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Odwira: Some Sub-Chiefs Threaten to Defy Directive of Akropong Traditional Council to Cancel the Celebration of Odwira Festival

Some sub-chiefs and youth of Akropong have threatened to defy the directive by the Akropong Traditional Council to cancel outdoor activities including durbar for this year’s Odwira festival.

There has been uneasy calm in Okuapeman as the traditional council declared the null and void launch of the 2022 Odwira festival by some chiefs and Queen mothers.

The Akuapem traditional council subsequently canceled outdoor activities and durbar to climax the Odwira festival this year citing litigation on the legitimacy of Okuapehene Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akuffo III pending before the national house of Chiefs.

The 2022 edition of the Akuapem Odwira Festival was launched Friday, July 24, 2022, in Accra by some traditional leaders who claimed to represent the traditional council in partnership with Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Beyond the Return Secretariat, and other corporate entities under the theme “Unity in our Heritage to Foster Sustainable Development”

They announced that the festival will come off on September 12 and climax on the 18th.

However, at a traditional council meeting held on Friday, July 29, 2022, the Acting President of Akuapem Traditional Council who is also Chief of Aburi Otoobuor Gyan Kwasi II berated organizers of the launch saying the traditional council knew nothing about it.

“We heard that last week Friday some chiefs went to Accra to launch the 2022 Odwira festival in Accra. That was wrong. It is not customary. It is the traditional council and Okuapehene that decide not one person. So the traditional council met today and nullified that launch and canceled the Odwira festival. In normal circumstances, on the 3rd of August Okuapeman, we will celebrate the Adae festival, and then on the 14th of September perform the necessary customary rites for Okuapehene, Queen-mother, or Okoman to pave way for the Odwira festival. However, due to the chieftaincy dispute, we can’t celebrate it in flamboyance”.

He however said traditional and customary rites will be performed mutely.

“We have also asked Royal families and divisional chiefs to perform their customary rites in their homes to celebrate the festival. There will not be durbar and neither carrying of any chief in paraquine. Because as customs demand, it is the Okuapehene who is to perform a traditional rite to open the Odwira festival for all other divisional chiefs to celebrate accordingly in their traditional areas before big durbar is held but because of the pending case against the Okuapehene by the Queen-mother at the national house of chiefs we can’t celebrate the festival”

However, some sub-chiefs such as Okuapehene Asamponhene and some youth groups have vowed to go against the directive.

“2019 odwira was launched at the same venue where Akuapem Odwira 2022 was held. Why is it a problem now and it wasn’t a problem in 2019..? Where is there any divisional chief present at the 2019 Odwira launch?

Were there any top-rank chiefs or sub-chiefs from the 5 divisions at the 2019 Odwira launch? Let’s wake up and reason as one person with a common goal. We want to see unity, peace, and development in Akuapem and that is the only language we the youth understand now.

Enough of the sabotage and litigations”

Odwira festival, which commemorates the victory of the Akuapem people at the great Akantamansu war in 1824, also seeks spiritual purification, unity, cultural revival, community development, political stability, and promotion of tourism

Source: Ansah

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