The Member of Parliament for Efutu in the Cental Region, Hon. Alexander Afenyo-Markin has underscored the need for peace as residents prepare for the celebration of this year’s Aboakyir festival.
The festival which is celebrated annually has received low patronage over the years due to factions among chiefs in the area.
But speaking in an interview with Rainbow Radio’s Parliamentary correspondent Naa Darkuah Dodoo said, the festival, which has been characterized by chieftaincy conflicts in the past years, should see some level of peace to make this year’s celebration memorable.
The MP said, ‘’I will humbly appeal to residents to desist from any act of violence or lawlessness. To disagree with someone does not warrant violence but rather, the law should be allowed to work. We should allow the Asafo Groups and Chiefs to do what is necessary for a memorable celebration this year.’’
Hon. Markin further called on the youth in the area to avoid being used by anyone to engage in any act of violence.
‘’I will admonish the youth not to allow themselves to be used by anyone for any act of violence…We should allow peace to prevail. This year’s festival must be memorable. It is an internationally recognized festival and draws tourists from various countries and so, we should ensure that this year’s festival becomes memorable.''
The legislator also used the opportunity to appreciate the efforts of traditional leaders, pastors and other opinion leaders for their contribution towards the development of the area.
Hon. Afenyo-Markin went ahead to appeal to the police service to start engaging with stakeholders in the area to ensure law and order would be maintained during the festival. He said, the police should wait until the festival draws close before engaging the stakeholders, he stressed.
A festival has no political colour and so I will also appeal to politicians to desist from politicizing the festival to prevent any undue tension in the area, the MP added.
The Aboakyir Festival is celebrated by the Efutu of Winneba Traditional area along the Coast of Ghana.
The is one of the commonest and important festivals celebrated in the Central Region of Ghana.
Deer hunting is organised in honour of the tribal god of the people of Winneba called "Penkye Otu". The god receives an annual sacrifice of a deer from the people. It is usually celebrated in the month of May.