The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has pleaded with Ghanaians to bear with the government as it takes steps to turn around the economic fortunes of the country.
Though, Dr Bawumia admitted that things were tough, he said it would be wrong for the government’s performance to be measured by post COVID-19 economic difficulties.
“Judging government by the development in the global space and not including the performance of the economy when we assumed office in 2017 to 2020 is an anti-climax. We all know that period gave us a strong economy” he said.
Dr Bawumia said this when he addressed the chiefs and people of the Anlo State at the Hogbetsotso festival here at Anloga on Saturday.
He said since taking over the reign of power in 2017, the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo led government has demonstrated that it has what it takes to better manage the economy and would turn things around.
Government, Dr Bawumia said had recorded unprecedented successes across all sectors of the economy including the provision of school infrastructure, railways transportation, fish landing sites, digitalisation, as well as transformational policies and programmes that have made the life of the people better.
The Vice President said Government was working tirelessly to curtail the high food and fuel prices that were driving the hardship.
The cultural heritage of the Anlo people, Dr Bawumia noted, was the answer to the development of the untapped creative industry and urged the people to maintain the peace for the area to be appealing to investors.
Hundreds of sons and daughters of the Anlo state converged on the Hogbe Park to celebrate this year’s Hogbetsotso festival, the traditional festival of the Anlo people.
The festival, the first since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic was graced by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and the Ga Mantse, King TackieTeikoTsuru II.
The festival was used to rekindle the traditional ties and bond new alliances among the Anlos and the Asantes and to dispel a perceived bad blood between the Asantes in particular.
Marking the 60th anniversary of the festival which recounts the escape of the Anlos from Notsie in present day Togo, this is the first time an Asante King graced the festival with his entourage.
Hosted by the Torgbi Sri III, the festival on the theme: “Uniting for Development, sustaining our Unique Cultural Commonwealth for Future Generations,”is the climax of the week-long festival was chaired by King Tsuru II.
Interspersed with traditional dances, the festival serves as a convergence ground for the Anlo people, home and abroad, for the development of the 36 states of the area.
From a distance, the Hogbe Park was a sea of colourful kente cloths and ornaments as chiefs from the 36 communities of the Anlo State displayed the rich culture of the Anlos, their journey to their present day location, their food, among other unique traits.
Addressing the gathering, the Asantehene asked for unity between the Anlos and the Asantes and urged them to dismiss the perceived rift between the two ethnic groups.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II said the relationship between the Anlos and the Asantes dates back to the 1700s and same was evident by the creation of the Anloga in Kumasi and representation at Manhyia.
“It is fair that we begin to debunk the myths, and learn to separate the machinations” which he said has been championed by individual politicians over the years for their political gains, the Otumfuo said.
Togbi Sri III, in his remarks said Ashantes and Anlos have always been good neighbours and have collaborated in the past and should reignite that relationship that has existed between the two groups over the centuries.
He asked Ghanaians to bear with the government as it turns around the economic fortunes of the country.
The Hogbetsotso festival, he said, would have to be sustained to bring the people together for the development of the Anlo State after two years of non-celebration as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
FROM JULIUS YAO PETETSI, ANLOGA