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Bolga Celebrates "Adakoya" Festival

2006-02-13 12:07:25
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Bonface Gambila
Mr Boniface Gambila, Upper East Regional Minister, at the weekend called on the people to eschew all acts that would derail the peace prevalent in the region.

They should rather make concerted efforts at fashioning out strategies that would promote development, considering the numerous socio-economic problems of the area.

Mr Gambila was addressing the chiefs and people of the Bolgatanga Traditional Area on the occasion of this year's "Adakoya" festival held in Bolgatanga. It was celebrated under the theme, "Education, the Bedrock of Development: The Role of the Bolgatanga Traditional Area in Relation to Girl-Child Education."

He described the recent communal disturbances in the Bukere and Soe sections of the Bolgatanga Municipality as "most unfortunate", and charged traditional rulers and youth leaders in the area with the responsibility of maintaining lasting peace. "The responsibility of ensuring lasting peace in our local communities should not be left in the hands of the police and the military alone," he emphasised.

The Regional Minister said, since the present Government assumed office, its main preoccupation had been to provide good leadership and to ensure that the needs and aspirations of the people were met.

"It is in line with this philosophy that the Government identified education as top priority," Mr Gambila said, citing the introduction of the model school concept, the establishment of youth leadership training institutes, and the construction of new school buildings in all parts of the country.

He urged the youth to take advantage of the numerous opportunities provided to equip themselves with employable skills, rather than drifting to the South in search of non-existent jobs. The Regional Minister said the Rural Entrepreneurship Project, the Poverty Alleviation and Income Generating Fund and the recent introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme were all part of Government's poverty reduction efforts.

To realise the full benefits of these interventions, however, there was the need for the people to support the Government's anti-corruption crusade by exposing corrupt elements in society, he declared. Mr Gambila stressed the need for all public funds coming into the region to be channelled through Municipal and District Assemblies, to ensure administrative and financial discipline. "Such funds can only be disbursed through the directives of Municipal/District Chief Executives, and not the Presiding Member or Area Council Chairman," he said.

Earlier in a welcoming address, Naba Martin Abilba III, Paramount Chief of the Bolga Traditional Area, underlined environmental protection as a major concern of the Traditional Council. He said the subject had been billed for discussion with his chiefs, and that decisions arising from the discussions would be communicated to the Municipal Assembly to be incorporated into the Assembly's by-laws.

Naba Abilba apologised personally for the recent Bukere-Soe communal violence, and expressed thanks to the Regional Minister, the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), and the Municipal Chief Executive for their efforts in bringing the situation under control. He gave the assurance that he and his people would continue to work to make Bolgatanga "the Geneva of Ghana" and to contribute their quota to the region's agricultural development.

The Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Dr. Olutonji Kolapo, who was a special guest at the ceremony, commended the Bolgatanga Traditional Council for instituting the girl-child education fund, saying that, education was the bedrock of human and social development. He said Ghana and Nigeria had long-standing historical and cultural links, adding that, the relationship between the people of the two nations had been one of brotherliness, since time immemorial. The envoy donated 5 million cedis to the Girl-child Education Fund on behalf of the High Commission.

A member of the Council of State, Mr Asonaba Dapaah, who had once settled in Bolgatanga, chaired the function. He advised the youth of the region to cherish self-discipline and hard work, and urged all sons and daughters of the Upper East to return home every year to grace the Adakoya Festival.

The festival aimed at giving thanks to God for a successful farming year and at the same time, served as an occasion for family reunion. A special attraction for this year's celebration was the launching of the Bolgatanga Traditional Council's Girl-Child Education Fund.


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