The Minister for Information, Mr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has described the Bissa people as the most hardworking tribe in Ghana and commended their positive attitude towards nation building.
Mr Abdul-Hamid noted that in the early days of Ghana as a nation, the majority of the Bissa people, known for being proactive, were voluntarily recruited into the Armed Forces, Police Service and other agencies where their services were needed to contribute to nation building.
He was addressing the Chiefs, Queen mothers and people of Bissa at their 14th Anniversary of the Zekula Festival celebrated by the Bissa’s at Kulungugu in the Pusiga District.
Speaking on the theme: “Sustaining our cultural heritage for peace and development”, Mr Abdul-Hamid said culture was a tool needed for sustaining human development, because it redirected the youth when they were going wayward.
He said there was the need for stakeholders, including traditional authorities, the clergy, Islamic leaders, parents and guardians to ensure that the young ones adhered to the norms, customs and traditions of the Ghanaian setting in order to create room for the younger generations to develop love and affection for their community and country, invoke the spirit of communalism and sense ofpatriotism in them and foster unity for a sustainable peace in the communities.
Mr Abdul-Hamid urged the people of Bissa to be part of government’s flagship programmes which included the Planting for food and jobs, One-District one-Factory, and the Free Senior High School programmes as their contribution to nation building in a larger sense.
In a statement, Naba Zito Barichie, Chief of Kulugugu, commended government for taking the welfare of the people paramount by providing the area with some social infrastructure.
Naba Barichie said even though government had reacted positively by responding to some of the concerns of the people in the area, the Bissa community was still challenged witha poor water system and educational and health infrastructure deficit, among others.
He expressed worry over the poor road network which, he said, was affecting socio-economic activities of the people and urged stakeholders and government to help them overcome these challenges as they might affect the progress of government’s flagship programmes.
Hajia Laadi Ayi Ayamba, Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, urged parents and the traditional authority to frown on dehumanizing cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and negative widowhood practices.
Hajia Ayamba also called on the people to champion the cause of fighting early and child marriage— which were hindering the development of women and girls in the communities— so that the young girls would pursue quality education and contribute their quota meaningfully to the community.
The festival was celebrated amidst cultural performances such as horse dancing, war dancing, hunting expeditions, blacksmithing and cultural dancing from the various Bissa clans.
Many were also dressed in rich Bissa hand-woven fabrics with decorations of groundnuts and onions of which the Bissa people are noted for cultivating Ghana.
Source: ISD (Raphael Azare Kariyama)