Anlo State climaxes 61st Hogbetsotso Za - President, Ya-Na Abubakari II grace occasion
Anloga was the scene of a colourful carnival, cultural exposition and display of rich traditions last Saturday, when the Anlo State rounded off this year’s Hogbetsotso Za with a grand durbar.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, graced the occasion, which was marked on the theme: “Climate change, a challenge to lands below sea level, a concern of the Anlo State and the stakeholders”.
The Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Abubakari II, added both colour and history to the event as he rose on horseback to the durbar ground, along with many sub chiefs who also rode on horsebacks, a rear spectacle on Anloland.
A former Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, chaired the occasion.
Ya-Na Abubakari II — The Overlord of Dagbon
According to some Anlo historians, the last time a horse was allowed into the Anlo State was about 200 years ago.
Hogbetsotso Za depicts the migration of the Anlos and other Eטes from Notsie in recent day Togo centuries ago.
The gallant performance of the various drumming and dancing groups, the gorgeous steps of some women who re-enacted the migration of the Anlos from Notsie, and the parade of maidens in fanciful wrappers around their bodies, held the gathering which included people from all walks of life from far and near, in great awe.
The Awoamefia of Anlo, Togbi Sri III, was in the full glare of the gathering when he sat in state, flanked by Dusifiaga of Anlo, Togbi Gbordzor III; Miafiaga of the Anlo Togbi Nyaho Tamakloe VI and the Awadada of Anlo, Togbi Agbesi Awusu II.
These were in the background of dazzling time-honoured colours of Anlo and repeated friendly gunfire, in defiance of the scorching sun.
The rich culturePresident Akufo-Addo commended the people of Anlo for preserving their rich culture over the decades, saying that was grounds for great pride and a sterling identity of the people.
“So, let our heritage unite us and consolidate the people all the time,” he said.
A group of women re-enacting the migration of the Anlos from Notsie
The President touched on the theme and said it was relevant in its timing when the call to revere the environment was loudest.
“We must refrain from using the sea as a refuse dump and we must make conscious and sustained efforts to preserve our natural systems,” he added.
The President cited the floods in the Lower Volta Basin and said relief was now in the horizon because the government, with support from the military, police, media and various stakeholders managed the situation with utmost seriousness.
Nana Akufo-Addo paid homage to the private sector and public-spirited individuals who made bountiful donations to the flood victims, saying their patriotic responses to the situation were highly touching.
He paid glowing tribute to the health authorities in the affected areas for taking prompt and effective measures to avert epidemics in the affected areas.
On roads, the President gave an assurance that the government was aware of the state of roads that needed to be built and rehabilitated; saying serious efforts were underway to address the issue.
Pursuant to that, he announced that an $89-million credit facility had been secured from the African Development Bank for various road projects in the Aflao, Denu, Aveyime, Srogboe, Ave-Dakpa, Havedzi, Anyanui, Agortoe, Tregui, Anyako and Seva areas.
President Akufo-Addo also lauded the Awoamefia of Anlo for constantly appreciating the government’s development efforts in Anlo, saying that was heartening.
Earlier, Togbi Sri renewed his call on the government to take urgent steps to dredge the Keta Lagoon to preserve its integrity and stability.
That would also help to maintain its function as the natural receptacle for several rivers and streams and improve aquaculture and fish production in the area.
That, Togbi Sri said, would help immensely to create jobs for the teeming youth in Anlo.
The Awoamefia reiterated his appeal for the construction of the long-pending Keta Harbour and the Klikor-Agbozume-Anyako-Konu-Seva water supply system “which have been with us for ages.”
The Awoamefia drew the President’s attention to the lapses on the international highway from Aflao through Dzodze, Ave-Afiadenyigba to the regional capital, Ho, saying some portions had become too dangerous to drive on, and that required immediate attention.
Meanwhile, Togbi Sri said the Denu-Keta Srogboe-Anyanui coastal, Agortome Junction-Tregui-Adutor, Anyako-Seva and Weta-Metsrikasa roads needed immediate rehabilitation.
He called for the revival of the Agortome-Keta water expansion project, which, he said, had been abandoned.
Togbi Sri pointed out that the Anlo State also had been affected by the floods from the spillage of the Akosombo Dam, as a result of which many people had been displaced and farms submerged.
The Awoamefia called for the resumption of routine dredging of the Volta Estuary to facilitate the uninterrupted flow of the Volta River into the sea and to reduce the perennial flooding of adjacent settlements.
Help flood victims
For his part, Ya-Na Abubakari commended the people of Anlo and said the peace and reconciliation rites that preceded the festival made it a worthy celebration.
The Overlord of Dagbon called on the government, various groups and individuals to continue to supply relief items to the flood victims as the floods were receding.
He said there was the need to tackle the flood situation holistically, to bring a permanent respite to the affected communities.
Among those who graced the occasion were the Minister of Chief Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Stephen Asamoah Boateng; the Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa; a delegation from the National Democratic Congress (NDC), led by the National Chairman, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah; a former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman- Rawlings, and the NDC Member of Parliament for Klottey Korle Constituency, Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings.