There is uneasy calm in Okuapeman as the traditional council declares null and void the launch of the 2022 Odwira festival by some chiefs and queen mothers.
The Akuapem traditional council has subsequently cancelled the Odwira festival this year citing litigation on the legitimacy of Okuapehene Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akuffo III pending before the national house of Chiefs.
The 2022 edition of Akuapem Odwira Festival was launched Friday, July 24, 2022, in Accra by some traditional leaders who claimed to represent the traditional council in partnership with Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Beyond the Return Secretariat and other corporate entities under the theme “Unity in our Heritage to Foster Sustainable Development”.
They announced that the festival will come off on September 12 and climax on the 18th.
However, at a traditional council meeting held on Friday, July 29, 2022, the Acting President of Akuapem Traditional Council who is also Chief of Aburi Otoobuor Gyan Kwasi II berated the organizers of the launch.
“We heard that last week Friday some chiefs went to Accra to launch the 2022 Odwira festival in Accra. That was wrong. It is not customary. It is the traditional council and Okuapehene that decide not one person. So the traditional council met today and has nullified that launch and cancelled the Odwira festival. Under normal circumstances, on the 3rd of August Okuapeman will celebrate Adae festival then on the 14th of September perform the necessary customary rites for Okuapehene, Queen-mother or Okoman to pave way for the Odwira festival. However, due to the chieftaincy dispute, we can’t celebrate it in flamboyance”.
He however said traditional and customary rites will be performed in the quiet.
“We have also asked Royal families and divisional chiefs to perform their own customary rites in their homes to celebrate the festival. There will not be durbar and neither the carrying of any chief in paraquine. Because as customs demand, it is the Okuapehene who is to perform traditional rite to open the Odwira festival for all other divisional chiefs to celebrate accordingly in their traditional areas before big durbar is held, but because of the pending case against the Okuapehene by the Queenmother at the national house of chiefs we can’t celebrate the festival.”
Odwira festival, which commemorates the victory of the Akuapem people at the great Akantamansu war in 1824, also seeks spiritual purification, unity, cultural revival, community development, political stability and promotion of tourism in the area.