Traditionalists Disappointed In Gov’t

THE AFRIKANIA Mission and practitioners of African Traditional Religion (ATR) in Ghana have expressed disappointment in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) about the way the party has sidelined them at State functions. A statement issued in Accra and signed by Osofo Komfo Atsu Kove, head of the mission, copied to Office of the President and other concerned bodies, reiterated that traditionalists in Ghana were very disappointed in the current NDC administration. According to the statement, even though NDC was seen to be toeing the line of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, it was the only party that was sidelining the culture of Ghana by ignoring the pouring of libation at State functions. “In the era of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, libation was poured before all other prayers at state functions. We also remember very well that libation was poured at dawn (5am) on Radio Ghana every day for the nation by Okyeame Akuffo, the State Linguist,” it noted. The statement called on Ghanaians to be reminded of how Dr Nkrumah once deported an Anglican Bishop of Accra for walking out when libation was being poured at the first celebration of Independence Day in Accra. “Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah deported the bishop for disrespecting African culture,” it said. According to the statement, when the NDC came to power, it saw it appropriate to honor the father of the nation, Dr Nkrumah, by celebrating his centenary anniversary “so we were very surprised that libation prayers were not offered during the main programme at the Nkrumah Mausoleum where his mortal remains are at rest”. Further citing another example, it said when the Black Satellites returned after partaking in the world cup tournament, only the practitioners of foreign religions were invited to pray while the custodians of the land were ignored. “This unfortunate situation did not end there. When the Black Stars came from the African Cup of Nations tournament in Angola, only Christians and Muslims were called upon to pray at the airport while traditionalists were again ignored. “Afrikania Mission thinks this kind of behavior amounts to religious discrimination and persecution of African Traditional Religion in Ghana”. The statement lamented that what President Mills was currently doing should be considered as very unfortunate, especially when he claimed to be the father of all the citizens of Ghana. “We are beginning to doubt the sincerity of this declaration by President Mills because we are of the view that other nations and countries do not respect other people’s religious culture above their own. “We must not forget that the Creator, in His own wisdom, created all kinds and groups of people and gave them a way of life which we call culture and this is what identifies people. “Any group of people who throw their culture away instead of preserving it and improving on it are without self-respect,” it stated. “It is also shocking that President Atta Mills’s administration is trying to force Ghanaians to become either Christians or Muslims. His present prayer for the nation programme is a testimony. Ghanaians must give it a second thought.” During the election time, all Ghanaians, including African Traditional Religious practitioners, prayed for a peaceful election which Prof John Atta Mills won. “We are, therefore, very surprised that he later turned his back on African Traditional Religious practitioners who are the custodians of the land and who also prayed for his success. Government must know that every vote counts. No ballot paper has any religious coloration,” it added.