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General News of Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Source: Graphic Online

'Traditional leaders can’t ban noise making'

A lawyer, Nana Odeneho Kyeremanteng, has backed the decision of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) to seek the interpretation of the Supreme Court on the various banning orders imposed by traditional rulers during festive occasions.

Nana Kyeremanteng, who is also the Chief Executive of the Comet Group of Companies, said by the 1992 Constitution, the various traditional authorities had no power to impose those banning orders, let alone try to enforce them.

He said it was the duty of the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to make rules and regulations concerning noise making in the country. Nana Kyeremanteng was reacting to the hint by Nene Abayateye Amegatcher, the President of the GBA, to go to the Supreme Court for an interpretation on the legality of the banning orders, which he said were adversely affecting the economy of the country.

Nene Amegatcher had told a daily newspaper last week that the ban had adversely affected churches, business people, bereaved families and a host of other Ghanaians.

The Ga Traditional Council has imposed a ban on drumming and noise making in various parts of Accra from May 12 to June 12, 2014.

The Asantehene, as part of the celebration of his 15th anniversary on the Golden Stool, imposed a ban on funerals in the Ashanti Region from April 15 to May 22.

Nana Kyeremanteng further called on civil society groups, churches and business people to avidly support the initiative of the GBA.

On the constitutional provision that stipulates that customs, traditions and beliefs should be upheld, he said culture was dynamic and should not be used to halt the forward march of the people.

He argued that the Constitution guaranteed all citizens their rights and privileges, as well as the freedom to worship and associate, adding that it was not fair for one group to prevent that.

He said the Accra and Kumasi traditional authorities could hold their ceremonies in small areas of the metropolises without putting the whole of Accra and Kumasi under siege for businesses not to function.

On Sunday, May 26, 2014, a group of men clashed with members of four churches over the ban on noise making and drumming in some parts of Accra.

The men, who claimed to be Ga traditionalists in the Abeka Lapaz area, stormed the premises of the churches in the area and confiscated their musical instruments for disregarding the ban on noise making imposed by the Ga Traditional Council.

The ban on drumming and noise making came into effect on May 12 and would end on June 12, 2014, in line with the customs of the Gas prior to the celebration of the Homowo Festival.

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