Today can report that tension is brewing in Gomoa Ayesuadze in the Central Region.
This follows an order from the Chief of the town, Efu Wiaba, together with the Abusuapanyin, Kweku Saan, and some members of the Traditional Council that all Seventh-Day Adventists (SDAs) should evacuate.
According to information available to Today, the order is as a result of the refusal of SDA members to pacify the town’s river goddess, ‘Opatampan’ of the Ayisu River.
“The traditionalists say their gods need to be pacified else a calamity would befall the town and that regardless of one’s religion, everybody is obliged to pay monies to pacify the gods for forgiveness and cleansing,” the Treasurer of the local branch of the SDA Church, Millicent Ama Acquah, told the paper.
According to her, a few weeks ago an alligator which the traditionalists claimed was sent by the gods attacked two boys and killed one leaving the other who was an Adventist.
“The traditionalists described that incident as the gods being angry and needed to be pacified or else a calamity would befall the town. They therefore demanded everybody that pays GH˘4 and that money was used to buy a cow for the pacification,” she disclosed.
She noted that Adventists in the town refused to pay and the Traditional Council has thus given them [Adventists] a one-month ultimatum to leave the town.
Continuing, Ms. Acquah said other Christian denominations in the town have paid the token for the pacification because they argue that the Holy Bible says: “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what belongs to Him.”
The situation, the paper learnt, has caused severe panic and apprehension between the two religious denominations which could soon degenerate into a religious clash if not resolved immediately
A traditionalist in the town, Opanyin Abandze, observed that “all persons living in Gomoa Ayesuadze are obliged to obey the customs and traditions of the land…any person who is not ready to do that must leave the town…the traditional council is in charge here,” he warned.
But the Adventists contend that it is against their religious beliefs and holy scriptures, the Holy Bible, to pacify any other god apart from the Almighty God.
They further assert that instead of paying a token to be used to pacify the gods, they would pray to their God to avert any calamity that is due to befall the town.
Again, they noted that they would readily pay any money to be used for the development of Gomoa Ayesuazde “but not to appease gods.”
“The traditionalists are going beyond their boundaries and this time around with all due respect, they need to be talked to. I don’t think the chief has that power to direct all SDAs living in the town to pack their belongings and leave just because we will not contribute a penny to pacify gods of the land,” Mr. Amoah, a member of the church, intimated.
An Adventist journalist, Mr. Opare, said “freedom of religion is a very important component enshrined in our Constitution. Therefore, if there is going to be any pacification, I think the chief and elders can consult their gods to tell them who provoked them so they can foot the bill. Adventists should be left out of this!”
For his part, the pastor in charge of the SDA Church in the town, Mr. Arhin, called for calm among his members as he was hopeful that the church would meet with the traditional authorities and settle the matter.
The paper also established that the communication directorate of the Ghana Union Conference (GUC) of SDA was frantically working hard to calm the waters so as not to mar the relationship between the church and the traditional authorities at Gomoa Ayesuadze.
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