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Opinions of Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Columnist: Allotey, Henry Kpakpo

Ga Memorial Day

On Memorial Day weekend, Ga People consisting of Ga-Akpa (Akpa or Proper, a geographical term meaning center) and Ga-Dangme delegates from all parts of Africa, Brazil, Europe, Japan, Canada, United States, and the Ga State comprising Ga-Dangme states, (Sai, Osudoku, Asadsale (Asutsuare), Kpong, Krobo, Ladoku (Ningo), Prampram, Agotime, Little Popo), and Ga-Akpa states; Ga (British Accra, Nkra/Akra/Acra/Accra), Kinka (Dutch Accra), Osu, La, Teshie, Nungua, and Tema), will begin flying to New Jersey in the United States to the 10th Annual Ga and Dangme Conference. Newark prepares to host thousands of Ga and Dangme people. New Jersey has similar resemblance to Ga as the state that fought revolutionary decisive wars.

Ga capital became the Colonial capital after being bombarded with British missiles from Her Majesty warships in 1857 when the people opted for an Independent Republic of Accra, led by King Taki Tawia I and Owula James Briandt. Also in 1876 there was another British attack on King Taki Tawia I and seizure of Kinka (Victoriaborg) by British Governor Herbert Ussher, which declared Ga the Colonial Capital to pre-empt an attempted invasion of the Asante Kingdom by Ga forces assisted by the Dwaben refugees led by King Asafo Adjei. (John Parker, Making the Town). Today, the Dwaben people are still refugees in Koforidua (South of Ga). King Taki was later detained at the infamous Ussher Fort where several prominent Ghanaian politicians have tasted prison life, including President John Kufour who slept in Ussher Fort on the eve of January 13, 1972 when a military coup ended the Second Republic.

In 1957, Ghana still adopted the Colonial capital as the new nation's capital and seat of government. New Jersey beat several cities including Pretoria, Stockholm, Ga (Accra), Toronto, Chicago and London to win the 2013 hosting nomination. Welcome to New Jersey! Ga speaks Ghana Listens!

Since the eve of March 6th, 1957 when Ghana attained independence from Britain, the Ga people have been protesting against the large influx of outsiders into their country. By the year 2020, the United Nations estimates that 70 percent of the Ghanaian population will be living in Ga (Accra, is a faulty translation of the word Ga in Akan---Nkran, meaning wandering ants).

Many activists involved in nationalist activity throughout British West Africa had used Ga (Accra) as their base of operation, helping to increase the population. Since the 1960’s, the population growth has moved from Central Ga (Accra), an area of less than ten square kilometers. Today the Metropolitan area covers 1,079 square kilometers (Konadu-Agyemang 1998:69). Still, as a region Ayawaso (Greater Accra is a faulty translation of Ayawaso), which includes the port city of Tema, 18 miles to the east is only 1.36 percent of Ghana’s land area, while it contains about 20 percent of the country’s population (Deborah Pellow, Landlords and Lodgers: 2002:16). Today, the population stands at 5.5 million and still growing. This has resurrect the support of the Ga Shifimoo Kpee, a Ga standfast organization that protests the influx of outsiders to Ga (Accra) and they are very much against the idea of the Ghanaian government attempts to start construction of skyscrapers and beachfront hotels in Ga. The people want their sacred beaches to be left alone and would like to see water flows back in their lagoons; Laloi, Ga, Sango, Kpeshi, Klote, Kole. Of all the seven lagoons in the Ga State, only Sakumofio has water flow, all are filled debris and garbage. This is an environmental disaster for a people who are known to have high regards for their wetlands and underground waters.

To be continued!
Henry K Allotey
kpakpogh@yahoo.com
0243370764