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17.04.2007 Feature Article


After the incessant petty squabbles, name-callings, war of words, security concerns for our nation's capital, the chickens have finally come home to roost and my Ga siblings have collectively exhibited a great sense of mission and unity of purpose. Notwithstanding the differences and controversies, King Tackie Tawiah III, also known in private life as Dr. Joe Blankson, has being outdoored as the new Ga Mantse. I join all well meaning and peace loving Gas in congratulating and wishing him well.

Events preceding the outdooring, although not palatable, hold within them the seed of some valuable lessons for both the current and future generations for both the Ga Traditional area and all other chiefdoms.

I was indeed taken aback when I heard supposed spokespersons from the warring factions pitching themselves against one another in ferocious radio combats. In some instances, some of these unwarranted media battles registered derogatory castigations from one another.

Since when did the media become the arbitration and conflict resolution platform for a noble institution like chieftaincy? All culprits in this shameful act should bow their heads in shame.

On this note however, let me applaud the Ga Traditional Council, under the able leadership of Nana Dr. S.K.B. Asante, for the able manner in which it conducted itself in the heat of the crisis. I vividly remember a particular instance when he refused to yield to a journalist's temptation to comment on the appropriateness or otherwise of the outdooring when all concerns had not been addressed. To him, that would amount to him taking sides.

One cannot also lose sight of President Kufuor's admonishing to the feuding factions to resolve all existing controversies before the outdooring took place, so as to get all Gas united behind the programme. Although the advice was not wholly heeded to, it at least showed the President's desire to see to the stability of the Ga kingdom, which also happens to host the nation's capital.

Even though the ceremony took place amidst tight security, at least a possible looming crisis, with attendant implications of unimaginable casualties has been averted. The lesson is that irrespective of the enormity of our differences, neither the sword, the gun, violence nor is anarchy the solution. We must, as a growing and matured people learn to tolerate dissenting standpoints, find a convergence zone, and move forward. This is a clear demonstration of unity in diversity.

To King Tackie Tawiah III and especially those closer to him, I will say much is what lie ahead. The first hurdle has just been surmounted. What is most important now is unity needed for the development of the traditional area. It is my belief that he will commit himself to this and others including the security of stool lands which have become the subject of much controversies. This is something I believe he can, given the rich experience he brings on board.

To the factions that couldn't achieve what they wanted, I say there are no losers. The seat can only be occupied by one person at a time. I wish to seize this forum to appeal to all the belligerents to smoke the peace pipe, bury their hatchets, and see themselves as one people with a common destiny in a proud, enviable, and fast developing country.

I urge all other traditional areas, especially the conflict-prone ones ( you think I can defy common sense and mention names of some that have developed a penchant for conflict on the least provocation), and they know themselves, to take a cue from the Gas that we can co-exist, despite our differences.

How I wish that for once, I was a Ga.


This author has authored 22 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KOBLANUVIADENU

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