No tribal enclave pleases: We are Ghanaians!
It looks like an innocuous event. But the repercussions of the Ga-Dangme Awards Night announced in the national newspapers yesterday, could trigger tribal sentiments that may not augur well for the cohesive force this nation is clamouring for among the citizenry. The State-run Daily Graphic published an advertisement yesterday, announcing the ‘First Ga Dangme Awards Night.’
“The Council and Members of GaDangme Descent and others who have individually, collectively or as a Corporate Entity contributed to the development and progress of Ga-Dangmes. The Award Night will be an annual event, and the first will be dedicated to its hardworking Founding Members,” the newspaper announced through an advertisement.
The advert ends with the following appellations: ‘GaDangme! Wodzi Ngoo, Gadangme Wodzi Gontie!
The Chronicle is ill at ease with what, to us, is a subtle means of promoting a tribal enclave, at a time when the whole society is trying hard to build a united cohesive nation, devoid of tribal sentiments.
It is significant to recall that the agitation to remove Ohene Djan’s name from that edifice for sporting events at Osu, started with agitations from this Ga-Dangme Association. Indeed, when the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, Dr. Alfred Okoh Vanderpuije, from our understanding, a key member of the association, announced that the AMA had decided to change the name of the stadium from Ohene Djan Stadium to Accra Sports Stadium, he cited petitions received from some prominent Ga-Dangmes.
It would be a tragedy to the notion of a cohesive national entity, if it emerges that those who carried out the forcible removal of the name Ohene Djan from the sporting edifice, after the hard work done by the deceased sports administrator to promote sports in this country, are rewarded at the awards night, for removing Ohenme Djan’s name from the entrance to the stadium.
It is instructive to learn that apart from Accra, where Ohene Djan’s name was removed from the sporting edifice named after him, no other sporting infrastructure named after past sportsmen lost that honour. In Kumasi, the Baba Yara Stadium has not been changed. The C.K. Gyamfi Sports College at Winneba is still sporting the name. Robert Mensah Stadium at Cape Coast is still intact.
We are slowly reaching the conclusion that some elements within the Ga lobby are hiding under the GaDangme Association to promote their intolerance for the construction of a cohesive society, devoid of tribal sentiments.
During the recent biometric registration exercise last April, ugly noises emanated from certain quarters that non-Gas were being prevented from registering in a particular constituency. A number of people shed blood over the tension this generated.
We would like to believe that it would be appropriate for state security to look at the emerging tribal trend at this nasal stage, before it develops into a full blown tribal enclave.
The Chronicle wonders what public reaction would have been if Asantes, for instance, begin giving awards to tribesmen who are identified as promoting the cause of Asantes, or that the people of Akyem decide to institute awards night for promoting a tribal concept. The Chronicle is of the view that all hell would break loose.
Over the years, this nation has tried very hard to promote a society of ethnic cohesion, rather than pockets of tribal enclaves. That is why The Chronicle is unhappy with the way the Ga-Dangme group is being allowed to fester as a tribal enclave.
We are inviting state security to interest themselves in the activities of the group before the Ga-Dangme group becomes an albatross around the neck of this nation. A stitch in time, they say, saves nine!
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