The 2023 Hogbetsotso Za of the Anlo State was launched at Anlo-Afiadenyigba last Thursday amid pomp and ceremony.
The festival was instituted 61 years ago by the then Awoamefia of Anlo, Togbi Adeladza II, to commemorate the migration of the people of Anlo from Notsie in the Republic of Togo to their current location.
The celebration also displays the rich culture of the Anlos and draws attention to the businesses and tourism opportunities in Anlo.
The Dufia of Anlo-Afiadenyigba, Togbi Kadzahlo IV, in a welcome address, expressed misgivings about what he described as the divisive conduct of some people in Anlo as the festive period approached, and called on all Anlos to uphold the peace and unity in the area for uninterrupted development.
Touching on the festival, he said, there was only one Hogbetsotso Za recognised and celebrated by the Anlo, and for no reason must another deviant group celebrate the same festival separately for their own glory.
Togbi Kadzahlo said one of the cardinal objectives of the Hogbetsotso Za was to reunite the people of Anlo for greater progress.
“For that reason, every divisive tendency emerging before, during and after the celebration must be discouraged and nipped in the bud”, he added.
The Dufia of Anlo-Afiadenyigba appealed to the organisers of the festival to consider the celebration of the Hogbetsotso Za on rotational basis among the Anlo towns in future, just as it was in the case of the mini-durbars.
That, he explained, would help to identify the specific development needs of every Anlo town and how they could be resolved.
Meanwhile, Togbi Kadzahlo announced that the people of Anlo-Afiadenyigba were mobilising funds to construct the major road between the town and Havedzi Junction, since repeated calls on the government to fix the road had been ignored.
He again called on the Keta Municipal Chief Executive, Emmanuel Gemegah, to take steps to ensure that the contractor on the abandoned project site resumed work as soon as possible.
The Awadada of Anlo, Togbi Agbesi Awusu II, for his part, expressed grave concern about the attempt by some people to cause confusion in the peaceful town of Anlo.
He, therefore, called on the people to remain united to build the state for the benefit of the generations yet unborn.
He announced that this year’s mini Hogbetsotso Za would be celebrated at Dzelukope under the chairmanship of Togbi Dzelu IV, the Dufia of Dzelukope, on Saturday, October 28, and called on all Anlos, both at home and abroad, to patronise the event.
The Stool father of Anloland, Ambassador Dan Abodakpi, described as ‘unfortunate’ some negative developments that began in the State last year but gave an assurance that this year’s festival would be climaxed at Anloga on Saturday, November 4.
The ceremony was chaired by a chief from Dzodze, Togbi Adzenu II.