The chiefs and people of Atanofo Traditional Area (Bechem) have celebrated their bi-annual Adekeyem festival at Bechem the Tano South District Capital.
The festival which was with pomp and gallery attracted a large number of people from all walks of life including traditional rulers from other districts and regions of the country.
In a welcome address, the Omanhene of Bechem and president of the Bechem Traditional Council Nana Fosu Gyeabour Akoto II said this year’s celebration of the festival is aimed at mobilising funds to put up a community Library at the District Capital to cater for Bechem and its environs to boost education since education is the key to success.
Nana Fosu Gyeabour II said the though peace and unity has long existed in the traditional area, the Adekyem festival has come to strengthen it more and has re-enacted the traditional values of the people.
Nana Akoto said farmers in the Tano South District contribute a lot to the development of the nation and for that matter urged the government to give them the necessary support to enable them expand their farms. Nana said since Agriculture is the back bone of the country, there is the need for the government to give it the necessary boost by initiating policies that would make the sector attractive for the youth of the country to invest their resources into it.
Nana Fosu Gyeabour Akoto II said the introduction of the Presidential Special Initiative in the cultivation of Oil Palm in the District was aimed at removing poverty and urged all who has land to go into the cultivation of Oil Palm.
In his address, the Tano South District Chief Executive Hon. Bukari Zakari Anaba said, festivals are an expressive way to celebrate glorious heritage culture and traditions and play an important role in adding structure to our social lives and connecting us with our families and backgrounds.
Hon. Anaba said, festivals are celebrated to propagate the cultural heritage of societies and highlight various aspects of society and helps in keeping alive the older traditions and provide entertainment to the people who take part in them and in the same vain, the Adekyem festival is a festival which also seeks to pass on the customs and traditions of the chiefs and people of the Bechem Traditional Area to the younger generation.
Hon. Anaba said like all other editions of festivals a theme has been put in place to steer the celebration towards a particular course and for that matter, it is needed laudable that ‘’Adekyem festival as a tool for Unity in Development of Bechem Traditinal Area’’ was chosen as the theme for this year’s celebration because in the absence of unity, development staggers ,however in unity, development is accelerated as festivals are universally related to harmony, peace and happiness and it is his hope that, the celebration of the Adekyem will unite them in the best way possible and hoped that all would indulge in the rich cultural display and the beauty of the Adekyem festival in a bid to develop the Tano South District.
The Brong Ahafo Region Minister, Hon. Eric OPoku who stood in for His Execellency John Dramani Mahama in his presidential address said that the government of the National Democratic Congress recognizes festivals and commended the chiefs and people of Bechem Traditional Area for initiating the Adekyem festival.
He said the NDC government in its 2012 electioneering campaign promised Ghanaians that, the government would construct new school buildings to replace and eradicate schools under trees and also put up new community day’s Senior High Schools to enable more Junior High Schools graduates get access to access Senior High School education all in the bid to boost education in the country and for that matter, since the aim of this year’s celebration of the festival is to mobilize funds to construct a community library, the government would commit ten thousand cedis (10,000) into the library project.
Hon. Eric opoku used the occasion to elaborate some of the achievements of the NDC government in the areas of education, health, agriculture, security and infrastructural development.
Hon. Opoku said, since he assumed office as the Regional Minister he has been able to settle many disputes on lands, Chieftaincy and congratulated Nana Fosu Gyeabour Akoto II for making peace and tranquillity prevail in the Bechem Tradional Area and Tano South District as a whole and called on Nananom to collaborate with institutions charged with the education of the populace on immoral practices by our youth who are our future leaders and said the Brong Ahafo Regional Directorate of education is ready to award scholarships to all brilliant but needy pupils and advised parents to send their children to school.
The function was co-chaired by Nana Pepra Siase, the saamanhene of Asante Mampong, Nana Dr. Sarfo Kantanka of Asante Mampong, Nana Adu Gyamfi, Atipimhene of Kenyasi II, Nana Kofi Trodo Fofie Agyemang, Bomsowura and Nana Adu Kwaku Ababio, Akwamuhene of Ntotroso.