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07.06.2007 General News

War drums beat at James Town

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The Ga Mantse, King Tackie Tawiah III, has lifted the ban on drumming and noisemaking despite skirmishes between the police and a faction that sought to halt the function at the Amugi Naa, Mojawe at James Town.

The ceremony began two-and-a-half hours late because an irate youth had, in the early hours of Wednesday smeared human excreta at the grounds where the ceremony was to be performed.

Police fired teargas and rubber bullets when the irate youth started throwing stones and damaging property to register their protest that it was the prerogative of the Gbese Mantse to beat the “Odadao Drums” to lift the ban on drumming on Thursday and not Wednesday.

Seven people, including a woman were arrested in the process.

The irate youth damaged police vehicles and property while some policemen sustained injuries.

Libation was poured and a sheep slaughtered to pacify the gods and purify the Mogya We ground. The ceremony was witnessed by members of the Ga Traditional Council led by its President, Nii Adote Obuor II, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Sheikh I.C Quaye and the Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Mr Stanley Adjiri Blankson.

Before descending from the dais to beat the black Odadao Drums draped in white cloth, King Tackie Tawiah III expressed worry that “today, our children claim to know better than their elders.”

He said Ga tradition, which existed before they were born, could not be changed.

“We can't work and develop with hatred and bickering among us. If you do what is not supposed to be done, you see what is not supposed to be seen.”

The Ga Manste told the gathering that anybody who would ask for good or bad wishes for the Ga State should also expect the same for himself or herself.

Three times he beat the drums with the help of other drummers amidst loud cheers and shouts from the crowd which witnessed the ceremony under heavy police and military presence.

About 70 police personnel were deployed under the command of Superintendent Nana Afful from the Accra South District Police.

The Ga Traditional Council last Monday in statement gave its blessings to King Tawiah III to beat the drums on Wednesday to formally lift this year's ban on drumming in the Ga State due to problems within the Gbese Clan.

The beating of the “Odadao Drums” symbolizes the formal lifting of the ban on drumming imposed by the Ga State and ushers in activities to mark the annual Homowo festival.

Source: GNA

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