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Mensah Thompson roasted over his disrespectful comments on Ga traditions

The Executive Director of Alliance for Social Equity and Accountability (ASEPA), Mensah Thompson has incurred the wrath of many Ghanaians by his comments describing the Ga Traditional Council’s ban on noise making and drumming as archaic.

“I am not in anyway attempting to demean the customs and traditions of the Ga people far from that, I am only pointing out a very archaic, outmoded part of their practice that is far from acceptable in a cosmopolitan Capital like Accra.” – he said in a Facebook post.

His article was in response to the misunderstanding between some churches and the Task Force of the Ga Traditional Council when they stormed the church to enforce the directive.

Describing the Ga Traditional Council as unlawful and “so-called”, the ASEPA Boss said:

“I have just seen a video in which some so-called task force of the Ga Traditional Council in Rambo style stormed the church of Pentecost at Abeka in an attempt to enforce some so-called ban on noise making. This degenerated into a rampage and a rather regrettable chaotic situation followed.”

“First of all I am totally lost as to the lawfulness or otherwise of the actions by these so-called task force.
The Constitution of the Republic of Ghana 1992 and other relevant laws gives the power of law enforcement to the Police and no one else, even citizens’ power to law enforcement is limited to when a law is about to be broken. Emphasis is on a “LAW” not a tradition.” – he added

According to him, the one month ban on the noise making and drumming is in “violations of fundamental rights of citizens to lawful assembly and worship”

“Every year we see these so-called task force without any legal backing or statutory regime put the law in their own hands and engage in all manner of vices, violations of fundamental rights of citizens to lawful assembly and worship and we seem to have almost unquestionably accepted these unlawful actions, the Ga traditional council must tell us which law in Ghana bars citizens from practicing their faith during a particular period?”

But many social media users disagreed with him saying before the birth our Ghanain’s constitutions, there were customary laws for which same is captured explicitly under Article 11 of the 1992 constitution.

Some have also called his invitation by the Ga Traditional Council to explain his respectful comments he will not pass about the people of Ashanti, his hone region.

Read his full post:

I have a just seen a video in which some so called task force of the Ga Traditional Council in Rambo style stormed the church of Pentecost at Abeka in an attempt to enforce some so called ban on noise making.
This degenerated into a rampage and a rather regrettable chaotic situation followed.

First of all I am totally lost as to the lawfulness or otherwise of the actions by these so called task force.
The Constitution of the Republic of Ghana 1992 and other relevant laws gives the power of law enforcement to the Police and no one else, even citizens’ power to law enforcement is limited to when a law is about to be broken.
Emphasis is on a “LAW” not a tradition.

Every year we see these so called task force without any legal backing or statutory regime put the law in their own hands and engage in all manner of vices, violations of fundamental rights of citizens to lawful assembly and worship and we seem to have almost unquestionably accepted these unlawful actions, the Ga traditional council must tell us which law in Ghana bars citizens from practicing their faith during a particular period?

Again anyone who want to argue of customs and traditions should abreast themselves with the hierarchy of laws in Ghana.

I am not in anyway attempting to demean the customs and traditions of the Ga people far from that, I am only pointing out a very archaic, outmoded part of their practice that is far from acceptable in a cosmopolitan Capital like Accra.

Maybe Ghana needs to learn from the United Arab Emirates example, the UAE a very traditional Islamic State realizing that strict enforcement of Islamic laws would be a detriment to their tourism agenda decided to single out Dubai as their tourism hub and relaxed the enforcement of a lot of the rigid Islamic laws in the City.
In Dubai you can almost do anything but there are certain things you cannot do in other States like Abu Dhabi or Sharja or Al-Ain.

The point is that you cannot attempt to build a World Class Capital City and make it a tourism destination and at the same time stuck to some rigid cultural practices that would only be an impediment to tourism.
Imagine a tourist who hears so much about Ghana only to arrive and be told that there is a ban on noise making in Accra and so he can’t patronize the popular joints he’s heard so much about because they can’t play music…in this 21st century?
Who will come here again??

Maybe it’s about time the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Chieftancy and Culture and the Ministry of Tourism sits down with the Ga Traditional Council and come up with a compromise resolution to resolve this annual menace once and for all.

Definitely this is not a target on Ga customs and traditions, however there must be a price to pay to be called a Nation’s Capital, you cannot hold on to the Capital with rigid arms.
If it was any other City that was the Capital and they had a custom that impedes on international standards of hospitality and fundamental rights we would have called for such customs to be totally abandoned or it’s emforcement mooted as well.

May be the Ga Traditional Council would have to decide which is more important to them, their status as the Capital of Ghana or their annual ban on noise making, definitely one has to give way for the other…

Choice is theirs!!

Mensah Thompson
Executive Director, ASEPA

By: Efo Korsi Senyo / awakenewsroom.com

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