03.04.2024 Feature Article

Tradition on Trial: Unraveling the Controversy Surrounding Ga Traditional Rites

Tradition on Trial: Unraveling the Controversy Surrounding Ga Traditional Rites
03.04.2024 LISTEN

In the past ten days, the purported marriage between the Ga 'deity' represented by the Chief Priest GBORBU WULOMO-SHITSE and NAA OKROMO, allegedly a 12-year-old child in Nungua, has left me in utter disbelief. The intellectual and media frenzy surrounding this event, aiming to vilify the Chief Priest without substantial proof of misconduct, is not merely disheartening but represents a blatant disregard for traditional religious customs.

I hold the educated elite of Ghana, including lawyers, lecturers, and the media, accountable for their failure to discern whether the union was symbolic or literal. The narrative was twisted, precipitating unwarranted constitutional and law enforcement involvement. This scenario is perplexing, especially in a nation where traditional religion stands as a fundamental pillar of our identity.

The disconnect between legal frameworks, societal norms, and indigenous rites is glaring. Traditionalists, when acting under divine guidance, are often beyond the reach of secular questioning. The millennia-old Ga traditions should not be subjected to such groundless criticism. It's imperative to respect the essence of our tradition, rather than entangle it in intellectual disingenuousness, misrepresenting a significant traditional rite as a constitutional violation.

Even as the Ga traditional council sought to clarify the situation, rumours of child marriage continued to swirl. Our society's legal and moral structures seem to spring into action only under the media's spotlight, singling out the Chief Priest of the Ga Traditional Council. This council, composed of esteemed individuals well-versed in our customs, is now unfairly accused of overlooking child marriage. Ironically, these accusations come from a handful of self-proclaimed experts and legal scholars who misinterpret the depth of our traditional beliefs.

Traditional religion remains the bedrock of Ghanaian spirituality, despite the prevalence of Christianity and Islam. We, as Ghanaians, must champion the preservation of our rich heritage, safeguarded by the Ga people, rather than let it be tarnished by misinformed media narratives. While I do not condone child marriage, I stand firmly for the right of individuals to partake in traditional practices. This is their fundamental belief, which must be respected. Just as we tolerate the imperfections of Christianity, we should cease the vilification of traditional beliefs.