Ministry moves to revive chieftaincy institution with more traditional powers

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Social Chieftaincy Act Amendment
Social Chieftaincy Act Amendment

The Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs has said it was working to amend the Chieftaincy Act to accord chiefs more powers to ensure effective governance and development at the local level.

Mr. Stephen Asamoah Boateng, the Sector Minister, observed that the Chieftaincy Act, 2008 (Act 759), which was passed some 15 years ago, had been rendered obsolete by emerging political, cultural and social dynamics which had displaced the original role of chiefs in national development.

Mr Boateng made the remarks when he chaired the just ended Aboakyer Festival by the chiefs and people Effutu in Winneba, a celebration characterised by traditional glitz, joy and glamour.

It was his case that the Act in its current form placed a lot of limitations on the chieftaincy institution which had already lost significant power and reverence, an oddity the amendment sought to correct.

“It is part of the whole decentralisation process so that power is centred at the base and the base can make simple decisions and the chiefs must be given the authority to operate.

“There is too much power at the top in Accra. We need to get to the level where local government becomes the way for development instead of the central government,” he said.

Later in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), the minister expressed disquiet about how easy it had become for people to disregard directives by chiefs and challenge their authority in court.

“A chief must be able to summon a community member to the palace for doing something wrong.
“There must a local level resolution to issues when they come. It should not always go to court; it should not go to Accra,” he stressed.

Mr Boateng also urged the youth to respect and learn the Ghanaian culture and traditions to help preserve and protect the national heritage for posterity.

He noted with worry that some practices such as sacred days for fishing and farming, which were meant to ensure sustainable use of resources had been discarded by the present generation.

Even worse, he said attempts by government to bring back some of those practices through policies had been met with opposition from some citizens without justified cause.

“For instance, the fishing closed season which data shows has been useful over the years, is being vilified by some people for no reason. That is not the way to build a country,” he said.

The Minister insisted that the customs and traditions of Ghana had what it took to develop the country, adding that with a mindset of possibility and teamwork, Ghana could join the league of great nations.

Mr Boateng also made clear his position clear on the LGBTQ+ controversy, deploring and repugning the agenda as it contravened the traditions and customs of the country.

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