The Ga Traditional Council’s (GTC) request for Government intervention to set up a commission of inquiry to determine who amongst the claimants is the rightful person to be installed as Ga Mantse, did not come as a surprise to some of us. That was an audacious decision by the GTC. Many saw it coming since we have always maintained that something wasn’t right with the Ga chieftaincy. However, we noticed the rising anger from a cross section of the GaDangme community in the immediate aftermath of the GTC’s meeting with the President.
The commission of inquiry, if, and when it is set up, will have no power to determine royalty, and the President was emphatic on that at the meeting. He was referring to the relevant provisions of the 1992 constitution, which is very clear on Parliament’s relationship with Chieftaincy. If anything, the judicial committee of either the Regional or National House of Chiefs has the jurisdiction to adjudicate in any dispute concerning chieftaincy depending on the case under consideration. Ironically, the President did not seem to be aware that both the lower and upper judicial committees have seemingly stopped functioning. They are not fit for purpose.
The Ga Traditional Council like most GaDangmes perhaps felt they have had enough of the embarrassment, our continued pandering to politicians, and the promotional antics of the claimants and their loud-mouth intolerant supporters. Besides, one thing these claimants and their supporters have failed to acknowledge is that, nobody is bigger, stronger or powerful that the Ga Stool. The GTC’s request should not to be construed as an invitation to the Government to meddle in the Ga chieftaincy affairs as some GaDangmes perceive.
Around this furore there is a catch. The GTC request must go through and pass the “Public interest test” under Article 278 (1) of the Constitution for it to be ratified by a resolution of Parliament, the President or the Council of State. Let us all hope that the request passes the test.
Any report by the commission of inquiry if eventually it is set up, would include reasons for its conclusions and recommendations. But the commission in making any recommendations would tread cautiously in order not to include anything that will be at conflict with Article 270 of the Constitution. It will meticulously focus on advising the Kingmakers to revisit the relevant customs and traditions and redefine their practices and usage with the view to applying them to the enstoolment process in a proper and acceptable manner.
The GTC initiative needs a broad support to draw executive approval.
But whether, or not the President’s tactful assurance would be translated into action is yet to be seen.
Our Chiefs and Wulomei have lost focus apparently due to multiple claims to stools and priesthood in some areas in the region and their seemingly feeble resistance to political interference in the institution. Financial considerations resulting from illegal stool lands transactions, bribery and corruption have become so intoxicating that our chieftaincy and Priesthood institutions have chipped away their integrity and responsibilities.
Some people make self-denying sacrifices to support in every way, or pay allegiance to a claimant to a stool when they know that person has no such rights, but because they belong to the same clan or family.
Incompetent GaDangme political office holders, Chiefs, Wulomei and Elders have supporters, and sympathisers. These supporters close their eyes and minds to all the iniquities associated with their leaders. Some GaDangmes are found largely on social media sites to be unprecedented in their aggression and violence when responding to comments that apparently infringe on the integrity of any claimant they support.
Our GaDangme languages which are mutually intelligible are gradually fizzling out, after losing its relevance in our schools and homes.
We should stop blaming our next door neighbours and look within ourselves.
OUR PROBLEMS ARE SELF-MADE.
Kowe, a clan in La installed La Djaase Nye