Full Address By The Manklalo At 66th Afenorto Festival
Torgbui Korsi Nego VI, the Manklalo of Mepe Traditional Area, welcomed guests, tourists and citizens of Mepe to 2022 Afenorto Festival Grand Durbar.
The 66th Afenorto festival was the first one after a ban has been lifted by the president of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to allow festivities to take place regardless COVID protocols.
Many guests were present to grace the festival in grand style. Honorable Archibald Yao Letsa, the Volta Regional Minister, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu, among other dignitaries came to the durbar, held on 6th August, 2022.
Read below, the welcome address by the chief and his expectations place before government officials who were present;
WELCOME ADDRESS BY TORGBE KORSI NEGO VI, MANKLALO OF MEPE TRADITIONAL AREA, AT THE GRAND DURBUR OF THE 66TH AFENORTO FESTIVAL OF THE CHIEFS AND PEOPLE OF MEPE TRADITIONAL AREA.
(SATURDAY 6TH AUGUST, 2022)
Our Special Guest of Honour, Volta Regional Minister, Hon. Archibald Yao Letsa;
The District Chief Executive, North Tongu, Hon. Devine Osborne Kwadzo Fenu; The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa; Hon. Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, former Member of Parliament for Kpone Katamanso and former Volta Regional Minister;
Representative of Director General of Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET); Representative of Former President, John Dramani Mahama;
Representative of Torgbe Afede XIV, Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State; Mr. Benjamin Dzoboku, Republic Bank (GH) PLC;
Mr. Alex Nketia, Director, Ghana Tourism Authority, Volta Region; Mr. Francis Kpolu, Country Director, Ameri Energy, Dubai,
Mr. Robert Tang, Tang Palace Hotel, Accra;
Traditional Rulers from Akpini, Gomoa Fetteh, and Nungua;
Our supporting Security Agencies;
Distinguished Friends from the Media;
MY dear citizens of Mepe;
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Today, no doubt, marks another memorable milestone in the historical journey of Mepe, as we climax the celebration of the “66th edition” of the Afenorto Festival with this grand durbar of Chiefs and people.
As you are all aware, the celebration of the Afenorto had been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic which arrived in our nation in March 2020 as an unwelcome visitor. To protect the lives of the people, the Afenorto festival was put on hold for two consecutive years in 2020 and 2021. With the two years suspension of the celebration of the Afenorto, we had all missed the reunion and friendship among citizens, families and friends of the traditional area and beyond. The COVID-19 pandemic has also disrupted our mobilization of resources for development in the Traditional Area.
It is thus heartwarming for me, and with extreme joy and gratitude to God, that I welcome you all, citizens, friends and well wishers, to this year’s celebration under the theme, “TVET EDUCATION, OUR FUTURE; DEVELOPMENT IN PEACE, OUR HERITAGE.” Let me, however, hasten to caution, that COVID-19 has not entirely left us. Thus, even though it is difficult to observe social distancing and avoid handshakes, our traditional means of showing friendship, I am reminding us all of the COVID protocols such as constant hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer. The life of every citizen and visitor matters to the Traditional Council, so we must do all we can to protect life.
Mr. Chairman, before I proceed further, permit me to extend my personal congratulations, and that of the Chiefs and people of the Mepe Traditional Area, to our District Chief Executive, Hon. Devine Osborne Kwadzo Fenu, for his nomination by the President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, and his subsequent approval by the North Tongu District Assembly. Honourabke, your nomination and unanimous approval are living testimonies of your good leadership qualities which Mepe has already started experiencing. We are grateful to you for your interactive meeting with the Traditional Council on Friday Ist July 2022I. to officially introduce yourself to us.
As this is your first time of joining us in the Afenorto festivities, especially, the grand durbar in your official capacity as our District Chief Executive and the direct local representative of the President, I extend a special warm welcome to you. On my own behalf, and on behalf of the Mepe Traditional Council, the Mepe Development Association and the entire Mepe Citizenry, I pledge to you our fullest cooperation and support in all your endeavors in ensuring the development of North Tongu. I pray that you would deepen consultation with the Chiefs and people for the total development of North Tongu. While wishing you a peaceful and successful tenure, we pray that, Mepe and the entire North Tongu District, will witness a remarkable development under your administration. We wish you a successful and memorable tenure.
Mr. Chairman, permit me also to extend a special welcome to some Royal Guests who are also experiencing this memorable occasion with us for the first time. } extend a special warm welcome to Nana Abor Atta II of Gomoa Fetteh, and Nana Kwesi Kwansah I, Mankrado of Gomoa Fetteh and their entourage of over fifteen other chiefs who have travelled this long distance to grace this occasion for us. A special welcome also goes to Wor-Lumor, Konor Nuumo Wulormor of Ga-dangbe State, Nii Botwe Laryea II, Dzasehene of Nungua Traditional Area, and Asafoatse Kofi Apetrepe II.
Mr. Chairman, permit me to also warmly welcome Akpini Fia, Okpekpewuokpe Dagadu 1X, Paramount Chief of Akpini Traditional Area, Kpandu, who is here with about two hundred strong entourage, comprising other divisional chiefs, an Asafo Group and a BorborborGroup.
Your Royal Highnesses from Gomoa Fetteh, Nungua, Ga-dangbe and Akpini Traditional Area, the Chiefs and people of Mepe appreciate your brotherly presence, and wish you an enjoyable moment. You are cordially welcome; Miawoe zɔ.
Torgbewo, Mamawo, Ladies and Gentlemen, I would also like to specially acknowledge and appreciate our Member of Parliament, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, for his continued support for various groups within the District, and the plans he has put in place for the development of the district. An example is the free Medical screening by the Cuban Medical Brigade on 11th June 2022 at the Mepe Presby JHS park. We pray that the grace and love of God Almighty will contmue to be upon you, and guide every step you take for the betterment of the people.
For our Divisional and District Police Commands, Mepe Traditional Council appreciates the tremendous support and cooperation we have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, from you. We cannot boast of peaceful Afenorto festivities without your understanding, support and presence. Accept our special gratitude.
Mr. Chairman, permit me now to address our distinguished Guests.
For about five to eight years running, the Mepe Traditional Council has been persistent and consistent in putting up some requests to our Guests of Honour and other Government Delegations we have been privileged to celebrate the Afenorto with. But year in, year out, and for several versions of the Afenorto, we are vet to have a listening ear to our requests. The main purpose of Afenorto, besides the building of bonds, reunion and friendship, is mobilization of resources for the development of the traditional area.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “TVET Education, our Future: Development in Peace, our Cultural Heritage.”
One of the cardinal pillars of His Excellency Nana Akufo Addo’s government is Technical, Vocational Education and Training, TVET. With the large number of tertiary graduates seeking nonexistent jobs, TVET is a key rescue path for the nation. The Chairman of Mepe Development Association MDA, has captured vividly in the preface of the Afenorto brochure, the unique importance of technical and vocational education and training to the youth in our current economic conditions. I therefore don’t want to belabour that point. Suffice to state, however, that the skills acquired by our youth in technical and vocatonal training can prepare them for life long self-employment and reduce pressure on government in the area of job provision. The Chiefs and people have thus prioritized TVET long before it has become a focus for government.
In view of this, the Traditional Council has set aside a large area of land in Dadome, over the bank of the Volta River, for the establishment of a TVET Institute. We are thus again appealing to government, through our Guest of Honour, Hon. Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, and the Representative of the Director General of TVET, to help the traditional area realize this dream. I must indicate that, soon after the Afenorto festivities are over, Mepe Traditional Council, in collaboration with the Mepe Development Association, will follow this request with an official letter to the Ministry of Education, through the Director General of TVET. We will be knocking on the doors of our Honourable DCE and Member of Parliament for assistance in this regard. I charge the Chairman of the Mepe Development Association, Mr. Mawulenu Fabian, and the TVET Committee, to take this assignment as one of their topmost priorities.
Distinguished Guests, another request we have persistently hammered on at our grand durbars to our guests has been the absence of bypass routes in the town. This results in the blockade of the only road passing through the town by both human and vehicular traffics during occasions as we have today. We have thus identified two main bypass roads which, when constructed, would help ease the congestion. Guest of Honour, one of such bypass routes is the Mepe St. Kizito junction through the Bishop Bowers JHS, connecting to the main town road at the Roman Catholic Basic School. The second route is the Tegola Market – Avorkudi – Royal Masito road.
Hon. Regional Minister and Hon. District Chief Executive, the Traditional Council and the MDA will soon pay official visits to you to discuss how you can help us deal with this problem.
Linked to the above routes are the deplorable Sege – Aveyime – Battor – Mepe road. I am sure our distinguished guests who came along that route have noticed the deterioration this road has undergone. The Mepe – Devime – Dove road connecting the main Accra – Sogakope road, which was recently constructed, has also been seriously damaged by heavy duty trucks carrying rock chippings and sand. Our Member of Parliament, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto – Ablakwa, I am aware you played a key role in facilitating the construction of that road. It is thus your own baby. Please don’t allow it to deteriorate beyond the current bad state. It is our hope that you would follow up with the Ministry of Roads, on behalf of your people, to ensure that these two roads are upgraded.
My next appeal again goes to our Honourable District Chief Executive. Mepe has no market to facilitate trading activities. The only market that used to be, Tegola, has been swallowed up by houses and the huge number of vehicles that park and load there. The Traditional Council has earmarked a plot of land at the bank of River Volta at Adzigo Torkor. Though the area has not yet been developed, foodstuffs and vegetables brought from communities at the other side of the Volta River are traded at the place under the vagaries of the weather, especially rainfall We are therefore, appealing to the District Assembly, through you our Hon. DCE, to help us develop the place into a decent market. The Assembly can generate some income through market tolls.
I again charge the Mepe Development Association to make this a top priority and engage our Hon, DCE on it as soon as possible.
Torgbewo, Mamawo, Ladies and Gentlemen, I cannot end this address without speaking to my dear Citizens. The second segment of the theme for this 66th edition of the Afenorto is “Development in Peace, our Heritage.” There can be no development without peace. When our intentions are pure, the path will be sure. Disagreements surrounding who is the real occupant to the Paramount Stool is deepening year after year. This is not only sowing division among the Chiefs, but is also gradually eroding the cohesion, unity and brotherliness among families, and turning friends into enemies. If we do not sit down to resolve this as soon as possible, peace and development will elude us, and that heritage, PEACE, handed down to us by our forebears will be lost to both our current and future generations. When that happens, it will become difficult to celebrate the Afenorto, a heritage handed down to us, in peace, and get government officials to accept invitation to celebrate with us. There is no other option than to give peace a chance.
Secondly, we have observed that, funeral activities we organize almost every week, drain the energy, time and financial resources of citizens. Clan and Famuly Heads have proposed to the Traditional Council, that these funeral activities should be grouped and organized once in a month. The Traditional Council has accepted this for implementation and enforcement, beginning Jan 2023. Citizens should therefore, take note accordingly.
Finally, I wish to remind all citizens, friends and guests, of our usual Annual State Thanksgiving Service and Fund Raising tomorrow Sunday 7th August at the Presby Primary School. All must endeavour to be present to make the event a success.
Mr. Chairman, to conclude, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude, and that of the Traditional Council, to our Distinguished Guests, our Royal Guests, friends, the Security Agencies, the Media, as well as all, who in diverse ways, have joined us to make this durbar a memorable one.
I thank you all for the attention.
SOURCE: MyAfro Ghana