The Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) has downplayed demands by some traditional rulers within Accra that the ‘Judgment Day’ bout between Bukom Banku and Ayittey Powers should be postponed or moved to another region.
The Accra bout had previously been postponed twice, after Ayittey Powers pulled out –– initially on the advice of his spiritual mentor, T.B Josuah, and later because he was unfit to fight.
“I can assure you that we are doing everything to ensure that it comes on,” Vice President of the GBA, Raybone Dodoo, told Citi News late Monday. “It will definitely come on.”
His comments came after some traditional leaders within Accra went on radio to demand postponement of the bout, arguing that the March 16, 2014 clash between Banku and Powers could undermine the annual customary ban on drumming and noise in Ghana’s capital.
The annual ban precedes the Homowo, a colourful festival celebrated by the indigenous people of Accra.
Homowo literally means “hooting at hunger.”It is characterized by rituals such as the sprinkling of “Kpokpoi” (the festival dish) to the gods and ancestors for spiritual protection.
The festival also involves procession of twins through the principal streets of Accra, traditional drumming and dancing and general merry-making. Local traditional priests slap a ban on noise making a month before the celebrations.
“We the Gas have a traditional custom called ban on drumming and dancing,” the Youth and Development Chief at Gbese Amotsiwe, Nii Ayaafio Tetteh I, told Citi News on Monday. “What we hate around that time is disturbances because that is the time where the gods also work for us the Gas.
“There is no way they are going to tell me this fight would come off without any disturbances so what we are saying is that they should have a chat with the Ghana Boxing Authority to reschedule the date, or the fight should be taken to another region but not in Greater Accra.”
In reaction, Deputy GBA Chief, Raybone Dodoo, said the customary ban will not affect the bout, which has already seen two postponements.
“As we know, the [Accra] stadium, venue for the bout, falls under the Osu State and not the Ga State so when this ban on drumming comes in, it only affects the Ga State and not the Osu State,” he said.
“The Ga State ends at the Old Parliament House and the Osu State starts from the Old Parliament House towards Osu so [the bout] is not affected at all.”
He was quick to add: “However the two boxers hail from the Ga State and after the fight, they would walk back home. If they can sing without clapping, then there is no problem but if they would be clapping when entering the Ga State then that would affect the custom.”
Mr. Dodoo allayed public fears that despite his explanations, traditional Ga priests could force postponement of the bout. “We are doing everything possible so that it comes off as planned. Nothing has changed and it will definitely come on,” he said.
Two previous postponements of the much-anticipated bout sparked a firestorm of public anger, compelling the GBA to threaten sanctions against Powers for being truant.