Tradition and Religion: Friends or Foes

Students of Presbyterian University College, Ghana, Okwahu Campus have been charged to treasure the Rich African Traditions which uphold the African identity and the dignity of humanity.

Speaking at an academic seminar organized by the Centre for the Promotion of Life Values (CPLV), at the Okwahu Campus of PUCG, Nana Dr. Okra Baadu said it is sad to see how the ‘modern’ African Society dignifies Western traditions at the expense of the rich traditions of Africa.

Nana Dr. Okra Baadu, who is the Gyaasehene of Obo Kwahu, said human traditions are God-given values intended to help a people develop in their own context. He argued that for a person to take to a foreign tradition means that the person loses his identity and personality.

Speaking on the theme “Tradition and Religion: Friends or Foes”, Nana Dr. Okra Baadu said Tradition and Religion are rather friends and complement each other to develop a person’s personality and identity.

The Traditional Ruler defined both Tradition and Religion as a way of life of an individual or a people. He deplored how people quickly relate tradition to rural life and intimated the misconception as the reason ‘modern’ Africans crave for Western traditions.

Nana Dr. Okra Baadu, also a staunch Christian asserted that it is realistically possible to be a traditional ruler and at the same time be an ardent Christian. He explained that the primary responsibility of a traditional ruler is to uphold the traditions (values) of a people for development.

He was quick to caution that traditional rule and fetishism are not mutually inclusive. According to him, even though traditional rulers have had long standing relationship with fetish priest, the two offices are not the same and do not complement each other in terms of function.

Nana Dr. Okra Baadu blamed the Christian Church for the current situation where traditional rulers consult fetish priests extensively on matters bothering on their leadership.

He claimed that in the olden days the Church ignored the traditional leaders when they sought protection (spiritual) from their enemies which put the traditional rulers in a quandary, hence their association with the fetish priests who were readily available for such matters.

The Gyaasehene of Obo Kwahu implored the Church to reach out to the traditional leaders and become part of the developments in the palaces.

Nana Dr. Okra Baadu reiterated that the youth should cherish the rich African tradition of respect, support for human dignity, decency, hard work, family ties, care for environment etc which will ensure proper administration of social systems, fairness, justice and development of human society.

The Centre for the Promotion of Life Values is responsible for inte­grating faith into learning to ensure that stu­dents who go through Presbyterian University College, Ghana are well equipped to impart society positively.