Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has appealed to the chiefs and queens of the Okuapeman Traditional Area to strive to protect and preserve the peace and unity prevailing among the people in the area.
That, he said, would help to foster deeper understanding and cooperation among Okuapeman to facilitate the rapid socio-economic development of the area.
“Okuapeman is endowed with unique climate, vegetation, mountains and beautiful topography that is an envy to many Ghanaians and with such beautiful natural environment, let us preserve and protect the unity and harmony among our people,” he stated.
Launching the 30th anniversary of the enstoolment of the Aburihene, Otoobour Djan Kwasi II, at Aburi last Saturday, former President Kufuor said “it is only when peace and unity prevail that Okuapeman can contribute to the development of its communities and our dear nation.
“The entire citizens of Ghana look up to you, since your natural environment is counted among the most beautiful places in the country and where many people, locally and internationally, want to settle in life,” he stated.
The event, held on the theme: “The role of traditional authorities in the sustenance of democratic governance,” drew people from all walks of life.
They included chiefs, queens, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and Member of Parliament for Akuapem South, Mr O. B. Amoah; the Chief Executive of the Architectural and Engineering Services Ltd (AESL), Mr Ernest Biney, who was also the Chairman for the occasion, the Black Stars Coach, Mr Kwesi Appiah, and ace musician, Akosua Agyepong.
Otoobour Djan Kwasi II, who is also the Adontenhene of the Okuapeman Traditional Area, acceded the Great Osae Stool of the Aberade-Aduana clan of Aburi on February 28, 1988. He succeeded his late uncle, Nana Osae Ntiful.
Significance of chiefs
President Kufuor noted that even though traditional rulers in the past were uneducated, they had the wisdom to govern their people, a reason “we must complement democracy today with the traditional governance system.”
“As a former President who has travelled the nooks and cranny of our nation, I have observed that our roots as a people are connected to the value system of our chieftaincy system of governance which we must cherish and respect ,” he added.
According to Mr Kufuor, “Our chieftaincy institutions fostered stronger unity and harmony among the people and we need such a system in our modern governance to make our democracy a beacon of hope for the rest of African and the world as a whole.”
Otoobour Djan Kwasi recounted the numerous development projects, including road construction, hospitals and schools that have been implemented during his enstoolment as the Aburihene for the past three decades and expressed appreciation to various governments for their support.
He called for the tarring of roads in the area, especially the Kitase-Brekusu road, and commended the government for the introduction of the free senior high school programme.
Otoobour Djan Kwasi also entreated the Okuapehemaa, the kingmakers and the royal families in the area to come to a compromise and allow peace to reign in Okuapeman.
For her part, the Okuapehemaa, Nana Afua Nketia Obuo II, announced that a new Okuapehene would soon be presented to the people to end the uneasy calm that had engulfed the area.