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Regional News Fri, 16 Jan 2004

Bono-Manso holds durbar to mark MLK's 75th birthday

Bono-Manso (B/A), Jan. 16, GNA - The chiefs and people of Bono-Manso in the Nkoranza District on Thursday held a well-attended durbar to celebrate the 75th birthday anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King, the late African-American Civil Rights activist and Pan-Africanist.

The Centre For Savana Art and Civilisation, a non-governmental organization, organized and sponsored the ceremony as part of the Black History Month celebration launched in Accra last week.

Bono Manso was the capital of the ancient Bono Kingdom and the marketplace for slaves captured in the northern and other parts of the country before being transported to the Diaspora.

Mr Kwame Ampofo-Twumasi, District Chief Executive, said the celebration "bears ample testimony to the courageous efforts of this great African American whose Christian principles made him to stand against the inhuman treatment of the African American". He noted that Dr King's death did not deter his admirers and followers to carry on what he stood for - equal rights and justice for all mankind.

"This important event would be meaningless unless the idea for which Dr King stood for is fully realized - which is the total emancipation of the Black race from oppression, poverty, ignorance, lack of self-esteem and illiteracy", the DCE said.

Mr Ampofo-Twumasi asked Ghanaians and other African's in the Diaspora to take advantage of the congenial investment climate created by the government to invest in the country, especially in the district. The district abounds in fertile land for various crops for agro-processing industry, he added and urged the people to take the education of their children seriously "as education is the most important tool for development".

Okatakyie Agyeman Kudom 1V, Omanhene of Nkoranza Traditional Area, noted that the death of Dr Martin Luther King "has become a memorable landmark in Black history".

He commended the efforts of the late civil rights activist and expressed the hope that Ghanaians would take a cue and always fight for the best for the people.

The Omanhene called on the people to lend their support for the construction of a tourist center in the town, as it would offer employment to the youth and pledged the traditional council's assistance.

Mr Francis Hayford Amoako, Member of Parliament for Nkoranza called on the people to avoid acts that would disturb the peace of the people during this year's electioneering campaign. He urged them to register when the voters' register is re-opened to enable them to able to exercise their franchise in the December elections.

Mr Amoako advised the people to guard against activities that would make them contract HIV/AIDS "because we need your energy and exuberance for development".

Mr Bob Maram, 73, an Israeli-American based at Nkoranza, who said he was part of Dr King's campaign trail in the United States, noted that although the later civil rights leader's efforts aimed at liberating the black race from discrimination and other inhuman treatment, "it saved the whites from shame".

Madam Felicia Obuobi, Executive director of the NGO, later assisted the chiefs to cut a cake to mark the celebration. 16 Jan. 04

Source: GNA