General News of Sunday, 28 October 2012
Source: Peacefmonline.com with additional files from the GNA/Ghana
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC), Dr. George Sipa-Yankey, has revealed that his outfit gave out an amount of 215 million old Ghana cedis for ritual purposes at Atuabo in the Ellembelle District before the commencement of the gas infrastructure project.
Dr Sipa-Yankey said this was done to enable the contractors for the gas project, Sinopec, to cut down the deity tree "Hohor" at the project site.
The chief priestess of the Tohor deity, Mame Kpolakeh, performed the first ritual on Friday, October 12, and the second one on Wednesday, 17 October, respectively.
According to GNGC CEO, the chief priestess, had warned that if the necessary rituals were not performed, she would not allow the tree to be cut, therefore the GNGC had to dole out the money to purchase some items for the pacification rites before it was felled by the contractors executing the project.
He further disclosed that the chief priestess also dared the Chinese contractors that if "they are men enough" they should cut the tree without performing the rituals adding that since GNGC wanted the project to be completed as scheduled, they negotiated with her for the necessary rituals to be performed.
The chief priest is also said to have demanded money to perform rituals on another deity tree called "Banzela", which also has to be cut down, so that no misfortune strikes the men working on the project.
"...we are in a country where superstition in our traditional set-up is very much respected and important hence the decision to convert the items demanded by the chief priestess into money for the rituals,” Dr. Sipa-Yankey.
The Omanhene of Eastern Nzema, Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli III, confirmed the story and added that he even directed the Tufohene of Anochie to collect the money from the GNGC to purchase the necessary items for the pacification rites.
The Anochie Tufohene is said to have bought seven cows, five bags of rice, 10 sheep, five crates of soft drinks, two crates of locally manufactured gin (akpeteshie), one castle bridge and other items to perform the rituals.
The blood of the cows and sheep were used for the rituals while the meat was used to prepare delicious meals for the chief priestess, elders and opinion leaders in the community, the Tufohene of Anochie revealed.