Esiama declares ‘independence’ from Eastern Nzema area

Nana Kofi Ampoe IV (wearing crown) dancing with some of his elders

Nana Kofi Ampoe IV (wearing crown) dancing with some of his elders

WAR drums are being beaten at Esiama in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region as the town has declared itself an independent traditional area and will not owe any allegiance to Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli III, Paramount Chief and President of Eastern Nzema Traditional Council.

In a news conference, the vice chairman of Esiama Development Committee, Mr. Alfred Godbless Armoo, who spoke on behalf of the chief of Esiama, Nana Kofi Ampoe IV, attributed the break away to the demotion of the Esiama from divisional status to sub-chief (odikro).

The statement explained that the Omanhen, Awulae Kpanyinli, decided to suspend the celebration of Kundum, the annual festival of Nzemas, because of the Ebola pandemic.

The people, it said felt strongly that suspending the Kundun festival due to Ebola was baseless, unfounded and alarming.

It felt that Awulae’s position was in sharp contrast with official position of the government which held that Ghana was an Ebola free zone.

The statement said in a letter dated August 29, 2014 to Awulae Kpanyinli, the people appealed for reconsideration of the decision to allow them to celebrate the Kundun festival.

The letter stated that Accra, Techiman, Essikado and Dixcove had already celebrated their annual festivals which attracted huge crowd.

The statement also mentioned Upper and Lower Axim and Nsein tradional areas within the Nzema lineage which also celebrate Kundum, which is a period to invite friends abroad and relatives outside to raise funds for development purposes.

It said the suspension of the Kundum in Eastern Nzema, would adversely affect the social life of the people.

The statement said that all projects which would have been continued through funds raised from the festival, would be stalled and investors would be afraid to come to the land.

It contended that the celebration would create a big platform for the education and awareness creation on the Ebola epidemic.

The statement said though the celebration of Kundum was stopped at Eziama, similar social gatherings were held at some areas within the traditional council.

It said the installation of Adwakpolley Chief was on September 13 and 14, 2014, Sanzulre chief was installed on November 1, 2014, the final funeral rites of Asanta chief was from September 17 to 21, 2014 and the installation of Kikam chief and final funeral rites of Basake chief came on.

From Peter Gbambila, Esiama

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