PRESS CONFERENCE HELD ON 12th APRIL, 2007 BY THE GA PARAMOUNT STOOL DSASE SUPPORTED BY ABOLA,GBESE AND ASERE DIVISIONS OF THE GA STATE ON THE FURORE SURROUNDING THE PURPORTED INSTALLATION OF DR.JO BLANKSON AS GA MANTSE AND THE PLANNED CORONATION ON SATURDAY 14th APRIL,2007
Ladies and Gentlemen:
On behalf of the Ga Paramount Stool Dsase, supported by Abola, Gbese and Asere Divisions of the Ga State, we warmly welcome you to this press briefing. We express our gratitude for your efforts in support of the democratic dispensation currently prevailing in the country and also providing a platform for the expression of free speech and education of the public on various issues.
We particularly thank you for the extensive publicity you have given to issues pertaining to the vacant Ga Paramount Stool following the death of the late Ga Mantse, Boni Nii Amugi II.
First, we will introduce to you the key figures responsible for this press briefing as follows;
Nii Yaote Oto-Ga II Ga Dsasetse
Niibi Teiko Tackie Head, Teiko Tsuru We
David Tackie-Komme Head, Tackie Komme We
Nii Okai Mensah IV Head, Amugi We
Nii Ayitey Osu III Head Abola Piam
The above constitute the central authority of the Ga Paramount Stool.
They are supported by Nii Tetteh Ahinakwa, Regent of the Gbese stool, Nii Tafo Amon II, Asere Djorshie Dsasetse, Asafoatse Ahene Nunoo of Abola, Nii Tettey Adjin and principal elders of the four ruling houses of the Dsase.
The main purpose of this press briefing is to shed light on the mystery surrounding the purported enstoolment of Dr. Jo Blankson as Ga Mantse in bizarre circumstances. We shall explain further the time honoured procedure for nomination, selection and enstoolment of a royal as a Ga Mantse in accordance with the requisite Ga customary law, usage and practices.
The Paramount Stool Dsase has been compelled for the sake of transparency to give wide publicity earlier, to the procedure in the media for public education. Secondly it is to demonstrate our resolve not to tolerate impunity, illegality and shameful distortion of the truth to satisfy the selfish interests by the under-listed which is clearly an affront to the sensibilities of the Ga people;
• Ga Traditional Council
• Some state officials in the Regional Administration
• The police using intimidation and threats to attempt to legitimise the illegality by Dr. Jo Blankson and his cohorts.
For the avoidance of doubt and at the risk of repetition of our advertiser's announcement published on page 7 of Thursday 5th April edition of the Ghanaian Times, we will highlight the key steps in the installation procedure as follows;
1.0 NEED FOR GA MANTSE
With a vacancy, a meeting of the Ga Stool Dsase comprising;
1. The Dsasetse
2. The Seitse (Osiahene) Keeper of the Stool room
3. The Head of Amugi We
4. The Head of Tackie-Komme We
5. The Head of Teiko Tsuru We
6. The Head of Abola Piam
Is convened by the Dsasetse as chairman
2.0 CANDIDATE FOUND
As soon as the fit and proper candidate has been customarily nominated and elected by the Dsaase, The Abola Mantse is notified and he in turn informs the Gbese Mantse with a bottle of rum provided by the Dsase.
3.0 Both Abola and Gbese Mantsemei have no customary or traditional
authority to question or reject the nomination of the candidate by the
Dsase, since it is the sole prerogative of the Dsase.
3.0 The Gbese Mantse in turn notifies the Divisional Mantsemei with bottles of rum. Again the Divisional chiefs also have no authority to question the nomination.
4.0 The Dsase the prepares the candidate for confinement and enstoolment on
a Saturday dead in the night on an agreed date
5.0 Notification drinks for the enstoolment are dispatched through the Abola
Mantse to the other Mantsemei as stated earlier.
6.0 The following chiefs should be present, in accordance with custom and by
tradition to witness the ceremony.
• Abola Mantse
• Gbese Mantse
• Asere Mantse
• Otublohum Mantse
• Sempe Mantse
• Ngleshie Mantse
• Akamajey Mantse
• Nai, Sakumo and Korle Wulomei
The (3) Wulomei are seated in the Main Hall outside the Ga Mantse Stool Room.
From the procedure outlined, the purported nomination and installation of Dr. Jo Blankson as Ga Mantse violates time honoured Ga custom and tradition for enstooling a Ga Mantse. Such illegality cannot be tolerated by any sentiments whatsoever to legitimise and must not be allowed to stand.
The key features of the violations by and on behalf of Dr. Jo Blankson are as follows;
1. A new Ga Mantse is never nominated and enstooled to succeed a deceased Ga Mantse when the latter has not been buried, as was done in the case of Dr. Jo Blankson.
2. Dr. Jo Blankson's nomination and selection was done without the participation of all the accredited kingmakers, which is a basic requirement for the occupation of the Ga Paramount Stool. His selection and installation were performed by Nii Akropong III, the head of Teiko Tsuru and Nii Tetteh Ashong IV,Seitse of the Ga Paramount Stool. Subsequently when they were summoned before the Nai Wulomo, they admitted guilt to infringement of the due procees for selecting a Ga Mantse. They were fined a goat, 2 bottles schnapps and an amount of ¢1.5 million which they provided. Nai Wulomo declared the enstoolment null and void.
3. Dr. Jo Blankson does not hail from the Patrilineal line of succession. He is a grandson of Ameley-Nkpa, daughter of King Tackie-Tawiah I ( thus a 3rd Generation female line) and the son of the late Blankson Lartey from Gbese Manhean who does not hail from a chiefly line.
4. His purported nomination and enstoolment is a subject matter of suits pending before the judicial committee of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs, Dodowa. Notwithstanding these actions against him he continues to hold himself out as Ga Mantse unlawfully.
5. The Ga Traditional Council has no mandate to nominate, select and enstool a Ga Mantse.
The above list of violations by and on behalf of Dr. Jo Blankson have received further support from certain traditional office holders within the Ga Traditional council, some high government official in the Regional Administration and the Police.
The Ga Traditional Council has acted contrary to Ga custom and traditions by accepting and inducting Dr. Jo Blankson into the council and as its President.
The Otublohum Mantse is quoted as follows; - 'That the Ga Traditional Council will affirm Dr. Blankson as Ga Mantse after the burial of the Boni Nii Amugi II' in the Equirier News Paper, on page 4 of the 1st to 4th Februrary 2007, Vol. No.68 under the caption 'Uneasy calm in Ga Mashie'.
The Traditional Council has no mandate in Ga custom and tradition to pick and choose a candidate for induction into the council as a member other than the candidate presented by the Ga Dsase. To further attempt to legitimise their position, they have issued letters informing state institutions to give recognition to Dr. Jo Blankson as Ga Mantse.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, as we sit here there are reports of a forthcoming Coronation scheduled for 14th April 2007 to further aggravate the illegality. This Coronation is alien to Ga custom and usage since customary rites of a Ga Mantse, by Ga custom, is done only at Amugi Naa or Mojawe. This is another attempt to legitimise the wrong process.
It was reported in the media, that a delegation of the Ga Traditional council and others had gone to His Excellency the President to thank him for his support to the funeral of the late Ga Mantse. They craftily tried to use the occasion to invite the President to their 'coronation' ceremony. It is strange that, the Chief Mourners and the family of the late king were not invited by the Ga Traditional Council in this solemn duty to express appreciation to the Presiden, which is customary.
By Divine Providence, the President, in his wisdom advised the delegation against the coronation, due to the numerous suits pending in the courts against Dr. Jo Blankson. We appreciate the wisdom of the President to decline to participate and give his blessing to the illegalities and impunity being perpertrated by Dr. Jo Blankson and the Ga Traditional Council.
We deplore the misuse of police armoured personnel carriers and armed policemen at various times ostensibly to keep the peace, when there is no threat to the peace. This is only a ploy to provide security and protection to Dr. Jo Blankson and his cohorts to continue to flout with impunity the traditional practices of the Ga people. This use of state security apparatus to support the usurper is interference in Ga Chieftancy affairs and raises a number of questions concerning motives. We will not be intimidated nor coerced by such show of force.
As law abiding citizen, we have exercised extreme restraint in the face of all provocations to ensure that the peace is maintained in Ga Mashie. The blatant impunity with which Dr. Jo Blankson and his agents (including landguards and police personnel) to take over the Ga Paramount Stool despite legitimate and peaceful resistence and the pursuit of due process of law, is a recipe for lawlessness and chaos in the metropolis, the seat of government and the gateway to the country. The ramifications of their actions, it must be clear to all has the potential for disrupting peace and stability. We shall fight to preserve our heritage, dignity and respect the peace we enjoy in the Ga-Dangbe State.
We refer to the 'coronation' being planned to consummate the impunity to which invitations have been issued. We caution all invited guests and the general public to heed the wisdom and advice of the President and ignore the call to celebrate impunity. We further advise that letters being circulated by some prominent Ga citizens to solicit for funds from corporate bodies and individuals in support of the illegal enterprise must be rejected. Is it not a shame that we are yet to formally acknowledge the earlier support given to the Ga State during the funeral of our late king, Boni Nii Amugi II?
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, the core of our concerns is maintenance of peace and order in the Ga State, preservation of our heritage, custom and practices without which we lose our identity as Ga people.
We serve notice that the impunity and illegalities being perpetrated by Dr. Jo Blankson, the Ga Traditional Council and their cohorts in flouting all laid down procedure in connection with installation of the Ga Mantse will no longer be tolerated. The Central authority of the Ga Paramount Stool Dsase, Abola, Gbese and the Asere Stools who are custodians of Ga Paramount stool processes in installing a King will resist with all the power at our disposal any attempt to subvert and desecrate the Ga Nation.
The rightful kingmakers' will pursue and carry this agenda to its logical conclusion to elect a right and acceptable King soonest in the long term interest of the Ga People.
Finally, we appeal to the conscience of all in Ga Leadership, the government, Parliament, the judiciary, Christian and Muslim organisations and Human Right groups to support our fight to uphold the truth and to reject impunity and lawlessness.
Long live the Ga Nation
Long live Ghana
Thank you all for honouring our invitation
God bless you all