African Traditional Worshippers have called on the government to mark a holiday for them in the national calendar as is done for Muslims and Christians.

The Chief of Dagbamate, Torgbui Klu Agudzeamegah II, made this call at this year’s Apetorku Festival held in Dagbamate in the Akatsi South District of the Volta Region.

He argued that the activities of African tradition worshipers are still relevant, and must be given equal attention as other religious groups receive.

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He made a passionate appeal to the government saying that the holiday, when set aside, will commemorate important rites of the indigenous religion.

He also called on 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 the 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.”

Dagbamate is one of the renowned spiritual homes for most of the followers of indigenous religions in the Volta Region.

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People visit the shrine for physical and spiritual healings, and for protection against evil forces.

The shrine is housed in an ultra-modern auditorium. The 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 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.