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Chiefs and People of Mepe Celebrates 58th Afenorto Festival

Wed, 22 Aug 2012 Source: Romeo Adzah Dowokpor/The Republic

The chiefs and people of Mepe in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region crowned the celebration of their annual Afenorto festival last Saturday with a rich display of their culture and heritage amidst fun-fare and colourful procession through the principal streets of the town to the durbar ground at the Presby Junior High School.

The festival, which was celebrated under the theme “Divine Peace for Development”, recognizing the importance of people gathering their resources and developing the traditional area in an atmosphere of peace and unity, brought together indigenes, based both home and abroad, tourists and other invited Government officials and dignitaries.

In a Welcome Address read on behalf of the Mepe Traditional Council,Torgbe Manklalo Korsi Nego VI stated that, his people are heavily grieved as the celebration of this year’s festival coincided with the unfortunate death and period of mourning for the late President John Evans Atta Mills, who was expected as the Special Guest of Honour at the durbar.

He, however, expressed delight at the number of sons and daughters and well-meaning Ghanaians and foreigners who thronged the town to celebrate with them. Many, he said, have had doubts about the successful celebration of the festival this year following the unrest associated with the abortive attempts at the installation of a new Paramount Chief last year after the demise of Torgbega Kwao Anipati IV.

Torgbe Nego VI, commended Government for having constructed a six-unit classroom block and other facilities built for the Presby Primary School under the eradication of schools under trees project and also the ongoing GETFUND-financed construction of a Boys’ dormitory for the Mepe St. Kizito Senior High Technical School. He also implored Government to facilitate the official opening of the Mepe Police Station which the indigenes have built from their own meager resources and stated that, it would help greatly in improving security in the area. He regretted the unavailability of a College of Education which would absorb the increasing number of students and help reduce the teacher to student ratio deficit in the Tongu area covering over three Districts and asked Government to accept their application for the establishment of such an important educational institution at Mepe.

Torgbe Nego VI, appealed to his people and Ghanaians to conduct themselves peacefully as the nation goes to the polls in December this year and “to exercise their franchise according to their conscience and also observe the electoral laws” of the land. He called for a minute silence in honour of the memory of the late President.

The Minister for Chieftaincy and Culture, Mr. Alex Asum-Ahensah, who was the Guest of Honour , commended the Chiefs and people of Mepe for maintaining the peace of the area and the matured manner in which they handled the impasse that characterized the installation of their new Paramount Chief.

Mr. Asum-Ahensah added that, even though the people of Mepe fought gallantly in the Sir Garnet Wolsely War (Sagrenti War) which was between the British and the people of the Gold Coast in the 18th Century, today’s battle should be directed at fighting “issues of under development –that is poverty, diseases, lack of job opportunities among others”. He called on the people to document the rich historical records surrounding the celebration of the festival for purposes of research so that the facts would not vanish with the passage of time.

Mr. Joe Gidisu, Minister of Roads and Highways, who is also an indigene of Tongu, revealed that, plans are far advanced, and funds have been secured from the World Bank and the China Development Bank (CDB) for the construction of several road networks in the area for easy movement of people and goods and services. Notably among them is the construction of the road from Dorfor through Adidome to link Asikuma as part of the Eastern Corridor Highway being financed by Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA).

Several other government officials including Mr.Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Alhaji Bubey Dzinadu, Deputy Minister of Information and District Chief Executive of North Tongu respectively, graced the durbar with their presence and goodwill.

Source: Romeo Adzah Dowokpor/The Republic