The Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, has granted a Traditional Council status to the Nkonya Wurupong Traditional Area in the Biakoye District of the Oti Region.
Chiefs and other recognised traditional leaders from the 22 communities under the traditional area were sworn into the Council as members.
Mr. Evans Anang Okropa, Magistrate of the Nkwanta District Court, swore in eight of the 13 gazetted chiefs present, including Nana Kwadwo Asiakwa II, Omanhene of the Wurupong Traditional Area, who became the President of the Council.
The event was supervised by Harry Attipoe, Registrar of the Volta Region House of Chiefs.
Ms Fati Lily Soale, Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, who inaugurated the Council, said it should serve the ideals of the Government, which sought to position the chieftaincy institution to facilitate development.
She asked chiefs to use the status to enhance unity among the people and help facilitate the gazette of legitimate chiefs to populate the Council and enhance its operations.
“The inauguration should be seen to integrate the people of this traditional area, especially our revered Chiefs to work hand in hand for endless development but not to disintegrate them,” she said.
Ms Soale said the Ministry would provide the needed staff and training for the Council.
Nana Asiakwa said traditional councils helped the chieftaincy institution “reclaim its past glories” and is “an old embodiment of our livelihood.”
He noted how he had fought “relentlessly” to achieve the Council status, and that the area had several projects and initiatives that would be realised through the new status, adding that a museum would be attached to the Council office to help channel past glories for development.
The Omanhene therefore made a call to all in the Traditional Area and in the diaspora to unite towards the cause.
“We are planning that very soon this Traditional Council will excel other traditional councils in the area. Bury your differences and move ahead of your grievances. We will be successful if you put various problems across for us all to solve. People must be up and doing and shine this area. We want to be champions of champions,” he said.
Nana Mprah Besemuna III, Krachiwura, chaired the inauguration ceremony, and said the traditional council status capped the establishment of any traditional authority, making the inauguration a “very important exercise for chiefs.”
He therefore commended the Omanhene for his efforts, saying “this event climaxes your fight.”
“Our pride is our traditional council, and we must all contribute to make it work effectively.”
Present at the event was Madam Millicent Kabuki Carboo, District Chief Executive of Biakoye, who said a “great opportunity” had been gifted the community, and called to use the Council to pursue justice, coexistence, and development.
“Chieftaincy is tantamount to justice, and therefore chiefs must use the Council to foster justice and peace. They should consider the development and progress of the whole area. This is a new beginning.”
She said low tax revenue saddled the district with underdevelopment and promised the establishment of a local council office alongside the Traditional Council to enable a collective drive towards broadening tax streams.