(WINNEBA) AWUTU SENYA :Aboakyir festival in a limbo
A planning committee which was constituted by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the Awutu Senya Municipality, Nii Ephraim, last Monday 26th April, 2010 to see to the peaceful organisation and celebration of this year’s Aboakyir Festival was met with massive protest by some irate Winneba youth.
According to the youth, the Municipal Chief Executive and the elders of the ancient fishing town were bias in their selection of people to form the committee.
The action of the youth, it was discovered, stems from the protracted chieftaincy dispute in the Effutu Traditional Area and the belief within a section of the area that the composition of the planning committee was bias towards one of the disputing factions.
Currently there are two factions claiming right to the Effutu stool. According to the youth, no single person from the palace of Tufohene, Nana Otuboah Siripi II, was chosen to be part of the planning committee and accused the elders of taking sides in the chieftaincy impasse.
The youth observed that Nana Siripi and his group were deliberately left out of the meetings that made appointments to the planning committee, although as the head of the two Asafo companies in Winneba, the Tufuhen is a major stakeholder in the traditional set-up of Effutu.
The irate youth again registered their displeasure against the way the MCE and some elders were backing one Nana Kodwo Badu to lay claim to the Krontihene stool in Winneba, and consequently warned to deal with the said ‘imposter’ and his followers should he be formally outdoored as Krontihene during the Aboakyir festival.
The chairman of the committee, Nana Kodwo Badu, announced that the date for this year’s celebration has been changed from the usual first Saturday of May to the second Saturday of May.
He explained that the change in date was necessitated by the fact that the first Saturday of May this year is a statutory holiday and therefore may adversely affect the celebration, adding that the festival which will be on the theme “Forging ahead in peace in ensuring development in Effutuman” will commence on May 1 with the climax on May 9.
He said this year’s celebration has been designed to prevent any form of disturbances that have on previous occasions come to be associated with the Aboakyir festival and stressed that contingency arrangements had been put in place to ensure incidence free celebration.
The MCE advised the committee members to place peace on top of their priority list and be ambassadors of peace and aptitude, stressing that the setting up of the committee should be a turning point for the people in the area and charged the security agencies to be fully represented during the celebrations to maintain law and order.
The Winneba chieftaincy issue started 70 years ago, when Nana Ayirebi Acquah III, then Omanhene, was destooled.