Mr Henry Quartey, Greater Accra Regional Minister, has directed the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) and various Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs), to monitor and ensure compliance with this year’s ban on noise and drumming in the region.
He said a taskforce working with REGSEC has been set up to collaborate with the Ghana Police and other security agencies to arrest and prosecute culprits who would fail to comply with rites preceding the celebration of the Homowo festival.
Mr Quartey gave the directives at a news conference to usher in this year’s annual observance of silence “Nmaa Dumo” ban on noise making and drumming in the region.
He said the performance of customary rites preceding the celebration of Homowo festival does not in any way interfere with freedom of religion as alleged by some religious bodies or connote anything fetish as was being misconstrued by Christians.
“The Ga Dangme, therefore, have the right to manifest their custom and religion in their own home as do other people,” he said.
The Regional Minister said most Ga Dangme people were Christians by reason of their early contact with colonialists and asked the religious bodies not to interfere for a peaceful Homowo this year.
Numo Akwaa Mensah III, Chief Priest of the Ga State who performed the customary rites to usher in 2023 Homowo festival outlined some of the activities during the news conference.
He said this year’s annual ban on drumming and noise making would start on Monday, May 15, 2023, and ends on Thursday, June 15, 2023.
Numo Akwaa Mensah said the ban affects any form of noise making including the use of loudspeakers, drums during funerals, musical instruments within the Ga State during the period.
“All worship centres should confine their activities within their church premises, positioning of loudspeakers in mosque and roadside evangelism, use of megaphones, funeral rites and its related activities are also banned during this period.”
King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II, Ga Mantse and the President of the Ga Traditional Council urged the public to take note and observe the rules regarding the ban on drumming and noise making to help maintain the peace, harmony, and security within the Ga State.
He counted on the cooperation of the various stakeholders in ensuring strict observation and compliance with the Ga custom, practices, and usages.
He urged the public to refrain from making derogatory remarks about the rites, custom, practices and beliefs of the Ga people.