The Ga Mantse, King Tackie Tawiah III is dead. The announcement of his death was made yesterday by the Dzasetse, Nii Tetteh Kwei III, supported by some dignitaries of the Ga State.
The chief, known in private life as Dr. Jo Blankson, was 74 and passed away in the twilight of last year.
The Ga King, according to the Dzasetse, passed away in a London hospital where he was flown for medical attention.
Yesterday’s announcement came on the heels of earlier rumours, long before his death, regarding the transition of the King- speculations which were condemned by the deceased’s aide and Public Relations Officer, Nii Abbey, as mendacious.
“With sorrow in our hearts, we wish to inform you that a mighty oak has had its roots blown off from the Ga State. Our King was sick like all of us and was flown abroad to seek medical treatment but as God wants it, he never made it. The Paramount Chief of the Ga State, Abiasuma, Ga Mantse, has kicked the bucket with all honours,” the Dzasetse announced.
He took exception to what he said was the announcement about the King’s death at a time when he was still alive. There was also all manner of distortions about the King when he was receiving treatment, he added.
When a King dies, he said, his soul should be dignified through appropriate treatment of the accompanying announcement, something which should be preceded by certain rituals of relevant personalities.
“Let all the distortions and lies stop,” he said.
He recalled how he too was said to have died while he was on admission at the Nyaho Clinic in Accra.
People, he said, should learn to probe issues.
“I was on admission at Nyaho Clinic and news went round that I had died. I have died many times before now. Our King also died many times before he decided to go,” the Dzasetse said, adding that “we as citizens of Ghana are not enemies”.
The Gbese Mantse, Nii Okaidja Adamafio, who was part of those who performed the rituals preceding the announcement, confirmed the transition of the King.
He also condemned what he said were the many rumours which preceded the death of the King.
One newspaper, he recalled, reported that the King was on admission at Nyaho Clinic, a report which he said was untrue.
The deceased was a public officer of exceptional repute until his coronation as Ga Mantse, an elevation which was not without controversy in both the cultural and political realms.
While his adversaries did not see him as King and sought to have him destooled, the deceased was covered by a court ruling that stated that until his case before the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs was disposed of, he remained the ruler of the Ga State.
He thus held himself as Ga Mantse until his transition.
For some years until his death, the Ga Mantse was denied the opportunity to sprinkle the annual traditional “kpokpoi”, an assignment bestowed upon his office.
The performance of the ritual has under the circumstances been performed within the confines of his traditional home in Accra Central, otherwise known as the Lion’s Den, the home of the legendary King Tackie Tawiah I.
His occupation of the Ga Mantse Palace at North Kaneshie was truncated when some thugs took possession of the palace under police protection.
A Police armoured car had been on guard duty at the place many months after the illegal occupation by the youth.
His funeral announcement and interment would be announced later, according to the chiefs.
Present at the announcement were the head of the Teiko Tsuru We or clan, Nii Adu Mensah, Nii Tackie Commey Hammond elder of the Dzase and Nii Tetteh Ashong V.
By A.R. Gomda