KROBOS FIGHT OVER 2016 KLOYOSKLEM FESTIVAL.
Tension is gradually building among chiefs and people of Yilo-Krobo traditional area in the Eastern Region over the celebration of this year’s Kloyosikplem festival.
The Kloyosikplemi, which means descending the Krobo Mountains, is an annual festival celebrated in November every year.
This year’s celebration, which aims at promoting unity and development, is likely to meet a huge setback, following traditional war among the people and invocation of curses against the committee charged with the responsibility of organizing the event.
While a faction of the Chiefs believe the festival is coming on and that ”preparations are far advanced”, others have also sworn that there is no way the festival will ever come on, since the outstanding chieftaincy disputes have not been resolved yet.
The festival, which began in 1992, was not celebrated last year due to some challenges.
The Acting President of the council, Nene Tetteh Odonkor Tumeh, however, announced recently during a traditional council meeting that the festival would be celebrated this year.
This back and forth has left the citizens of Yilo-Klo in a state of confusion, since they do not know whether the festival will come on or not. It all began in the second week of July when the Acting President of the Yilo-Traditional Council had a meeting dubbed –’Yilo-Krobo Outreach Meeting’ with a section of people of Yilo-Krobo.
In the said meeting, Nene Tuumeh made it clear that this year’s Kloyosikplem festival would come on and that preparation was far advanced.
“We were unable to organize the festival last year, mainly due to some chieftaincy dispute pending before the Koforidua High Court. We have now gone far in the matter and so it will not affect the celebration of this year’s festival”, he said.
“The Kloyosikplemi Festival is for all Yilo Krobos and once there is an Acting President of the Council, we shall celebrate it by all means, come what may,” Nene Tumeh emphasized.
He said preparations were far advanced and that the divisional chiefs would soon meet with members of the festival planning committee to start preparations towards its successful celebration. This was followed by the Launching ceremony of the festival some few weeks later in August 2016.
However, in a counter press release issued by five (5) out of the six (6) Divisional Chiefs on Monday October 3, they urged all citizens of Yilo-Krobo to disregard the said pronouncement and that no decision had been taken by the Traditional Council to celebrate Kloyosikplem this year.
According to them, they have also not recognized the said Outreach meeting since they were all not invited.
These Divisional Chiefs are -Nene Tetteh Aglbeze III, Divisional Chief of Plau; Nene Narh O. Agbo III, Divisional Chief of Bunase; Nene NaniAzzah V, Divisional Chief of Nyewer; Nene Akro Saki II, Divisional Chief of Ogome and Nene Anati Agor VIII, Divisional Chief of Okper.
According to the chiefs, no traditional council meeting had taken place at which the decision was taken to celebrate the Kloyosikplemi Festival this year.
According to the spokesman for the chiefs, Nene Tetteh Agblezee III, the Convener of the said Outreach Meeting, Nene Osayem Odonko Tumeh is not a Traditional chief but rather an Honorary chief who did not have the power to convene such a meeting.
Furthermore, he said it was wrong for Nene Tumeh who is only a ‘Swapolo’, that is an honorary chief, to carry himself as the Acting President of the Yilo Krobo Traditional Council, since the Chieftaincy Act confers the position of an Acting President on the most Senior Divisional chief and not an Honorary chief.
He said the chiefs would want to place on record that any Traditional Council meeting without the involvement of the Divisional Chiefs of the Traditional area would be of no effect.
“We wish to inform the general public that the situation, which did not make it conducive to hold the Kloyosikplemi Festival in 2015 still prevails today,” he said.
Nene Agblezee III further said any organisation, body corporate or individual who did any transaction with the said festival committee or the said traditional council and planning committee did so at their own risk.
He said there had not been any move to resolve the outstanding chieftaincy dispute in the traditional area which was pending before the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs and that until the case was adjudicated, the celebration of the festival was still on hold.
Meanwhile, the Krobo advocacy and Heritage association of the Krobo area, Kloma Hengme, in a statement on Monday called for calm among the chiefs in the Yilo-Krobo Traditional Area.
The association said since the Appeals Court is getting ready to give its final ruling on the Chieftaincy saga in the last week of this month (October), they should remain calm since they believe that the court will serve justice and peace will not only prevail in Yilo-Klo, but it will also give a clearer picture as to whether the festival should be celebrated this year or not.
The Statement, which was signed by the Chairman of the association, Isaac Tamatey Otu, also reminded the chiefs of how their actions have been drawing the Krobo area backwards in terms of development over the years, and the need to put a stop to them with immediate effect.
Story from Isaac Akwetey-Okunor, Somanya
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