Monday, August 27, 2007
Gbese installs Mantse, Dzaasetse
By: MARIA ALBERTA Viala.
The Gbese Division of the Ga State on Saturday witnessed a peaceful and colourful installation ceremony of the Gbese Mantse, Nii Ayi-Bonte 11, and the Gbese Dzaasetse, Nii Okai Kasablofo 1V.
The ceremony went on without the heavy presence of the police who had been deployed to ensure peace and order at similar events in the past.
Prior to the ceremony, chiefs and heads families of the seven quarters of Gbese, accompanied by Asafo groups, Wulomei and fetish priestesses arrived at the ceremonial grounds amid drumming, dancing and firing of musketry.
Thousands of people clad in white besieged the area to witness what they termed as the rich culture of the Ga State.
While some groups wore T-shirts with the inscription “Afroso Agyeman”, others adorned themselves in fabric with the same inscription.
At about 3:13 p.m. the Gbese Mantse, known in private life as Mr. Tommy Okai, a former Chairman of the Accra Hearts of Oak Football Club, dressed in white apparel with rich ornaments and a crown on his head, arrived at the durbar grounds amidst cheers, shouts, drumming and the firing of musketry.
Some women removed their cover cloths and placed them on the floor for the Gbese Mantse to walk on while Nii Ayi-Bonte waved back in appreciation.
“Eii nii oh, eii nii oh, eii nii oh” the crowd shouted and applauded.
A traditional prayer and Christian one were said to signify the official introduction of the Gbese Mantse to the people of Gbese and the entire Ga State.
After the prayers the Sakumo Wulomo, Nuumo Ogbame, supported by Nai Wulomo poured libation and thanked God for such an occasion.
He then asked for blessing and peace for the entire Ga State, particularly Gbese State.
A lamb was slaughtered to signify the success of the ceremony and also to seal the mandate imposed on Nii Ayi-Bonte to rule as Gbese Mantse.
Nii Ayi-Bonte then took the oath of secrecy and swore to the Gbese Dzaasetse, Nii Okai Kasablofo, and promised to rule in truth and respond to the call of the Chiefs and the people of Gbese, among other things.
Nii Okai Kasablofo in turn also swore to the Gbese Mantse to work in harmony with him and respond to his calls at all times.
After the proceedings, fraternal greetings were delivered by various chiefs of the Ga State to the Gbese Mantse and the Gbese Dzaasetse wishing them well in their reigns.
In his address, Nii Ayi-Bonte expressed his utmost gratitude to the people of Gbese for supporting him during these times.
He assured them of his commitment to work towards the progress and development of the entire Gbese community.
In line with that, he stated that he would refurbish all the four ruling houses of Gbese and upgrade the standard of the Salaga Market.
In addition, the Gbese Mantse pledged to provide ¢50 million cedis (GH¢5000 cedis) for the establishment of Gbese Education Fund in support of the children in the community to enable them to enroll in school.
“I have brought you good news. I’ll establish a day care centre to enable the children in Gbese to go to school and be educated. I will also make sure that all lands which were sold illegally will be reclaimed by Gbese,” he said.
Some members of Accra Hearts of Oak Football Club were there to support him. Among them were the Board Chairman of the club, Mr. E. M. Commodore Mensah; Mr. Harry Zakkour, a former Chairman of the club; Alhaji Hearts, a leading member of the club; the IMC Chairman, Mr. Stephen Akwetey; a member of the IMC, Mr. Vincent Odotei; and the board Secretary of the club, Mr. Ernest Thompson.
Daily Graphic - Monday, August 27, 2007 - Page: 44 & 45