By David Alan Painstil Cape Coast | Posted: Monday, September 07, 2009
|Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, Omanhene of Cape Coast (left), President John Evans fiifi Atta Mills (right)|
It had to take the intervention of the organizers, before the Asafo group, who were at their dancing best would leave the scene for the Preisdent to address the festival, for the first time as President of Ghana.
Dressed in beautiful kente cloth, the President pleaded with the people to exercise patience and promised that better days are ahead. He promised to construct the Cape Coast Stadium, Kotokuraba Market and dredge the Fosu Lagoon, among other projects. These projects are very key and dear to the hearts of the people of the Central region. They have consistently appealed to the regional Minister, Miss Ama Benyiwa Doe, and the Member of Parliament for Cape Coast, Hon. Ebo Barton Odro, to find solutions to the building of the projects.
President Mills assured the Central Region of his commitment to develop the area, and appealed that they exercise restraint, while government moved to address their worries. He therefore called on the people to avoid divisive actions that will trigger under-development, but to forge ahead in unity and to promote development.
President Mills reminded the people of the bitter experience he had at the same festival last year, when he was an opposition leader, where one of his bodyguards by name – ‘Angola’, was beaten to coma by the security personnel of former President John Agyekum Kufuor. He advised the people to bear in mind that no condition was permanent, and that things could change at anytime, therefore they should treat each other with utmost respect.
Okunyin President Atta Mills, who has been campaigning on the need to uphold truth and honesty at all times, called on Ghanaians to speak the truth at all times, so as to inculcate that culture into the youth.
The Central Regional Minister, Miss Ama Benyiwa Doe, minced no words when she asked the traditional authorities in the region to make good use of donations to them, to enable them support government in development projects.
Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, Omanhen of Oguaa Traditional Area, said although President Mills was making frantic efforts to construct the Stadium, Kotokuraba Market and dredge the Fosu Lagoon, he should expedite action on them. He appealed to residents in the region and Cape Coast to take advantage of the visit of US President Barack Obama to boost tourism and investments in the area.
This year’s Fetu Afahye has been described by cultural analysts as the best in recent times, as large crowds besieged the city to witness the various programmes. But the crowd at the grand durbar topped it all.
Initially, The Chronicle had information that some Asafo Company members were protesting on the wearing of T-shirts donated to them by MP for Cape Coast, Hon. Ebo Barton Odro, who embossed them with pictures of President Mills and himself.
But this turned out to be false, as the Asafo Companies wore the ‘T’ shirts to the durbar grounds.