African Traditional Worshipers in the Volta Region are calling on the government to identify a holiday for such worshipers in the national calendar as it is done for Muslims and Christians.
Speaking at this year’s Apetorku Festival held in Dagbamate in the Akatsi South District of the Volta Region, Chief of Dagbamate, Torgbui Klu Agudzeamegah II, said the activities of African tradition worshipers are still relevant, and must be given equal attention as a religious group.
Making a passionate appeal to the government, the Chief said the government should set aside a day in the national calendar as a holiday for the indigenous religion to commemorate important rites.
He also asked the government to restore the pouring of libation at state functions as being done by Christians and Muslims in the form of prayers.
“We at this juncture want to put the following proposals to government for consideration: government should identify a traditional holiday for the traditionalists as being done for Muslims and Christians. Since independence, pouring of libation was part of all government functions, but what we see now is Christian and Muslim Prayers only performed at government functions. We therefore want to propose that pouring of libation at national festivals/functions be re-instated” he appealed.
Dagbamate is one of the spiritual homes for most of the indigenous religions’ followers in the region, where people visit the shrine for physical and spiritual healings, and for protection against evil forces.
The shrine, which is an ultra modern auditorium housing their god, Apetorku, is believed to have played significant roles in the development of the community. The shrine has branches across the country including Accra, Koforidua, Ashaiman, Ho and Denu.
The community is known for its self-help projects in areas of education, health, electricity and water supply. With little or no help from the District Assembly, the community led by the Priest constructed standard classroom blocks, hospital, bungalows for teachers and health workers among other social amenities.
The annual festival commences the evening of Easter Saturday and lasts for 8-9 days. This year’s event was graced by various dignitaries including Former President JJ Rawlings, Togbui Sri of Anlo State among others.