A seeming internal wrangling is manifesting at the National House of Chiefs where some members are challenging the authority of the president and his vice to issue a statement asking Ghanaians to vote ‘No’ in the December 17 referendum.
The president, Togbe Afede XIV and his vice, Daasebre Nana Kweku Ewusi VII in a statement Friday urged Ghanaians to reject the introduction of partisan politics into the district level election by voting NO.
“The House, based on the recommendation of its Legal Committee, strongly objects to the proposal that membership of local assemblies should exclusively comprise representatives of political parties, as in the case of Parliament.
Referendum: House of Chiefs backs proponents of NO vote
“We are therefore advocating for the outright rejection of the proposal to amend Article 55(3) of the Constitution…” the statement by the president and his vice stated.
But the authority of the two leaders of the House of Chiefs in issuing the statement has been questioned by Nana Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, who claims members of the House were not consulted whatsoever on the matter.
“I have called some of the chiefs in my committee and they have no knowledge about it. It is the president’s [Togbe Afede] decision,” Nana Gyebi who is the Chairman of the Governance Committee of the National House of Chiefs, told Accra-based Asempa FM Friday in Twi.
According to him, “it is never true” that members of the House met and took the decision as was contained in the statement issued by Togbe Afede and his vice.
“The president and his vice cannot speak for the National House of Chiefs without the mandate of the standing committee. If they said that, [then] it is their opinion; it is not a decision of the National House of Chiefs,” Nana Ogyeahohoo insisted.
For him, the issues raised in the statement is a governance issue for which reason the governance committee ought to have been consulted, but said “It has not come before us, we have not discussed it”.
According to him, Togbe Afede and Nana Ewusi “cannot speak for us”
“If Togbe has confirmed that he issued that statement, tell him that Ogyeahohoo says he has no mandate of the National House of Chiefs to issue such statement,” he said.
Asked whether there are divisions within the House, he said he cannot tell, but suggested that Togbe and Nana Ewusi were dabbling in politics and or “power drunk,” hence “they feel they can do whatever they like”
He has, meanwhile, urged Togbe Afede and his vice ensure that they follow laid down procedure of the House and not just get up to issue statement in the name of the House, noting that “it is wrong”.