The quest for preservation of our culture for development stems from the fact that our ancestors left behind rich moral values and traditions including love, unity, discipline, respect and hard work to prevent certain anti-social tendencies that are likely to put society’s name into disrepute.

Our ancestors also handed down other values such as honesty and integrity which are very critical to our survival as a nation today.

This came to light at the 31st Annual Samanpiid festival celebrated by the Chiefs and people of the Kusaug Traditional Area in the Upper East Region.

The ancestors of the Kusaug Traditional Area instituted the Samanpiid festival as a post-harvest celebration to thank God and their ancestral spirits for protecting and guiding them throughout the farming season. The first celebrations were done at the clan levels and in turns by the various Kusasi clans in Kusaug.

These were characterized by ritual ceremonies and merry-making with feasting and dancing attended by friends and relatives.

Since 1988, the celebration has been modified by centralising and enriching it to include developmental features.

The Samanpiid festival serves as a platform to discuss and modify some aspects of their culture including sensitizing the people against female genital mutilation, reducing the payment of bride prize or dowry from four to two cows, ban the spinning of deck at funerals and encourage the education of the girl-child.

In his welcome address, the Paramount Chief of the Kusaug Traditional Area, Zugraan, Naaba Abugrago Asigri Azorka, thanked President Nana-Addo led administration for the numerous policy interventions put in place for the development of Kusaug Traditional Area and the country at large. He commended past and present government for their ernomuous contribution towards sustaining peace and stability in Bawku.

The Paramount chief revealed that his outfit is at the final stages of declaring the conflict as over through the proposed ceremony to bury the okro stick.

According to him, when this is done it is a taboo for anyone to prevent or obstruct anybody from going about their normal business in Kusaug Traditional Area, including returning to abandoned farmlands.

Zuraan Naaba Abugrago Asigri Azorka, appealed to government to speed up the construction of the Tamne Irrigation dam in Garu and the Construction of the Bolgatanga-Bawku-Pulmakom road.

He called on government through the Electoral Commission to consider splitting Zebila Constituency, Bawku Central Constituency and also consider making the Kusaug Tradional Area a region in future.

Speaking on behalf of the MPs in the Kusaug Traditional Area, the MP for Bawku Central Constituency, Mahama Ayariga, pledged their outfit readiness to contribute their quota towards the development of the area. He called on government to as a matter of urgency bring the contractor working on the Bolagatanga-Bawku-Pulmakom road back on site.

The Upper East Regional Minister, Paulina Patience Abayage, said the incidence of drug and alcoholic abuse, religious intolerance, abuse of rule of law, indiscriminate bush fires and teenage pregnancy are grave causes for concern as they compromise the unity and peace of communities and the nation at large.

She revealed that funds have been provided in the 2019 budget to pay road contractors and for that matter her outfit will follow up to ensure that the contractor on the Bolgatanga-Bawku-Pulmakom road returns to site. She called on the people in the area to take advantage of the policy interventions by the government.

Speaker after speaker called on the people in the area to fight against open defecation and clean their environment at all times to avoid preventable diseases like malaria, typhoid and cholera.

The festival brought together the Paramount Chief of Tumu in the Upper West Region, a representative of Omanhene of Dunkwa Traditional in the Central Region among other dignitaries.

Story by GBC’s Samuel Ayammah

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