THE BANE of good governance in our part of the world is the tendency on the part of ruling political administrations to want to interfere in the politics of which royal ascends the stool in a particular traditional area.
Since the era of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the uncivilized trend has persisted, resulting inexorably in factionalism among traditional elders and State-sponsored de-stoolment cases. Sadly and significantly, such extra-legal activities have affected Gas more than any other tribe in this country-because of the curse of playing host to the nation as the capital.
We can cite the case of former La Mantse Adjei Onanor, who was destooled by Nkrumah through a radio announcement; that of former Nungua Mantse, Nii Odai Ayiku II, who was de-stooled by an Executive Instrument from the military PNDC junta, and we can as well cite the case of another La Mantse Nii Anyetei Kwakwranya, who was also removed by the same military junta.
Whilst the history of the independence of Ghana is replete with stories about the valiant and courage of Adjei Onanor and Nii Kwabena Bonne, for instance, very little was offered them in appreciation by succeeding and beneficiary governments for their roles. Gas or Ghanaians, for that matter, forget that Onanor was prominent in resisting the ruling colonial masters in their quest to annex by force Ga State lands, without paying appropriate compensations. Nii Kwabena Bonne also single-handedly forced the then imperial Government to reduce the price of imported goods through looting, in one of the landmark catalysts of independence.
Whilst La Mantse Adjei Onanor , for example died of shock in hospital when the Nkrumah announcement destooling him blasted off the airwaves; Nungua chief Odai Ayiku II had to go into exile for fear of his life when the PNDC used Executive fiat to topple him.
Decades on, we do not seem to have learnt our lesson as a people and as politicians and Governments. State fiat and machine is being used today, too, to impoverish Gas culturally, economically and politically.
Like it happened during the colonial times, it has so become normal that nearly every Government after Nkrumah appear to have an interest in who becomes the traditional leader of the GaDangmes, especially, La, Nungua, Ga, Tema or Teshie – incidentally the very communities in which large tracts of land have been taken over by Government.
Unfortunately, because the force of State power has been supreme, the affected indigenous Ga communities yield, crack and knuckle under, leaving them more impoverished and disinherited. Through the machinations of politicians and Governments, we ridiculously have today in the 21st century three Ga Mashie (Ga Central) paramount chiefs – each tied to one apron sting of a Government or political entity, rather than the people who have the Divine right to appoint them.
The politicians, ruling Governments and other vested interests must learn to back away from taking sides. This is in spite of the fact that most of these politicians cannot afford to have this madness going on in their respective traditional areas.
The responsibility of the State, Governments and politicians is to equip and enable the appropriate institutions to independently assist in determining who is who in any such cases. Nothing more, nothing less!