12 March 2019
SPIRITUAL & POLITICAL EVOLUTION –
Irene Odotei in the Introduction to ‘’The history of Ga people’’ wrote: ‘’It is inaccurate, therefore, to portray the Ga-Adanme as an example of the wholesale migration of a people from a foreign country to their present territory.
The Ga of today are a complex mixture of people and cultures which have gradually fused into a society with distinct characteristics…These include Guan and Akan.
The assimilation of these foreign elements account for the linguistic and institutional differences between the Adanme and Ga today. It was also the Accra plains that the western group developed the name, Ga, to distinguish themselves from the Adanme.’’
‘’The settlement of the Ga in the Accra plains led to changes in their socio-political organization. According to tradition, prior to the arrival of the Ga, there were people who had already established scattered settlements on the Accra plains.
The Ga founded their own settlements amongst these pre-existing communities, of which the best remembered in traditional accounts are the worshipers of Nai, whose WULOMO (priest) is acknowledged today as the MOST SENIOR of all the WULOMEI of the Ga towns.’’
Two groups of people in the west – Guans, the indigenous people and Gas the new arrivals. The Guans, notably the Nai worshippers were led by priests whereas it would appear the Gas were secular.
The Gas managed this dichotomy well through the gradual fusion of these two cultures. The landlord, Nai, became the SPIRITUAL HEAD of the union and the assimilating power, Ga, became the POLITICAL HEAD. Thus, began ABLEKUMA, the pragmatic and forward-looking Ga assimilation of non-Gas into its society.
Prof Odotei continues about how the institutional changes within the new ‘’ablekumized’’ Ga proceeded. ‘’In reality, each Ga group evolved its internal system of secular authority at different times.
Although in the seventeenth century, the Ga acknowledged the King of Accra as their sovereign, they maintained the priestly leadership within the individual groups. Furthermore, the KING of ACCRA was in fact from GA MASHI, and Ga Mashi had already instituted secular power by the end of the sixteenth century.’’
I can write a whole book on the above quote, but for now, let proceed from the point where Ga Mantse became the sovereign or POLITICAL OVERLORD of all Ga.
It’s clear also that, each Ga group developed its own political system within the Ga Commonwealth or Jaku. This is one of the reasons I see the unitary state of Ghana as very alien.
Another Guan aboriginal group were Oyeni worshippers – today they are the Sempe in Ga Mashi and Moi We in Nungua, named after their 1st leader Nuumo Moi.
The Nai group assimilated into Tungma (the political head). The 1st son of the Nai Wulomo and Princess Ode of Tungma was Amugi (the embodiment of both the spiritual and secular sovereignty of Ga).
This started the Amugi We of Abola. For this reason, every Ga Mantse swears his oath of office at Amugi Naa – the Westminster of Ga Jaku.
Asere, the other clan of original Ga Mashi was unsuccessful in assimilating Sempe.
King Okaikoi made a major constitutional change in Ga, by forming the Akwashon or the Supreme Military and Judicial Council of Ga.
The panel of Judges were the 7 regional commanders of Ga Mashi. The head of the Akwashon – the Akwashontse who always hailed from Asere, was both the CDS and Chief Justice of Ga. The Supreme Court was housed MOJAWE in Ga Mashi.
Nii Amugi wrote a book entitled MOJAWE before he became Ga Mantse. Regrettably, today we have people with nothing to their names fighting ad infinitum to become Ga Mantse.
What have they done to advance the culture of Ga? Can they even write Ga? Did we go or did we come? We need a fresh start.
Every community leader could hold court, but Mojawe linked the military so closely to justice that a de facto judicial system evolved. District commanders – Asafoiatsemei became magistrates, regional commanders – Shipii became high court judges. Appeal cases from Shipii went to the Mankralo (the Prime Minister). The very serious cases went to Mojawe were all the 7 shipii sat.
King Okaikoi (1635-1660) created the most independent military/police and judiciary ever known to mankind. He never appointed any of the shipii.
Today, we have the most useless constitution, where the President appoints every service commander, IGP and SC judges. The Police are now crying for Okaikoi.
How has the influence of the 4 original groups (Tungma, Asere, Nai & Sempe) played out in Ga?
Tungma/Abola gives Ga Mantse – Political Overload & President of Ga.
Nai We gives Nai Wulomo – Spiritual Overload of Ga.
Asere gives the Akwaashontse – Military and Judicial Overload of Ga.
Sempe gives the Mankralo – Deputy Political Overlord & Prime Minister of Ga.
In all the literature concerned with the evolution of Ga Jaku, there’s no mention of Borketey Larweh.
There’s a fair bit I haven’t included here: Ayawaso and further evolution of secular power on the coast.
In spite of Okaikoi gifting Asere with leadership of the military and the judiciary arms of Ga governance, it was envious Asere generals who betrayed the great warrior King to the Akwamu.
When Afadi Okaikoi realised the treachery of Asere, he cursed Ga, and the mighty warrior who could kill with one ‘’atswere’’ blow, fell on his sword.
Lamentably, that same spirit of envy that ‘’killed’’ Okaikoi and led to the ‘’colonization’’ of Ga by Akwamu is still with Ga today. If I have three political ”enemies”, I wager two of them will be Ga.
Envy and resentment are in our DNA and we are our own worst enemy.
Is there any hope for Ga?