The Executive Director, Media Foundation for West Africa, Professor Kwame Karikari says the decision of state protocol to truncate the long-held practice of pouring libation at national ceremonial functions is discriminatory. At this year's Independence parade - contrary to historical practice - the Ga traditional leaders were not allowed to pour libation at the Independence Square.
He said if government has indeed decided to 'ban' the age-old pouring of libation at state functions, then government must rethink to restore it since such a move will be an act of discriminating against a section of the populace.
Speaking in an interview with Myjoyonline.com, Prof. Karikari lamented the development, describing it as unfortunate. He President John Evans Atta Mills must explain the rationale for the move.
“…they just made sure it (pouring of libation) was not part of the independence celebrations…so basically they have taken it out of the agenda for Independence Day, the inauguration and so on and so forth…I think that, that is for President Mills to answer why they have done that.”
“It is unfortunate and it is unacceptable that something that has been there since independence to be kicked out under one regime,” he added.
The Media Foundation boss said although he has not seen any official statement explaining the reason for the action, he hopes that it will be restored adding “since independence, this has always been a feature at those ceremonies at the Black Star Square and our democracy makes for the respect of all faiths.”
He said government must demonstrate its respect for this democratic principle and must pay homage to all of the country's different faiths “because it will be an act of discrimination to respect some faiths and disrespect others.”
“It is sadder still that what is indigenous to us is what we kick against and what we denigrate. Great scholars in Christianity do not see anything wrong with libation and so it is not right that we discriminate against this indigenous practice,” he lamented.
According to him, “Just because the traditional religious practitioners are not organized like Christianity or Islam does not mean that because they cannot make noises, then they should not be respected,” adding, President Mills is not the first Christian to be Head of State of this country.
Those who are campaigning for this, he hinted, are discriminating against other faiths “and if they had their will, they will impose their faith on the whole society and it is wrong. It is undemocratic.”
He called for a relook at the situation urging that we should acknowledge all religious practices in the country.
Story by Ernest Dela Aglanu/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana