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03.06.2005 General News

Support of the GaDangme Youth & Council

Mr. Awuley Doku

Statement of Our Unwavering and Unequivocal Support of the GaDangme Youth, GaDangme Council and its President. We, the undersigned GaDangmebii located in the Diaspora, hereby issue a statement of our unwavering and unequivocal support of the GaDangme Youth, and the GaDangme Council and its President, Mr. K. B. Asante. We have read with increasing dismay the recent attacks by Nii Adote Obour II, acting President of the Ga Traditional Council, following the recent successful march organized by the GaDangme Youth with the active support of the GaDangme Council and GaDangmebii located in the Diaspora and Ghana. We applaud the GaDangme Council, GaDangme Youth, GaDangmebii, and the Mantsemei, Asafoatsemei, Wulomei who marched on April 26th., 2005. The March would not have been possible without the untiring efforts of the brave GaDangme Youth who have proven that they are prepared to stand up for their rights.

We regard the GaDangme Council, headed by Mr. K. B. Asante, to be a legitimate representative of the GaDangme people. We have watched on silently for years as some of these same Mantsemei who now condemn the GaDangme Council sold stool lands and pocketed the proceeds without rendering accounts to members of their various stools. We cannot point to a single school, hospital, community centre or other public facility that some of these Mantsemei have built with the proceeds from the sale of stool lands.

The GaDangme Council led by Mr. K. B. Asante, has actively and respectfully petitioned this Government and previous governments regarding the return of government acquired stool lands that are no longer needed, cessation of the sale of government acquired stool lands to private developers and individuals, compensation for government acquired stool lands for the Dawhenya irrigation project and other projects, return of the Ada Songhor to the people of Ada, and repeal of Act 2 of the 1960 Constitution, L.I. 118, and PNDC Law 287 all of which discriminate against the people of GaDangme . The GaDangme Council is also pursuing several legal cases that are still pending in court regarding some of these land issues. GaDangme Council and the Greater Accra House of Chiefs, including the Ga Traditional Council, have fostered a relationship that goes back to early 2001, and have collaborated on several issues pertaining to the ban on drumming and noisemaking, Ada Songhor, and the land issue in general. We believe that the government should involve the GaDangme Council in any negotiations pertaining to government acquired GaDangme lands and all developmental, cultural and educational issues affecting the GaDangme area. The membership of the GaDangme Council comprise several eminent personalities of immensely rich diverse backgrounds and experience who are extremely capable of assisting Government in ensuring good and sustained prudent management of the affairs of the GaDangmes.

We look forward to working with the GaDangme Council, GaDangme Youth, Ga and Dangme Traditional Councils and other GaDangme stakeholders to address the land and development issues in the GaDangme traditional area, including the revival of the study of Ga and Dangme languages in schools located in the GaDangme area. We fully expect that the Government and the GaDangme area Traditional Councils will cooperate with the GaDangme people, Metropolitan and District Assemblies, and Members of Parliament, as we seek solutions to the unfortunate problems that have been created over the years. We implore the Government to disclose the terms of the proposed or alleged settlement of the government acquired lands so that it is all in the open and subject to public scrutiny. We also recommend that the Government show good faith and place an immediate moratorium on further sales of government acquired lands in the GaDangme area while negotiations with the GaDangme stakeholders continue We also ask that the news media focus on reporting and analyzing the news and not create news based on personal attacks on individuals. There are many Ghanaians who were born and bred in the GaDangme area who feel that they are GaDangmes even if their parents originated from other parts of Ghana. It will be irresponsible and dangerous therefore if the news media fan the flames of ethnic tension in our country. The role of the news media is to dissect and analyze the news, including the merits and demerits of the petition that the GaDangme Council and GaDangme Youth have presented to the Government, so that Ghanaians and others can objectively form their own opinions.

We have a tremendous opportunity to resolve these issues in a responsible, open and proactive manner in the best interest of the GaDangme people. Any attempts to create rifts among the GaDangme people, GaDangme Youth, GaDangme Council, and Ga Traditional Council undermines the democratic process that we all hold so dear in fostering a strong and united Ghana. Long live GaDangmeli/mei. Long live Ghana!

Tswa Manye Aba!

Respectfully,

Signatories:

GaDangme Heritage GaDangme International, Philadelphia GaDangme International, Toronto Sempe Kpee, UK

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