The Chiefs and people of Mamfe have started the annual Ohum festival with the enactment of a centuries-long tradition called Asafosa, at a grand durbar attended by prominent statesmen including former President John Agyekum Kufuor.
The Asafosa, an age old tradition, is held as part of activities heralding the Ohum festival to foster peace and unity among the citizens of Mamfe and the entire Okuapeman in the Eastern Region.
On this occasion, the various families led by their family heads resolve outstanding intra and inter family disagreements or feuds, which may have festered during the year; and crown it with the bringing of pots of palm wine to be mixed and drank by all to signify peace and harmony.
It was all joy when all dignitaries present, including former President Kufuor, the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Eric Kwakye-Darfuor; Daasebre Kwebu Ewusi, Vice President of the National House of Chiefs and Omanhene of the Abeadze Traditional Area, and Nana Kwafo Akoto, Omanhene of the Akwamu Traditional Area, brought their pots of palm wine.
Others were Nana Asiedu Okoo Ababio, the Benkumhene of the Akuapem Traditional Area and Chief of Larteh; Osahene Ofei Kwasi Agyeman, Krontihene of Akuapem; Member of Parliament for Akropong, Mrs Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei; and the Akuapem North Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Dennis Aboagye all presented their pots of palm wine.
The gathering was thrown into ecstasy when the last person whose pot of wine completed the tradition, Osabarima Ansah Sasraku, the Akuapem Kyidomhene and Mamfehene, presented the final pot of palm wine.
The separate pots of palm wine were all mixed in a huge pot placed in the middle of the palace and distributed as such, to everyone present including heads of families, council of elders and all citizens of Mamfe, Okuapeman and well-wishers.
Osabarima Ansah Sasraku, who celebrates 20 years of his enstoolment as the Chief, said the Asafosa was a tradition adopted by their forefathers to forge unity and peace through the mixing of palm wine in one big pot and distributed to all.
He explained that just like the communion in the Christendom, if a family member was not in agreement with the settlement and still had a grudge with someone; then that person was not worthy to drink the palm wine.
He said the essence of that tradition remained relevant in the modern day governance of the country.
Osabarima Sasraku thanked all for the support given him throughout the 20 years, and expressed the hope that with that unity of purpose, Mamfeman and Okuapeman in general would forge ahead to ensure development for the people.
Later a modern palace, which was started in 1996, was inaugurated by the Eastern Regional Minister on behalf of the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.