trade Potentials is now; Patronise Ghana Made; Be a Proud Ghanaian,” the Omanhen of the Edina Traditional Area, Nana KodwoCondua VI, advised the people to be hard working in order to develop the community. According to him, the 2014 Bakatue Festival, which also marks his 16th Anniversary as Paramount Chief of the area, was a memorable and exciting one, since the whole community was involved in the preparation and execution of traditional rites of the festival.

He appealed to the government to hasten work on the landing site projects, which when, completed, would include refrigeration and ice making components to help the work of the fishermen in the area. Nana Condua VI, again, drew the attention of the government to the work on the Elmina bridge, as well as the construction of a Fishing Habour, adding that Elmina plays a major role in the artisanal fishing industry in the country.

He noted that even though the government was doing its best for the community, the inhabitants also had some roles to play.

Nana Condua VI also advised the people to continue to promote and maintain peace and unity in the community. He pledged to bring them together as one family, under one umbrella. The Paramount Chief commended the youth leaders in Elmina for the various roles they played for a successful Bakatue.

Bakatue literally means Lagoon, and is celebrated to commemorate the founding of the town, Elmina, by the Europeans. It is also celebrated to invoke the deity, Nana Benya’s continuous protection of the state and its people. During the celebration, the Paramount Chief and his sub-chiefs, elders, fetish priests and priestesses, and the entire state, offer the sacred food of eggs and mashed yam mixed with palm oil to the river god, and pray for peace.