The chiefs and people of the Effutu Traditional Area have resolved to protect their forest reserves from encroachers.
He said the forest reserves had been subjected to intense pressure from residential developers and cattle herdsmen against all cautions and resistance by the chiefs.
Their forest reserves have been designated as Ramsar sites for ecological purposes and serve as hunting grounds for their sacrificial bushbuck for their annual Aboakyer festival.
The area was not reserved for human habitation, and the encroachers should stay away, he said. Referring to the dire impact of climate change across the world in recent times, Neenyi Ghartey insisted that it was critical to protect the forest reserves at all costs.
He said, “We are in this difficult situation because the State agencies do not see our problem the way we see it. The fight has been exclusive except for the support from the Wildlife Department.”
During the grand durbar, the chiefs and people of Winneba celebrated their Aboakyer Festival, which was marinated in the display of unalloyed Ghanaian culture through music, dance, language, and dressing.
The festival offered a euphoric atmosphere of singing, dancing, and friendly traditional and contemporary competitions with impressive youth participation.
Neenyi Ghartey noted in his address that a planned tree planting exercise scheduled as part of the celebrations could not be held because cattle herdsmen had allowed their cattle to overgraze and rendered parts of the hunting grounds bare.
On other issues of development, the Paramount Chief appealed for a modern market to boost economic activities and promote hygienic practices.
He observed that their market was in a deplorable state because foodstuffs were sold on the ground while surrounding streets were blocked on market days.
He further appealed to the Government to expedite the completion and commissioning of a fish landing facility in the community to curb the age-long unhygienic handling of landed fish.
In his concluding remarks, he thanked the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for appointing him as the Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba, and pledged to do everything in his power to raise the standard of the university to make it the best tertiary institution in Ghana.