Chiefs of the La Traditional Area have appealed to government especially the Ministry of Tourism to use the Ga word for ‘welcome’ to greet visitors at the Kotoka International Airport instead of ‘Akwaaba,’ the Akan version of the word currently being used.
For a longest time, people coming into Ghana have been greeted by the word ‘Akwaaba’ written on a huge sign in front of the airport.
The chiefs complained that since the airport was situated in the Greater Accra region which was dominated by Ga speaking people, it was not necessary to use a welcome sign written in Akan.
Though they claimed they had made the call to government on several occasions, the chiefs said the state must quickly grant their request time around.
Nii Kpobi Tettey Tsuru III, the La Mantse made the appeal when Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Armah Ashietey presented some gift items to the chiefs and people of La on behalf of government towards their celebration of the Homowo festival.
On behalf of his fellow Ga chiefs, he lamented that for years they had been deprived of certain privileges in their own land saying they wondered why the welcome symbol at the airport should be not written in Ga since the international airport is situated on Ga land.
He noted that it was sad that various governments are indirectly denying them their right by refusing to welcome foreigners in the Ga dialect. “This we think would help the foreigners to know the land that they are entering into.”
The items presented included GH¢2,000 worth of soft drinks as well as beer and schnapps estimated at a total cost of GH¢3,000.
Touching on the long term litigations that have deprived the Gas of development, he said for the past 14 years the people of La have not been taking part of the Homowo festival which brings unity among the people to discuss issues bordering on development.
He gave the assurance that all chieftaincy and land issues within the area had been resolved and that the chiefs have now come together to look for effective ways to speed up the area’s development hence their involvement in this year’s Homowo.
Mr. Ashietey, on behalf of government called on the chiefs and people of La Traditional area to use the festival to end all chieftaincy disputes urging the chiefs and elders to ensure that the festival was used to unite the people.
Nii Tsuru receiving the items expressed appreciation to government for its support and pledged to institute measures to totally curtail chieftaincy disputes and promote peace and harmony.
Homowo is a festival celebrated by Ga people to remember the time when they migrated to the new territory in modern day Accra where they suffered a severe famine brought on by poor rainfall.
The festival starts in the month of May with the planting of crops before the rainy season starts and ends with the August harvest.
The festival starts early in the morning with the sprinkling of a special Ga delicacy called ‘Kpokpoi’ amidst dancing and parades.
Source Daily Guide Ghana