The President said the Government would not encourage anything that goes against the culture of the country and cautioned homosexuals and lesbians to stop the practice.
President Mills made the statement in a speech read for him by Mr Alexander Asum-Ahensah, Minister for Culture and Chieftaincy Affairs at a durbar to mark the celebration of the Odambea Festival of the people of Nkusukum Traditional Area at Saltpond at the weekend.
The theme for the festival was, “Promoting Our Cultural Heritage to Eradicate Social Vices”.
President Mills said the theme was very appropriate considering the prevailing moral decline in the Ghanaian society today.
He said it was often said that when people lost their culture they had lost their identity.
“Our moral values are greatly threatened by our desperate pursuit of materialism as a measure of progress in society; as caution is thrown to the wind as we go to great length to do anything to achieve and satisfy these wanton desires”, he said.
He said drug abuse, armed robbery, child prostitution, homosexuality, lesbianism as well as rape, defilement and other sex-related crimes were on the increase to day, attesting to the high rate of immorality prevalent in the society.
President Mills called on Nananom, as custodians of the nation’s rich cultural values to work closely with other opinion leaders in their traditional areas and partner the State institutions responsible for youth development to evolve strategies to address those social vices in the society.
He urged them to discard any form of obsolete and dehumanizing customary practices which were inimical to the fundamental human rights and self development of the people.
The President Mills urged the people to use the festival to forge unity and to ensure the peace and development of the area.
Mrs Ama Benyiwa Doe, Central Regional Minister appealed to the Regional House of Chiefs to expedite action on chieftaincy cases pending before the House to ensure peace and rapid development.
Mr Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, Member of Parliament for Mfantseman West and Deputy Minister for Local government and rural Development urged the people to bury their political differences and unite to develop the area.
He said plans were afoot to construct a modern mortuary for the Saltpond Municipal Hospital and the reconstruction of the Victoria Park, a durbar ground at Saltpond.
Mr Henry Kweku Hayfron, Mfantseman Municipal Chief Executive noted that one cultural heritage which was fading out gradually in the area was environmental cleanliness.
He said keeping one’s surroundings clean prevented contracting diseases which could drain scarce resources and appealed to the people to be serious with sanitation.
Mr Emmanuel Eshun, Secretary to Saltpond Federation of Youth Associations, urged the youth to desist from engaging in unproductive demonstrations but to channel their exuberances into productive activities which could benefit the nation and themselves.
He appealed to the traditional council to establish an Education Endowment Fund to support brilliant but needy children to further their education.
Nana Kwesi Brebo III, Acting President of the Traditional Council in a welcoming address, appealed to the Government to complete the abandoned Police headquarters and barracks at Saltpond and Mankessim to accommodate more police personnel to protect the people.
He appealed for the expansion of the Municipal Hospital and provision for nurses’ quarters.
President Mills presented assorted drinks and a cash of GH₵ 2,000.00 to the festival planning committee to meet their expenses.