Mr Joshua Attoh Quarshie, a veteran politician, has chided the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government for its decision to prevent Gas from celebrating this year's Homowo festival.
“It's a pity that a paramount chief and his people would be prevented from celebrating their traditional festival: that is very sad and does not augur well at all and must not be encouraged,” Mr Quarshie sadly expressed.
Although he was not assertive in which circumstance the NDC could be affected by the decision, he also did not shy away from the fact that it could have an effect on the electoral fortunes of the party in the 2012 election
He observed that that decision of the Mills government will come back and haunt the NDC party in the near future.
Mr Attoh Quarshie was speaking to TODAY in an exclusive interview at his residence in Mamprobi, a suburb of Accra.
According to him, there is one unique thing about Gas which people fail to appreciate and that is, any political party that has kicked against them have had to pay dearly for its actions in one way or the other from the people of Accra. This, he indicated, dates back to the days of the late Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first President.
He recounted that during the days of “Dr Nkrumah it was observed that Gas who had helped him to win political power later opposed him because of certain decisions taken by Nkrumah's Convention People's Party (CPP) which decisions did not go down well with them.”
He noted that Gas take a lot of pride in the celebration of the Homowo festival, and hence would not take it lightly if they are banned from celebrating the one thing that unites them as a tribe and a people.
He further described the ban as the “most unfortunate and unhealthy decision” taken by the current administration.
He made it clear that the ban on Homowo was something that he never dreamt of happening to Gas, expressing that he deeply regrets that decision of the Mills-led government.
“… It is most unfortunate and abominable that the Ga Mantse, King Tackie Tawiah III, is being prohibited from leading his tribes' men and women to celebrate the Homowo festival,” stated Mr Attoh Quarshie.
He stressed that if such decision had been taken elsewhere in the country one could have imagined what would have happened.
For instance, he said if a decision of this nature had been taken in either the Northern or other parts of the country it would have led to chaos.
In the opinion of Mr Attoh Quarshie, President John Evans Atta Mills has been ill-advised by his so-called political advisers so far as the Homowo celebration is concerned.
He said if not for the fact that Gas are very peaceful people, the ban would have been interpreted to mean something else which could have sparked tension in the capital.
“Gas are peaceful and law abiding people and that explains why they have not taken to the streets to protest against the government's decision to ban them from celebrating their traditional Homowo festival,” said the veteran politician.
Mr Attoh Quarshie, who is well abreast of the country's political history, contended that the time has come for politicians to stop meddling in chieftaincy matters and rather think of ways to bring Ghanaians together.
“Our politicians must strive hard to depoliticize themselves from chieftaincy matters and also resolve such matters when they arise amicably and dispassionately.”
The veteran politician was also disappointed that some elements were dragging the name of the Greater Accra Regional Minister into the matter.
He indicated that it was necessary for the Minister to come out and clear his name from all those allegations leveled against him.
Finally, Mr Attoh Quarshie took the opportunity to commend King Tackie Tawiah III, who he described as a peaceful and God-fearing person. He also praised the Ga Manye, Nii Akapeh of Osu, Otublohum Chief and others who have rendered their support to the Ga Mantse. He said the Ga Mantse's cool in all what is going has helped to prevent a situation where there would have been bloodshed.
He however took a swipe at the chief of James Town, Nii Kojo Abbio, (aka Ezekiel Quamina Allotey Cofie) whom he described … “is a disgrace to the people of Ga.
He noted that …“The Ga Mantse has really seen his true lovers”.
Mr. Attoh Quarshie alleged that the James Town Chief has turned into an artificial land seller, selling one plot of land to several people, and creating confusion on Ga lands.
He accused him of causing trouble in the area whenever he is in the country.
“I am appealing to President Mills to investigate these chiefs who sell lands indiscriminately, like the James Town Chief”, Mr Attoh Quarshie urged.
He also urged President Mills to be wary of the pieces of advice given him by his political advisors, adding that some of the advice can make him commit unpardonable mistakes.
Source: theghanaianjournal - The Ghanaian Journal