The University for Development Studies (UDS) longest-serving Registrar, Dr A. B. T Zakariah is now the Chief of Yapei traditional area in the Savannah Region of Ghana.
The UDS community and people from all walks of life witnessed his enskinment and coronation on Thursday 8th April 2021 at Yapei.
As an academician with an international reputation, Yapeiwura Dr Zakariah is expected to galvanize his people for constructive purposes in furtherance of the course of the customs and traditions of the traditional area.
In his acceptance speech, the elated Yapeiwura thanked the Gonjaland Traditional Council for his elevation and promised to serve the people's interest.
"During my reign as Yapeiwura, I will work with the chiefs and elders, religious leaders, women groups and youth groups to ensure peace, harmony, tranquillity and development. I wish to call on everybody within the Yapei Traditional Area to endeavour to contribute in our small ways to ensure that the Yapei Traditional Area remains attractive for investors and developers. My doors shall be open to all in the discharge of my traditional duties, and I shall lead without discrimination."
Outlining his priorities, he mentioned education, health and agriculture among others that are crucial for improving their lives.
He underscored the need for collaboration between government and the traditional authorities.
"I humbly appeal to the Government and the international community to consider the role of traditional leaders in all developmental plans. This way, the menace of uncompleted projects could be curtailed."
"It is worth mentioning that my predecessor, Yapeiwura Alhassan Soale III, who is now the Kusawguwura, facilitated some major developmental projects in Yapei such as the Yapei Water Supply Project. This project, achieved through his effort, has addressed the quality drinking water needs of Yapei and its environs. Also, he facilitated the resumption of lake transport from Akosombo to Yapei through the use of a ferry by a private company. This has offered some jobs to the youth of the area."
"I will endeavour to emulate my predecessor to ensure that I facilitate developmental interventions that will address the needs of the people."
Yapeiwura Dr Zakariah insisted that education should be the panacea to eliminating uninformed generations.
"I have a strong conviction that development is driven by education. Quality human resource is what can help in bringing about development and progress in our lives. In this vain, I entreat all parents to pay particular attention to the educational needs of their children, and provide adequate support to them."
"About six years ago, I facilitated the donation of books to some primary and junior high schools in Yapei and Kusawgu. This was meant to augment the reading materials that existed in those schools at that time. I intend to call on relevant agencies to support education in the Yapei area. Fortunately, the Kusawguwura has identified education as one of his priority areas for the Kusawgu Traditional Area. I will lend my full support to him to achieve this vision."
He entreated all residents in Ghana to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols as the global pandemic keeps causing harm.
"The global pandemic, Covid-19, to which many lives have been lost, is still with us. I urge everybody to observe the Covid-19 safety protocols, especially, wearing of face masks at all times, and thorough washing of hands with soap under running water."
"The Government of Ghana has initiated the process of getting all citizens vaccinated against the Corona Virus disease. I humbly appeal to you all to avail yourselves to be vaccinated when it is due."
He commended the Yagbon Traditional Council for their impartiality in resolving chieftaincy disputes in the area.
"The Yagbonwura, who is the President of the Savanna Regional House of Chiefs, the Buipewura, who is the vice-president of the Savanna Regional House of Chiefs, all paramount chiefs and the other traditional rulers in the Savanna Region deserve commendations for working hard to resolve traditional and chieftaincy disputes, and for ensuring that there is peace in the entire Savanna Region."
Yapeiwura Dr. A.B.T. Zakariah started his tertiary academic career at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree and a Diploma in Education.
Soon after his undergraduate studies, Chief Dr A.B.T Zakariah undertook a two-year mandatory National Service duty. It was during this period that his talent in communication was discovered, and subsequently enrolled in a postgraduate programme in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon.
Right after obtaining the postgraduate qualification in communication, Chief Zakariah never relented in his effort towards obtaining higher academic qualifications. He further obtained an MSc in Development Communication from the University Putra, Malaysia, before enrolling for a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Media and Communication at the University of Leicester, UK.
Chief Dr. A.B.T. Zakariah joined the University for Development Studies as an Assistant Registrar in 1993. He rose through the ranks to a Deputy Registrar and was appointed a substantive Registrar of the University in 2011. Currently, he has served the University for Development Studies for over 27 years and remains the only pioneer staff of the University still in active service.
Yapeiwura Zakariah is a serious football fan, and will undoubtedly see the development of sports in the Yapei Traditional Area.
This, he has demonstrated, by pursuing reforms in the Registry of the University for Development Studies, which has resulted in enhanced performance of the University in sporting activities.
Chief Dr A.B.T. Zakariah is a Development Communication Consultant, and a Commercial Farmer.
He has rendered numerous consultancy services to many organizations and agencies in Ghana and beyond.
Source: ABDUL KARIM NAATOGMAH
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