Not less than a week ago, the Ga Traditional Council, as an annual practice, announced that this year’s ban on drumming and noisemaking will commence today and be in force till June 9, 2022.
The one-month ban in the Ga state is on any form of noisemaking, including the use of loudspeakers, drumming, playing of all other musical instruments and clapping of hands.
The ban is a very significant event in the run-up to the revered annual traditional Homowo festival of the Ga people.
According to the custodians of the Ga customs and traditions, during this period, the Ga state fasts and prays for rainfall, a bountiful harvest and good tidings.
In the olden days, such blessings from the gods would have been asked for only the Ga state, but today the Gas ask them for the whole country as well.
Then they also pray for continuous peace and tranquility for the country and for the good neighborliness among the citizens, especially between the Gas and others living together in the Ga state.
In fact, those who understand both the spiritual and the physical environments would tell you that the gods or the spirits need such noiseless periods to work out things for the benefits of the people, whereas the ban saves the people from noise pollution and related health hazards.
The beautiful thing about the ban is that it is announced well ahead of time and those likely to flout it prompted to refrain from violating it.
Thus, churches, event organisers and even wayside preachers are reminded to observe the ban.
Besides, to avoid any controversy, the Ga Traditional Council provides some guidelines for observing the ban, hence it appeals to all worship centres, including the churches and the mosques, to confine their activities within their premises.
Clapping of hands, playing of instruments, placing loudspeakers outside the church and mosques premises, roadside evangelism, and funeral rites and related noisy activities are banned.
In recent past, some churches relied on the cosmopolitan nature of the Ga state and the fact that they did not submit to the gods of the Gas to defy the ban, which brought tension between them and the Ga state.
Thus, these days, the traditional council is collaborating with a task force comprising of personnel from the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and the police to monitor to ensure compliance.
For some years now, the annual one-month ban on drumming and noise-making has passed peacefully so the Ghanaian Times wonders why any individual, group or a church, for instance, would do anything untoward to bring back the tensions of old to mar the observance of this year’s ban and thereby undermine the reverence and beauty associated with Homowo.
The Ghanaian Times makes this remark on the premise that the Ga Traditional Council has been forced to issue a statement to the effect that churches have not been excluded from adherence to the ban on noise-making prior to the Homowo festival this year.
The Council says its statement is in response to media speculations to that effect and reiterates that the traditional protocol regarding the adherence to the ban as earlier announced is in force until it ends on June 9, 2022.
The Ghanaian Times wishes to appeal to any church which intends to defy the ban because it relates to the gods that it would be a great disobedience to the Word of God.
For the Bible says in Exodus 22:28 (KJV) that “Thou shall not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.”
Till the leadership of the various ethnic groups in the country abandon all the traditional religious practices, all Christians have to do is to show a sense of tolerance, co-exist with the traditional believers, evangelise and pray for them.
Therefore, Christians living in the Ga state should not do anything that smacks of reviling its gods and defiance to the authority of the leadership.
It is not given to Christians to rise against traditional practices in a way that would undermine the peace and tranquillity of the society.