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Regional News of Saturday, 1 August 2020

Source: Michael Oberteye, Contributor

We’ll perform Dipo rites – Dipo Priests call Konor’s bluff

Head of Mei Wem, Nene Sakinor Nanor I

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Dipo Priests in the Manya Krobo Traditional Area have indicated their resolve to call the bluff of the Manya Krobo Traditional Council headed by the Paramount Chief of the area, Nene Sakite II and go ahead with the performance of this year’s Dipo rites.

The Manya Krobo Traditional Council in a press statement said it had cancelled celebrations of its annual Ngmayem festival and the performance of Dipo rites as part of measures adopted by the council to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus in the traditional area.

The letter signed by the registrar to the council, Andrew Sowa Azah on behalf of His Royal Majesty, Nene Sakite II said a resolution was adopted at a Standing Committee meeting held on Monday to cancel the two traditional events for the year.

But Dipo priests of the various shrines that perform the rites in responding to the order through a press release signed by six of the priests however said the Paramount Chief has no authority to issue such directive.

The statement dated Thursday, July 30, 2020 and signed by the head of Mei Wem, Nene Sakinor Nanor I, Sipim Lam Obenu, Head of Klowerli Wem, Nimo Klamersi, Priest of Klowerki Shrine, Nomo Asawabi Enoch Gbertey of the Piengua Division, Moses Teyetsu who is Priest of Tsawe Shrine and Agodo Teye Nause, Priest of Nause Shrine was addressed to the Eastern Regional Police Command and copied to the Eastern Regional Minister, the Inspector General of Police, MCE and DCE for Lower Manya Krobo and Upper Manya Krobo, the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, Nene Sakite II, all Divisional Chiefs of Manya Krobo among others.

The statement dismissed the purported cancellation of the Dipo rites on the grounds and served notice that the rites will be performed in accordance with Krobo customs.

According to the priests, Nana Klowerki clan is the head of the Dipo priests and not the Paramount Chief.

“Dipo customary rite is not controlled by the Paramount Chief. There has never been any record of a Paramount Chief giving instructions to the priests in charge of the Dipo custom,” the priests noted.

The Dipo rites which initiates Krobo girls into womanhood begins on Friday, 31st July, 2020 and the priests say the rites will be performed in accordance with full covid-19 protocols to ensure the safety of all.

“We the heads and moderators of this customary rites are Ghanaians and the issue of the COVID-19 pandemic is a major concern to all of us.

“We are ready to carry on with the Dipo customary rite on Friday, 31st July, 2020. All the Dipo shrines in the Manya Krobo Traditional Area are ready to perform the Dipo customary rites for two weeks taking into consideration all the protocols to be observed given out by the President.

“…We have made provisions to observe and abide by all provisions given by the President to safeguard the lives of the people of our beloved country,” parts of the statement read.

The statement further challenged the purported adoption of the resolution by a Standing Committee as no such body exists as all the five divisional chiefs including Piengua, Suisi, Dorm, Manya and Akwenor and are no longer under Nene Sakite following a declaration of their autonomy from him in 2019.

No divisional chief, the statement said, has also appointed any Asafoatse (sub-chief) to work with the Konor and therefore cannot serve on a Standing Committee.

The statement names the head of Mei Wem (Mei House), Adadlikworsi-Kodjonya, Head of Nause Wem (Nausea House) and the Head of Klowerki Wem (Klowerki House) Kodjonya as the only sources where genuine information regarding the celebrations of the Dipo rites can be sought.

The chiefs also accused the Konor of renewing an earlier attempt to jeopardize the Dipo rites as well as teaming up with the registrar, Andrew Sowa Azah to threaten the peace of the other chiefs and called on the security agencies to safeguard the peace of the area.


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