Tuesday, 14 July 2009

cape coast(Ghana) angry with obama

Taken from the 'Ghanaian Journal'

"Some Chiefs and people of the Oguaa (Cape Coast) Traditional area are angry with United States President, Barrack Hussein Obama and his security detail.
A number of Chiefs and other Cape Coasters who spoke to TODAY on President Obama’s visit to Cape Coast and his subsequent visit to the city’s ancient Castle, expressed serious misgivings about the refusal of the security detail of the Obama entourage to allow them carry through with the elaborate programme drawn up by the Cape Coast Traditional Council to welcome the US President to Cape Coast last Saturday.
What irked them most was the refusal of the US security personnel to allow for the conferment of an honorary queen-mother title on Mrs. Michelle Obama, who many Cape Coasters believe, has an ancestral link with the former capital city of Gold Coast.Although she conceded that the programme was unique, Central Regional Minister, Ama Benyiwah Doe, was equally not happy about the hard-line posture of the Obama security, which invariably curtailed most of the programmes line-up for the Cape Coast visit.
“I think it’s a very good and successful programme, although I am not really happy about the way the US security is handling affairs here”, Mrs. Benmyiwa-Doe told a section of the press. Her concerns were shared by other top government and party officials like Kojo Mensah-Bonsu, Lawyer Barton Oduro and Nana Sam Brew Butler, an indigene of Cape Coast.
TODAY’s investigations established that the US security did not allow for the coronation of Mrs. Obama, which would have included conferring on her an honorary Cape Coast citizenship, because that would have affected the tight and strict travelling arrangement of the American President.
The Obama security detail did not also allow for an elaborate address of the durbar of Chiefs and people of the Oguaa Traditional area held at the fore court of the Cape Coast Castle, citing the similar excuse that if the Obama address were extended, it would have affected the return journey of the US President.
Some of the Chiefs and people who the paper spoke to said they were really humiliated and indeed disgusted about the sudden turn of events. They were equally not happy about the almost three minutes address by the US President after his tour of the Cape Coast Castle.
“As far as we are concerned that address by President Obama was his personal observation about the Castle, its symbolic role in the Slave Trade and the its central importance in ensuring that it remains a global monument that will remind us of some of the inhuman treatment meted out to some group of humans”, a sub Chief told this paper.
The anticipation among many of the people who gathered at the Cape Coast Castle was that President Obama would have given a proper address at the Cape Coast Castle durbar just as he did at the International Conference Centre in Accra, prior to his departure to Cape Coast.
“That was the more reason why most of us defied the scorching sun to travel miles away from central Cape Coast to attend such a unique event, only to be disappointed this way”, Mildred Hutton told TODAY.
Mildred thought it was indeed an insult on Ghanaian tradition for a Chief to be carried in a palanquin, paraded in the streets, be seated for hours without proper recognition and respect. The Christians among them said they even went on their knees, praying to God, days before Obama’s Cape Coast visit, “so that the weather will be perfect for such an august visit”, Brother Andrew, a Catholic Brother of the Holy Cross, disclosed. "

Not suprising since such treatment is tantamount to lack of respect, and ignoring the honourary queen-mother title is very insulting in their eyes. No doubt, better communication and greater understanding of the culture would ensure that neither side gets offended.

1 comment:

Thandi said...

Sorry for replying over here, scared you'd not get the other reply.Yep, we'll be leaving on August 24th.I am so nervous!!