Aboakyer (2024) Festival launched

The 2024 Aboakyer Festival of the chiefs and people of Effutu, Winneba in the Central Region has been launched with a call on citizens to stay united for the development of the area.

Under the theme: ‘Promoting tradition and development through Aboakyer celebration,’ the festival would commence on Saturday, April 27 and climax on Saturday, May 4 with a grand durbar.

It will start with a Gospel musical show and clean-up exercise at various communities and homes.

Other activities lined up to spice up the event include a health walk, regatta, tug-of-war, marathon race, bicycle racing, football tournament, cooking competition and parading of gods by the two Asafo Companies.

On Friday, May 3, the traditional military would march through the principal streets of the Winneba township to provide security and ensure peace as the Asafo Companies enter their ancestral forests on Saturday dawn to catch a live bushbuck for the ceremony.

Neenyi Ghartey VII, the Paramount Chief of the Effutu Traditional Area (Effutu Om
a Odefe), entreated the people to do away with all their differences and work together to make the festival a success.

He said the importance of the festival to their native land could not be overemphasised, as it showcased their rich Asafo, religious and cultural tradition and tourism.

‘As a multifaceted festival, we pride ourselves on the fact that Aboakyer is open to participation by all guests from across the world, to have their fair share of the joy and excitement that comes with it’.

He said it was for these reasons that all the natives must properly and fully get involved to receive their guests.

Neenyi Ghartey urged his people to allow the Guan Spirit in them which had the hallmark of high hospitality, love and care, to drive this year’s celebrations.

He urged service providers in the hospitality industry in the area to let their services be excellent to boost the local economy and called on the business community to support the celebration.

The Effutu State celebrates the festival annually as
a moral and spiritual obligation to their ancestors, deities and the land.

During the festival, the two Asafo companies, Tuafo Number One and Dentsefo Number Two enter their ancestral forest to catch a live bushbuck to be presented to the Oma Odefe (Paramount Chief) who sits in state to receive homage.

He steps on the animal presented by the group with the first catch, three times to signify acceptance by their god, Penkye Otu.

The Effutu Aboakyer is an ancient rite to the god, Otu, celebrated to commemorate the safe migration from the ancient Western Sudan Empire to the present occupation Effutu enclave and in appreciation for a good harvest.

It is historically known that their priest instructed them on behalf of their god, Pentye Otu to offer a young member of the Royal Family every year to appease the god.

Due to the harsh nature of the sacrifice, the people pleaded with Otu for an animal rather than human sacrifice, a substitution of a wild cat was accepted, to be provided alive and beheaded before t
he god.

However, many people lost their lives to capture a wild cat, and the community, again appealed to Otu and the offering of bushbuck was accepted.

Alhaji Zubairu Kassim, the Effutu Municipal Chief Executive, assured the gathering of the Assembly’s commitment to support the Traditional Council for a peaceful and successful celebration.

He advised the people to sidestep any nefarious activity that would mar the celebration.

Source: Ghana News Agency