The people and leaders of New Baika in the Oti Region have marked their Buyi Oka Festival, after 23 years break, to reconcile and unite the people for the community’s development.
The organisers said the festival was also held to “heal all wounds” due to long standing conflicts over the 23-year period.
In a speech read on behalf of Nana Atigah, Regent of New Baika, he reiterated the need for unity and peaceful coexistence to fast-track development.
He said the community intended to constitute a committee of eminent personalities, including traditional leaders, counsellors and experts in conflict resolution, to undertake a year-long peace and reconciliation process to investigate all differences and iron them out.
Nana Atigah commended the Government for the developmental projects rolled out in the Oti Region within its relatively short time of creation.
He said the area had been lucky to benefit from some projects from the Coastal Development Authority, including market stalls for New Baika, Awoma, Asere, Lekanti and Oseikrom, which were currently ongoing.
There was also yet-to-be started small town water projects for New Baika, Old Baika and Teteman and a community centre for New Baika, he said.
Nana Atigah, however, appealed to the Government to give a facelift to some of the major roads connecting the community to others.
Mr Francis Kofi Okesu, the Krachi East Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), who represented the Oti Regional Minister, said the development of the Region lied on the shoulders of the Jasikan Municipality and on the adjoining communities, especially New Baika, hence the need to work together for progress.
He said the Regional Coordinating Council was aware of the deplorable state of the New Baika to Jasikan road and would take the necessary actions to reconstruct it.
Mrs Elizabeth Kessewah Adjornor, the Jasikan MCE, said communities could only develop when peace and unity prevailed and called on the elderly to lead exemplary lives for the children to emulate.
She pledged her readiness to assist the communities to achieve their developmental agendas.
Mr Kofi Adams, Member of Parliament for Buem, on the side-lines of the celebration, said the lack of unity within the Buem Traditional Area had deprived it of some important developmental projects and called for the people’s support to achieve set objectives.
The Buyi Oka Festival was instituted in 1999 in the Buem Traditional Area to bring the people of New Baika together in peace and unity and mobilise resources for the development of the community.
The 2022 celebration was marked on the theme: “Reconciliation: A Necessary Tool for Unity, Peace and Development.”
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