The Ngleshie Lafaa-Barima Nmarko Clan of James Town Under the Ngleshie Alata Traditional Council over the weekend celebrated their annual Ga Homowo amidst pomp and pageantry at Weija junction in Accra.
The celebration which began in the early hours of Sunday morning lasted for some few hours with blaring music on one side while the traditional drums also boomed in front of the newly constructed palace for the ancestral gods.
The Chief of Ngleshie Lafaa-Barima Nmarko, Nii Ayi Okufuobour I, who also doubles at the Weija Asafoatse (War Lord) led the festival activities with the sprinkling the traditional food (Kpokpoi) within the ancestral home because of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Speaking in an interview with media on the sidelines during the celebrations, Nii Ayi Okufuobour I, admonished GaDangmes to respect the Chieftaincy Act and the chieftaincy institution, stressing that respect for the institution would engender peace and ultimately promote development.
Nii lamented against the challenging chieftaincy disputes that have characterized the image of the Ga State which has negatively affected development within the Ga State.
According to him, he had observed that the Chieftaincy Act is not respected by some people and they engage in acts to satisfy their selfish interests. That, he said, needed to stop
“Every human institution is governed by rules and regulations and anywhere rules and regulations did not work, there was no respect for authority, a situation that affects development”. Nii stated.
Nii Ayi Okufuobour I, cautioned against the influence of money in selecting kings, saying it often undercuts traditional institutions and norms, stressing that you cannot put away the customs and culture of the people; it is there and it is written in black and white. But these days, people are buying the chieftaincy institutions with their money.
Nii therefore called on traditional rulers and elders to ensure that customs and practices are protected.
This unfortunate development is partly to blame for some of the chieftaincy crisis the Ga State is currently grappling with.
This he said must not be allowed in order to avert a problem that could lead to bloodshed and the destruction of property.
It is therefore important and very necessary for our elders to always be guided to use our customs to install chiefs because if the disputes continue, they will lead to confusion, disunity, and instability in the Ga state.
“Chiefs are the ones to help develop communities in their traditional areas and fight poverty which is our common enemy. I, therefore, entreat the people of our respective communities to come together and avoid petty squabbles that would derail the development of our areas and support the traditional leaders for development,” he said.
Nii Ayi Okufuobour I, asked Ga’s to use the festive occasion to reflect on how best they could contribute to make the Ga State a better place than they came to meet.
For his part, Dzaasetse for Ngleshie Ajumanko Dawurampong, Nii Ayi Okudzeaman IV, called on government to as a matter of urgency move to resolve all the boundary disputes within the Ga state especially the protracted boundary dispute between Weija and Gbawe in the Greater Accra Region.
Nii recalled the many instances of violent confrontations between the two groups and called for an end through governments intervention, he stressed that failure to act could lead to a clash again between agents of the areas who are claiming lands they believed fall within their jurisdiction and further urged all parties to restrain their subjects as they wait for an end to the problem.
Nii further appealed to the security operatives in the area to remain neutral and help resolve the issues, adding that any threat to domestic security must be the concern for all.
The Ga-Dangme people make up about 30 percent of the people living in Ghana’s capital, Accra, which is located in the Ga State.
By: Paul Mamattah