Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has called on traditional rulers to help rekindle the spirit of volunteerism among Ghanaians to help deal with filth and pollution in the country.
He said communal labour and volunteerism in time past proved to be effective avenues used by chiefs and local authorities to deal with issues of filth in the neighbourhoods, but the noble initiative and activities seemed to have been lost on Ghanaians these days.
The Vice President was speaking at the Ohum festival and homecoming of the chiefs and people of Akyem Abuakwa held at the forecourt of the Okyenhene’s Palace in the East Akim Municipality of the Eastern Region on the theme “Good old tradition for sustainable development.”
He indicated that it was important for chiefs to use the occasion of festivals to reignite the commitment and passion of their people to keep the environment clean for better health.
He said on the occasion of festivals where people meet as people with one ancestral heritage, they should reflect on the core values and practices that bind them together as proud sons and daughters by keeping their environment clean.
Dr Bawumia mentioned that Okyeman in particular, through its cultural institutions had created conditions for the inculcation of exemplifying socio-cultural values and educational programmes, adding that like everywhere, festivals such as the Ohum are used to show appreciation to our forefathers for their contribution to the building of society we enjoy presently.
He said that the celebration of festivals was an iconic display of culture and unity of purpose which stood as a tribute to the role of the chieftaincy institutions in addressing national development challenges.
“But from the traditional intent of appreciating the good works of our past compatriots amidst drumming and dancing, festivals in the past and present years have become the medium to showcase our rich culture and initiate projects and strategies for the development of our community,” he said.
“The occasion of the celebration of the Ohum festival should reignite our commitment and passion for keeping our environment clean for better health. History tells us that the Akyem use the celebration of the Ohum festival to thank our creator for blessing the land with the Birim River,” he added.
For his part, the Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panyin, also underscored the need for Ghanaians to be united to help build a stronger nation.
He also advised public office holders to eschew the attitude of corruption and work with transparency to assist the government to develop the nation.
Touching on the theme for the celebration, he indicated that every successful man had some assistance before they became successful, therefore it was imperative to go back home and support the society where they were raised.
FROM KODJO DAVID, KYEBI