King Tackie Tawiah III, known in private life as Dr Jo Blankson, yesterday assumed office as the new Ga Mantse and President of the Ga Traditional Council, two weeks after being inducted into the council.
His assumption of office was commemorated with a brief ceremony at the Ga Mantse's Palace at Kaneshie in Accra, witnessed by the Ga Manye, Naa Dedei Omadru II.
It was also attended by some members of the traditional council, including the Sempe Mantse, Nii Adotey Obuor II, the Ngleshie Alata Mantse, Nii Kojo Ababio V, the Tema Mantse, Nii Adjetey Kraku III, the La Mantse, Nii Kpobi Tettey Tsuru, and the Nungua Mantse, King Odaifio Wulentsi III.
The rest were the Otublohum Mantse, Nii Dodoo Nsaki II, the Akumajay Mantse, Nii Ayikai III, and the Osu Alata Mantse, Nii Kwashie Anaefi IV.
Some queens and sub-chiefs of the Ga State, as well as a representative of the Gbobu Wulomo, in the person of Numo Oofu Wulomo, and well-wishers, were also present at the ceremony, which was held under the vigilance of armed policemen.
The presence of the police might have been informed by the anticipated disruption of the programme by elements opposed to the installation of King Tackie Tawiah as the new Ga Mantse.
King Tackie Tawiah, who is from the Teiko Tsuru Royal Family, was installed as Ga Mantse on June 11, 2006 to succeed the late Nii Amugi II but some members of the Royal Family challenged his eligibility.
That notwithstanding, he subsequently swore an oath to the Ga State at Amuginaa and was also accepted by the Ga Traditional Council, which subsequently inducted him into the council on February 26, 2007.
That gave him the mandate to assume office as the President of the Ga Traditional Council.
When King Tackie Tawiah arrived at the palace at exactly 10.30 a.m., there were drum appellations and shouts of praise in his honour, mostly by the women present.
“Ei Nii oo!, ei Nii oo!” (hail the King!, hail the King!), the crowd shouted, as they waved their white handkerchiefs and clothes at the new king.
He responded to the cheers with a wave and a smile as he walked majestically in white cloth.
Before King Tackie Tawiah entered the palace, the Nai Wulomo, Numo Teete III, as custom demanded, held him by the hand and pulled and pushed him three times through the door, after which some rituals were performed.
The king exchanged greetings with the chiefs and elders, after which Numo Teete performed libation to ask for divine wisdom and blessings for the new king.
After taking his seat, members of the traditional council and some queens present were introduced to the new Ga Mantse.
Delivering his maiden address as President of the Ga Traditional Council, King Tackie Tawiah urged the people to unite and pool resources for the development of the Ga State.
He said much as Gas were prepared to accommodate visitors to the city, they would not accept those who tried to create the impression that Accra had no owners.
He pledged to collaborate with the government to create jobs for the people, especially the youth.
King Tackie Tawiah appealed to the government to allow the traditional authorities to charge property rates for the development of the Ga State.
He thanked the chiefs, elders and the people of the Ga State for the confidence reposed in him and asked for their continued support.
For his part, Nii Adotey Obuor welcomed King Tackie Tawiah to his new office and reminded him of the challenges awaiting him, such as chieftaincy disputes and the development of the state.
According to him, all the necessary rites had been performed for King Tackie Tawiah as the new Ga Mantse and declared, “I can testify today that his kingship is fulfilled.”
That remark drew spontaneous shouts of approval from the gathering.
Nii Adotey Obuor, on behalf of his colleagues, promised to heed the call of the new President of the traditional council at all times, saying, “If we don't respond to his call, then he has a case with us.”
He asked Gas to use the same unity and spirit which characterised the burial of the late Ga Mantse to support the new Ga Mantse to enable them to forge ahead.
Nii Adotey Obuor appealed to the media to give more attention to development issues, especially in Accra, "just as the Daily Graphic has been doing".
Naa Dedei Omadru asked the new Ga Mantse to recognise women in all endeavours so that they would also give him the needed recognition.
The new Linguist for the Ga Mantse, Nii Laryea II, was introduced to the gathering.
Story by Kofi Yeboah