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Who speaks for the People? the Chiefs, Churches or Civil Society organisations?
this piece about how burial of President Mills has further eroded our traditions with Accra being the capital city, but is shows how multiple layers of authority and representation play havoc with our system of traditional governance.
who speaks for Ga people is suddenly an issue. there are several who would rather not talk about it but continue to suggest that the chiefs of Accra do not necessarily speak for each other and certainly do not speak for the entire people. Political parties definitely have their constituency and more importantly the government in power that appoints administrative officials can interfere in several ways in our traditional norms.
civil society groups have also started exerting some influences of sorts, if only through press conferences and protests on a variety of issues; the church also influence and speak for the people.
the problem is that if our different hierarchies each have direct contact with government at whatever level within an urbanised context of Accra, the traditional authority will be further eroded.
If we make allowances for Homowo because it clashes with a national event, we must realise that a precedent has been set and that we may some time in the future be asked to postpone the events all together in the name another event. But there is a wider issue, can we afford not to police the ban on drumming, shall we be negotiating around this in the future?
what is evident is that with the independence and republic of Ghana and the fact that Accra has as much as 17% of the population, things will never be the same again for our traditional authorities. Perhaps that time for re-ordaining these hierarchies has come and the time from reorganising Accra in to the Republic of Accra that our forefathers fought is what we should be considering with a balance of power shared equally amongst the political representation, the traditional authorities, the civil society organisations and even the churches. Indeed a much broader republic of interest groups may even be more appropriate in keep the sanity of the capital city and show case it to the rest of the world
The fact of now is that very few of us take part in the public activities of the traditional authorities which does not mean that we have abandoned our customs and rites, the fact is also that their authority on the people has weaned and because of past inefficiencies in the system, they have not been able to be effective in their representation to the extent that they are almost becoming irrelevant.

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The Matters Arising blog is a collection of thought-provoking, thought-leadership pieces sprinkled with some blue-sky thinking on pertinent issues affecting African communities both in the diaspora and at home. It includes articles on culture, politics, social and economic advancement, diversity and inclusion, community cohesion topics. It is also a repository of the political history of Ghana, traditions of the Gadagme people of Ghana, and the Pan-African politics of Kwame Nkrumah. Read, enjoy, like, share, and join!


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