The GaDangme Council has registered its displeasure with the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs' decision to modify the annual ban on drumming and noise-making in the Greater Accra Region.
According to the Council, its attention has been drawn to a joint declaration that was allegedly concluded between the ministry, Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs, the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council led by the Regional Minister; faith-based organisations and representatives of traditional councils in the Greater Accra Region that dealt with the annual ban on drumming and noise-making.
The Council, in a statement dated May 30, 2023, signed by its president, Nii Ayikoi Otoo, with the headline: ‘Ban on drumming and noise – The Dodowa debacle’, said the joint declaration sought to modify the total ban on drumming and noise-making imposed by the Ga Traditional Council within parts of the Greater Accra Region which it had done from time immemorial.
The Council explained that the joint declaration, contrary to the total ban, which now permits faith-based organisations to use microphones and public address systems at reduced volumes; and the clapping of hands at minimum levels confined to the church auditoria, was worrying.
‘’What is troubling about the joint declaration is that though the ban was imposed by the Ga Traditional Council, those who initiated the process of modifying the ban rather chose to go to the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs at the time most of the chiefs of the Ga Traditional Council had travelled outside the jurisdiction to attend a GaDangme International Programme in the United States of America,” the statement noted.
“It must be recalled that after this year's ban was announced, the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs attempted to modify the effects of the ban, by putting up a statement similar to what took place at the Regional House of Chiefs at Dodowa".
“On that occasion, the Ga Traditional Council promptly reacted in a statement issued by the Council and signed by the Ga Mantse, Nii Tackie Teiko Tsuru II, rejecting the use of microphones and public address systems by the clergy or any other, at reduced volumes in church auditoriums and directed the general public to adhere to the earlier statement issued by the Ga Traditional Council,” the statement stressed.
The statement noted that of particular interest was the fact that on the date the ban was earlier announced to take effect from May 15, 2023, the Greater Accra Regional Minister was present at the Ga Traditional Council and was captured on video assuring the chiefs and members of the Ga Traditional Council that the traditional values and culture of GaDangme people must stay and must be protected.
"He (the minister) there and then directed the Regional Service Commanders to direct their subordinates to work with the Metropolitan, Municipal District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to ensure the ban is adhered to", the statement narrated.
According to the statement, the minister was lauded by all present.
“It must be noted that to enforce the ban, the Ga Traditional Council and all other Traditional Councils have, over the years, formed task forces led by Wulomei and Asafoiatsemei who seize noise-making instruments and after the culprits have settled their issues with the authorities, the instruments, mostly from faith-based organisations or drinking spots, were returned with a warning, the statement noted.
“We must commend the many orthodox churches which have, over the years, respected the total ban,” the statement added.
The statement stressed that the Regional Minister who gave assurance to the chiefs and members of the Ga Traditional Council of full compliance to the ban which he described as custom and not idol worship, was again the leader of the delegation to the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs with an already-prepared document entitled: ‘Joint Declaration On The Annual Ban On Drumming And Noise-Making