What a beautiful gathering of the sons and daughters of the land, of royalty and of people from all walks of life, as well as a rich display and mixture of tradition and culture.
Indeed, if anyone doubts that Ghana, a land of cultural diversity, is made up of one people with a common destiny, then the durbar to climax the Hogbetsotso Festival in Anloga last Saturday told it all.
The durbar, graced by dignitaries and traditional leaders, such as the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia; a former President, John Dramani Mahama; the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II; a representative of the Kwahumanhene, Daasebre Akuamoah Agyapong II, and the Ga Mantse, King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II, was very historic.
Especially the fact that it was the second time in more than one and a half centuries that an Asantehene was visiting the Anlo State and partaking fully in the festival. The first visit was when the then Asantehene, Otumfuo Kofi Karikari, visited the area to sign a pact of alliance and mutual collaboration between the Anlos and the Asantes.
The heartwarming messages from all the traditional leaders, that we are one people, are, for us at the Daily Graphic, key to forging forward as a country in these turbulent times and a keepsake for everyone who calls himself or herself a Ghanaian.
In his goodwill message, Otumfuo Osei Tutu, who travelled all the way from Asanteman with pomp and ceremony and added beauty and splendour to the entire festival, said the forefathers of the Asantes and the Anlos had a common and positive purpose for the building of a strong alliance, which enabled them to collaborate on issues affecting them.
He pledged that the strong bond of fidelity and cordiality between Asantes and Ewes would grow from strength to strength to benefit generations yet unborn, making it clear that no distortion of history could set Asantes and Anlos apart.
That is what we need as a country.
The Ga Mantse, King Tackie Teiko Tsuru, who presided, also said it was important for the people to “eschew every divisive tendency and remain as one people always”, and that overcoming the economic challenges in the country required unity among the citizenry.
The Chief of Kwahu Tafo, Nana Opoku Mintah, who represented the Kwahumanhene, also said Anlos and Kwahus were industrious people and that was a uniting factor between them and a good cause for national integration.
Dr Bawumia, who was the guest of honour, topped it up by stating that the prevailing peace [the result of unity among the people] in the area, was an asset for rapid development, especially in the tourism sector.
All the traditional leaders displayed identical culture and tradition in the way they were resplendent in their rich Kente cloths under their umbrellas, the display of gold ornaments, intriguing dances by their large retinues, the firing of muskets, among others, buttressing the fact that we are, indeed, one.
The arrival of the Awoamefia, Togbi Sri III, at the ground in a dazzling and flamboyant Kente cloth generated uncontrollable euphoria among the crowd, while the Asantehene made a historical entry to the durbar ground with a rare graceful dance in a palanquin.
Ghana has a unique chieftaincy institution which must be preserved at all cost — the Hogbetsotso Festival has shown us that.
We must do away with the bickering and incessant disputes that have plagued chieftaincy in the country and which only stifle development, bring about war, the loss of lives, the destruction of property, as well as retard our progress as a people.
We must not allow protracted misunderstandings among gates, factionalism and parochial, ethnic or political considerations set us apart, as eloquently espoused by Otumfuo Osei Tutu.
The Daily Graphic supports the Asantehene’s call for the maintenance of a healthier climate for social discourse and political interaction, so we remain united and live in peace to the glory of Ghana.
After all, we are one people with a common destiny and our coming together is what makes us Ghana!