Akufo-Addo didn’t instruct Yagbonwura to stand and greet him – Asamoah Boateng

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President Nana Akufo-Addo
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Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Stephen Asamoah Boateng has said under no circumstance was the Yagbonwura asked to stand up to greet President Nana Akufo-Addo.

The Overlord of Gonja, Yagbonwura Bii-Kunuto Jewu Soale I, was reportedly requested to stand and welcome the President on Saturday, April 27, 2024, during an event in Damongo.

However, in a statement dated Tuesday, April 30, the Chieftaincy Ministry clarified the reports and urged the public to disregard the wrong interpretation attributed to the viral video.

“For the avoidance of doubt, it is important to reiterate that at no point during the President’s visit to Damongo on Saturday, 27th April 2024, was the Yagbonwura asked to stand up and greet the President.

“As Minister, I was with the President at the event, and, as seen clearly on videos, the President, beaming with smiles, walked over and paid homage to the Yagbonwura, who was the host of the event in Damongo. The general public is urged to avoid this deliberate and misleading piece of propaganda which is being distributed by mischief makers.”

Furthermore, the ministry clarified that the call for chiefs to stand when greeting the President at public events is not intended to undermine the dignity of traditional leaders.

“The call for Chiefs to stand when greeting him at public events is not intended to undermine the dignity or autonomy of traditional leaders. Rather, it is a recognition of their esteemed role in Ghanaian society by embracing the Head of State thereby showing brotherly love and mutual respect,” the ministry said.

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In addition, the Minister emphasised that no chief has been made to stand up to greet President Akufo-Addo “within the confines of their palaces.” This, according to the Minister, is due to the President’s respect for the “sanctity of their ancestral spaces.”

“Indeed, the protocol where, at public events, chiefs rise to greet him as indeed is stated in the Constitution [Article 57(2)] is meant to give credence to this unique national provision.”

The Minister maintained that the culture of chiefs standing up to accord the President respect at public events “illustrates a harmonious blend of modern governance with the rich tapestry of Ghana’s cultural heritage.”

“In conclusion, the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs reaffirms President Akufo-Addo’s commitment to upholding Ghanaian cultural values and fostering harmonious relations within the nation.

“The tradition of showing respect for authority, including the request for Chiefs to stand when greeting the President at public events, serves as a testament to Ghana’s rich heritage and traditions,” the Ministry said.

Click here to read the full statement.