Traditional authorities at Ogbojo within the Adentan Municipality have constituted a traditional council to fight their common cause for rapid socio-economic development.
At a meeting at the palace of the Chief of Ogbojo, Nii Torgbor Obodai II, the 16 chiefs elected an interim Adentan Municipal Traditional Council presided over by Nii Obodai.
Madam Nora Ollennu, Chief Executive Officer of Intervention Forum, a non-governmental organisation, and focal capacity builder for the Adentan Citizens Forum, facilitated the meeting.
In her address, Madam Ollennu made known to the house the purpose of the gathering, which had the dual aim of establishing the Traditional Council and examining the role of traditional authorities in the Assembly Development Planning process.
She told the chiefs that they could deal better with the socio-economic development gaps and help the efforts of the Adentan Municipal Assembly (AdMA) in promoting good governance if they came together as one entity.
She therefore urged the chiefs to come closer as a unified force and engage the AdMA in its activities so that they could better appreciate the development programmes of the Assembly and its revenue generation efforts.
’You need to come together as a traditional council and not remain as separate entities. As chiefs, you need to have plans for your communities,” she urged.
Madam Ollennu said, as the Focal Person for the Adentan Citizens Forum, she had engaged stakeholder groups in a number of activities to educate them on the local government administration and structures, and called on the chiefs to attend meetings of the Municipal Assembly and participate in its programmes.
She enlightened them on the need for them to involve their constituents in the decision making process to promote social accountability at the community level.
She also took them through the three fundamental good governance principles namely, Transparency, Participation and Accountability and its benefit.
She said for them to perform their leadership roles effectively and efficiently, there was the need for them to practice and adopt such principles.
“Your people need information; you have to give them information so they will not be suspicious.”
She encouraged the chiefs to meet regularly with their communities to let them come out with their concerns and needs, which could be prioritised and addressed by the assembly based on funds available to it.
She called for community participation in all their meetings as well as take records of all proceedings, including pictures, as evidence of such interactions with their people.
Ms Rebecca Annan, Development Planning Officer of the AdMA, told the chiefs the Assembly depended on taxes, rates, levies and fines as well as government and donor funds such as the District Assemblies Common Fund, District Development Fund and Urban Development Fund for development.
Ms Annan explained the planning process, role of the Traditional Authorities and functions of the AdMA with regard to the development of the communities which were represented by the Unit Committees and Zonal Councils through whom the needs of their communities were channeled for redress.
Nii Obodai, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said chiefs within the municipality had been dealt with on in Nii Obodai was elected as Chairman of the Council with individual basis and so had lost out on a number of things.
”The government was dealing with us individually so they were not seeing the sense in what we were doing. But now we are coming together so when you touch one, you touch all.”
Nii Obodai said the 16 traditional authorities were in 2011 entitled to GHC5000 as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution but could not access the fund because the chiefs had not come together.
“We also need support from government; we intend to use our share of funds allocated to us which is sitting at the assembly,” he said.
He however acknowledged that the Ogbojo Traditional Area had seen significant development over the past few years as evidenced by a 21-bed polyclinic at Ogbojo, tarred roads and drainage system, among others.
Nii Obodai was elected Chairman of the Council, with Nii Okpelor Sowah, Chief of NmaiDzorn, as Vice-Chairman.
The others were Nii Sai Obodai, Ogbojo Traditional Council Financial Secretary, Secretary; Abayatei Ngmongmlotey, Assistant Secretary; and Nii Adjetey Obour, Chief of Amanfro, Treasurer; with Nii Obaayoo, Chief of Adjiriganor, as Assistant Treasurer.
The rest were Emmanuel Martey Korley, Ashaley Botwe Linguist, Organiser; and Nii Sowah Okataban I, Chief of Adenta; and Naa Osantro I, Fafraha Queenmother, as Patrons.