This year’s Ohum festival of the people of the Akwamu Division of Larteh, in the Eastern Region was nearly marred when two parliamentary hopefuls for this year’s elections clashed in showmanship, ostensibly to win the people’s mandate.
The two, Hon. Asiedu Ofei, an Independent Candidate and Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei contesting the Akropong Constituency seat on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) were among special guests invited to grace the festival.
It all started when Asiedu Ofei was heading to the events grounds midway into the ceremony in an open-top 4×4 wheel drive throwing bundles of 10 cedi notes into the air.
This got people running out from the celebration grounds to get their share of the money, thereby bringing proceedings to a standstill.
Amidst loud cheers, people jumped into the air and heckled each other to grab some of the 10 cedi notes which Asiedu Offei continued throwing into the crowd till he got to the ceremony grounds.
Infuriated by his actions, supporters of the NPP aspirant who had arrived an hour earlier and already seated, stormed into the crowd on the streets throwing boxes of Kalyppo into the air to also indicate their presence at the festival.
Matters almost turned worse when the DJ started playing the all time NPP campaign hit song, ‘Nana is a winner’ much to the displeasure of supporters of the independent candidate.
Though the parliamentary aspirant for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Yaw Appiah Kubi was absent, some indigenes speaking to The Ghanaian Times accused him of financing the Mr. Asiedu Offei to put up the show.
It took the efforts of some police personnel and elders of the traditional council to bring the situation which lasted for about 20 minutes under control.
The rather colourful event which brought together chiefs and queen mothers from far and near, incuding Nana Anyane Kwatia III, Anum Asamankese Twafohene, Nii Kaneshie, Kaneshie Mantse, Nii Laryea Odeoasempa III, Nungua Manste, Nana Adu Afare I, Akwamu Gyaasehene, Owoahene Abena Brakatu I, Akwamuhemaaa and Nana Yaa Oye I, Akwamu Tufohemaaa, was on the theme, “Improving the standard of basic education in Larteh, the role of stakeholders”.
Delivering his keynote address, the Akuapem Benkum Akwamuhene, Nana Okoampa Domfoe Mante Ababio II said, his passion for education led him to settle on the theme to underscore the need for traditional rulers to play their role in the development process for their people.
He expressed worry over the continuous decline in the academic performance of students in the community especially in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
He appealed to stakeholders to assist the community to improve its standard of education to secure the future of the children saying “we cannot continue to deal with this situation with the same approach if we want different results”.
Nana Okoampa therefore instituted a special fund with a seed money of GH¢ 2,000 to support some needy students in school.
He called for peace in the country and implored the youth to be mindful of being used as agents of violence.
Both parliamentary aspirants urged the people to vote based on their current conditions of life and ideas espoused by candidates to bring about the expected results.
They donated assorted items to support the festival and a cash of GH¢ 5,000.
By Abigail Annoh, Larteh