The chief of Dodowa Nene Okukrubuor Tei Kwesi Agyemang, has called on politicians and civil society to allow the chiefs take part in active politics. Nene argues‘’ chiefs being custodians of lands in the country in consultation with the people are capable of deciding for themselves which political parties they believe can help develop their areas’’. Assuming that political party doesn’t come into office, what happens?
I acknowledge the fact that chiefs are custodians of the land. As Ghanaians, we respect our tradition and the institution of chieftaincy and that is why chiefs are prevented to do certain things publicly. Have we asked why Chieftaincy issues are dealt with traditional courts? Have we asked why only the Supreme Court sits on chieftaincy cases in cases of appeal? It is the respect we have for the institution and we must not lose that by encouraging chiefs to engage in partisan politics.
Article 276 of the 1992 constitution states that, chief does not take party politics and any chief wishing to do so and seeking election to parliament shall abdicate his stool or skin.
Chiefs who want to engage in politics because they are concerned about the development of their area, then they should abdicate their stool and skin and go into politics. If they don’t want to, then they should communicate with politicians or government despite the party in office on the needs of their people. Politicians respect what the chiefs say. Nothing prevents chiefs from embarking on a demonstration to protest their communities’ underdevelopment or developmental challenges.
I have issues and concerns with chiefs who endorse political and I have not changed my position on that. It is certainly not the way to go, if a chief wants to be involved in active partisan politics, you could abdicate your stool or skin. Chiefs must stay out of politics so that we can call on them when we have problems.
By Winston Amoah
The writer is the host of 3FM‘s Sunrise. Write-up was first broadcast on the station.