The Oguaa Traditional Council would tomorrow lift the ban on drumming and noise-making, which heralds the Oguaa Fetu Afahye, six days earlier than customarily scheduled, to pave the way for the campaign launch of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Sunday.
The two-week ban was to be lifted on Thursday August 18 but in what could be described as a break of traditional protocol, the planning committee of the festival on Tuesday released a statement announcing the changes.
The statement was released hours after the Cape Coast North Parliamentary Candidate of the Progressive People’s Party; Mrs. Sarah Bucknor had earlier in the day criticised the council at a press conference, for allowing the NDC to launch its campaign when there was a ban on noise-making.
Signed by the chairman of the 2016 Fetu Afahye Planning Committee, Nana Kow Amoasi III, the statement, did not assign reasons but said the directive was from “President, Omanhen of the Oguaa Traditional Council, Nananom, Supifo, Akomfo and other stakeholders.”
However, when the Ghanaian Times contacted Nana Kwame Edu VI, the spokesperson for the 2016 Fetu Afahye Planning Committee and Tutuhen of the traditional area, on Wednesday, he explained that the changes were occasioned by the NDC campaign launch.
He said executives of the party met the council over the event scheduled to take place at the newly constructed Cape Coast Sports Complex and were informed, after conferring with the gods, that the ban could only be lifted after some rites had been performed.
He said the party agreed and that the rites would be completed on Friday, after which the ban would be lifted stressing that this was not the first but the third in the history of the festival for the ban to be lifted before the customarily scheduled date.
He, however, stated that the ban on funerals, also observed during the same period, remained in effect.
All is therefore set for the launch on Sunday of the NDC’s campaign would be on the theme, “Changing Lives, Transforming Ghana” while the occasion would be used to outdoor the party’s presidential ticket for the December elections.
Director of Communications for the NDC’s 2016 Campaign, Joyce Bawa Mogtari, was reported to have said on Accra-Based Citi FM, that the launch of the campaign in the region was, among others, due to the nostalgia and love the party had enjoyed in the region.
According to her, it also would be a fitting tribute to the late President John Evans Atta Mills, who hailed from the region four years after his passing, and that it was untrue the influence of the late president in the region prior to his demise was being exploited by the party for political gains.
The festival, which starts from Saturday, August 27, 2016 with a grand durbar on Saturday, September 3, is on the theme “Falling standards of education in the Cape Coast metropolis; the stakeholders’ responsibilities”
From Jonathan Donkor, Cape Coast