Mr Ebenezer Kojo Kum, Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs has hinted the need for a drastic law reforms at the Chieftaincy institution to ensure that the institution plays its rightful role in the governance structure of the country.
He admitted it was true that there were a few challenges confronting the Chieftaincy institution and therefore, pledged the readiness of the Ministry to undertake the law reforms exercise in order to address those challenges and make the institution more relevant than it was today.
Mr Kojo Kum said this at the Palace of Wa Naa Fuseini Seidu Pelpuo IV, the Overlord of the Waala Traditional Council, during his maiden visit to the Upper West Region to introduce himself to the Chiefs as the new sector Minister.
“The Ministry has had far reaching discussions with the Ministry of Communication with the view to automating all the 17 Regional Houses of Chiefs with modern technology to make them function effectively in support of the institution”, he said.
On Section 53 of the Chieftaincy Act that was declared unconstitutional by the Apex Court of the land, the Minister said a stakeholder engagement had started and expressed hope that they would arrive at a consensus on the best way forward.
On his visit to the region, Mr Kojo Kum said he would also seek the blessings of the chiefs to carry on his duties successfully.
The Minister also encouraged the Chiefs to mobilize their people to support and participate in the ongoing Population and Housing Census, which according to him was an exercise that would help the government in planning the resources of the country.
Wa Naa Pelpuo said the Chieftaincy institution was more relevant today than in time past when Chiefs were regarded as mere custodians of the culture and traditions of their people.
According to him, the Chieftaincy institution had taken on board developmental issues in addition to their custodian responsibilities and had become development agents both at the local and central levels.
The Overlord of the Waala Traditional Area called for capacity building for Chiefs, emphasizing that a well-informed Chief was a better development partner for government.
Earlier, the Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Minister paid a courtesy call on the Upper West Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih.
Dr Bin Salih lauded Chiefs in the region and that with their cooperation and support they had chalked a number of successes for the region.
These included; granting autonomy to the Wa campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS) now known as the Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS), the completion of the new Regional Hospital and the operationalization of the Wa Airport.