Ghanaian Chronicle

Local Government Chief Director steals show at Akwambo Festival

Date published: August 22, 2012

Compiled by David Allan Paintsil

The Chief Director at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Nana Dr. Oduro-Kwarteng, who doubles as the Guantuahene of AgonaSwedru in the Central Region, was the toast of the thousands of people from all walks of life who thronged the trading city to celebrate the annual Akwambo Festival on Wednesday.

The chiefs and the people of the area, clad in red and black attire and memorabilia, danced to the tune of asafo, brass band and war songs, as they moved through some principal streets of the city, bringing traffic to a halt.

Travellers had a hectic time as road blocks became the order of the day, with taxi drivers and other road users finding it very difficult to cope with the situation.

While the chiefs and their followers danced amidst drumming, singing and the firing of musketry, one of the chiefs who caught the attention of the large crowd, was Nana Dr.Oduro-Kwarteng, who received cheers from the crowd, which he reciprocated with smiles and thrilling traditional dancing skills, which showed that even the celebrant an educated person, he had not ignored his traditions.

Dressed like a warrior, Nana Oduro-Kwarteng told The Chronicle in an interview that any nation that ignored its traditions could not develop; adding being elite did not mean that one should look down traditions.

He pointed out the Chinese and the Japanese had developed because they attached great importance to their traditions.

According to him, festivals served as a platform to mobilise the people for development, and that he, as Guantuahene (Attorney General), could not exempt himself.

On his contributions to the development of AgonaSwedru as Guantuahene and Chief Director at the Local Government Ministry, Nana Dr. Oduro-Kwarteng said he was instrumental in the division of the Agona West and East constituencies during the New Patriotic Party (NPP) regime, adding that his role in the transformation of the AgonaSwedru Clinic into a hospital could not be overemphasised.

He further told this reporter that currently, the construction of staff accommodation for the AgonaSwedru Hospital was through his collaboration with other government officials while as a Director, and that his office was collaborating with the Central Regional Development Commission (CEDECOM) to renovate the Swedru Stadium, as well as the development of the Ancestral cemeteryinto tourist’s site.

He revealed that he and some colleagues in the United Kingdom once mobilised funds for the defunct Fankobaah Football Club, assuring them that he would continue to support his city’s socio-economic development in as much as he remained a chief, and called for unity among all and sundry.

The AgonaSwedruAkwambo Festival, according to Nana OgyabeaBedu-Ehuren, Saanahene of Swedru, was a path clearing festival, celebrated annually to remind the present generation how the ancient chiefs and their people migrated from their ancient town of Efutuobir in 1730, under the leadership of Nana Gyan Kodwo, to the present day AgonaSwedru.

Efutubir stretches from Eguabiriso, which is the royal mausoleum opposite the Cocoa Marketing Board office, to the Bombir Stream at the Pomadze Poultry Feed site on the Winneba Road.


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