21.01.2008 General News

Ga chief priests unhappy with media reports

By Daily Guide
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The two most senior spiritual heads of the Ga State, the Nai Wulomo, Nuumo Tete III of Ga Mashie and the Gbobu Wulomo Shitse of Nungua, Nuumo Borketey Larweh Tsuru have flared up over media reports that the rituals they performed to install Dr. Joe Blankson as the Ga Mantse under the name, King Tackie Tawiah III was null and void.

The High Priests told DAILY GUIDE that it was an unpardonable sacrilege for their spiritual authority and traditional legitimacy in the installation of a Ga King to be questioned, and warned that it was a bad omen with dreadful consequences for anyone to indict the authority of someone they had performed rituals on as the Ga Mantse.

Their anger was a response to publications in sections of the media which tried to warn presidential candidates of all political parties to desist from regarding King Tackie Tawiah as the Ga Mantse because he was an illegitimate chief. The said publications quoted the Sakumo Wulomo, Nuumo Ogbarmey III as saying that he was the Supreme High Priest to perform rituals and bless anyone who would be installed Ga Mantse and since that had not been done, there was no Ga Mantse for the Ga State yet.

In separate interviews, the Nai Wulomo and Gbobu Wulomo had debunked the claim, explaining that according to Ga customs and traditions, the Nai Wulomo and the Nuumo Obobu are the two supreme priests for the Ga State and before a king is installed they have to 'work on him'. They explained further that once that spiritual exercise had been done, no one had the authority to perform any further ritual on the new king.

DAILY GUIDE had to meet the two priests separately because the Ga custom demands that the Nai Wulomo, stationed in Accra, and the Obobu Wulomo, stationed at Nungua must never meet. The Obobu Wulomo by custom is banned from crossing the Kpeshie Lagoon, which is between La and Teshie and the Nai Wulomo can also not do same. Thus the two senior priests only communicate via emissaries.

Nai Wulomo gave an assurance that King Tackie Tawiah III was legitimate and no one should harbour any fears when dealing with him.

He described the said publication as provocative and one that could possibly land the region in a conflict. Nuumo Tete said he had been Nai Wulomo for the past 26 years and would not watch unconcerned for any person to make statements that threaten the peace and stability of Accra.

He said as a senior High Priest, the peace and stability of Accra was one of his prime concerns. "Every morning, I say prayers for Accra and this nation. I pray for peace to be restored in other parts of the country where we hear reports of chieftaincy disputes and killings going on. Accra is the capital and we must watch to prevent any of such things from happening here," he advised.

Prior to the installation of the Ga Mantse, there were reports that some sections of the royal family were kicking against the idea because Dr. Joe Blankson was a 'maternal son' of the royal family, meaning it was his mother and not his father who hailed from the said family. The issue was that since the Ga people practice patrilineal inheritance, a person of maternal descent can¬not mount, the throne.

Asked if that might be a cause of the emerging impasse, the Nai Wulomo said that was not the cause of the problem and that in the contemporary Ga State, someone of matrilineal descent with a good character could be made king. "After Joe Blankson had been nominated, he was brought to me. I had series of discussions and interviews with him and after a wide consultation; I came to a conclusion that he was a rightful person to ascend the throne. I am not a child. The peace and development of my people is important to me and I took all that into consideration before performing the rituals on him," the Nai Wulomo added.

The Gbowo Wulomo on his part warned that politics should not be brought into the chieftaincy issues of Greater Accra. He said in an election year, it is only mischievous people who would want to drag chieftaincy issues into politics. The Wulomo gave an assurance that the traditional authorities of Accra would do all within their means to ensure that peace was maintained in the region.

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