Traditional leaders advocate integration of chieftaincy into governance

Traditional Leaders And Members Of IEA
Traditional Leaders And Members Of IEA

Five traditional leaders have called for a review of the 1992 Constitution to include traditional authorities in the governance and decision-making process of the country.  

They have, therefore, proposed establishing a second chamber, which would comprise most of its members to ensure development of effective policies and good governance.

The chiefs are Nana Susubiribi Krobea Asante, Omanhene, Asante Asokore; Togbe Tepre Hodo IV, President, Volta Regional House of Chiefs; Nene Sakite II, President, Eastern Regional House of Chiefs; Odeefuo Amoakwa Buadu VIII, President, Central Regional House of Chiefs and Nuumo Gbelenfo III, Acting President, Osu Traditional Council.

They made the call when they took turns at the Institute of Economic Affairs’ (IEA) seminar series on Reviewing of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, in Accra, on Tuesday.

Nana Krobea Asante, making a case for the recognition of traditional authorities in the governance structure, said chiefs played a critical role in the socio-economic development of the country.

However, he noted that they had been marginalised in the governance of the country due to loopholes in the Constitution.

“We have a situation where in galamsey for example, chiefs are excluded from the process of granting mining licences or leases, they are excluded from supervision of what goes on in the mining sector…Even the power to call our subjects has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

“We are excluded from Parliament; we are not part of the Executive. So, how does a chief exert himself apart from resorting to unconstitutional means when we say will help? So, chieftaincy should be integrated,” Nana Asante said.

He said any attempt to review the Constitution must make provisions for traditional leadership to empower them to champion the course of development in their communities.

Odeefuo Buadu VIII said chiefs had, over the years, played crucial roles in maintaining the peace and security of the country, stressing that, they also acted as agents of economic development, providing portable water, schools and other social amenities to their communities.

“Also, our formal courts may be overwhelmed with cases and yet the disputes being settled by our chiefs in their palaces far outnumber the cases in our formal courts,” he noted.

He said the chieftaincy institution, therefore, presented a potential, which when clothed with the desired powers and resources could make diverse contributions to the country.

Nene Sakite II explained that the Constitution was the basis for all other laws, and the basis for reviewing Executive and Legislative action, adding that traditional leadership was crucial in that equation.

He said globally, nations with strong traditional leadership had their security more secured than those that had less participation of traditional leadership.

“As such, our reform efforts must stress effective role of traditional leadership,” he emphasised.

Nuumo Gbelenfo III also stressed the need for traditional leaders to be given more powers to enable them to effectively deal with rising societal vices such as smoking, sniffing of unwholesome substance in the community.

Togbe Hodo IV, on his part, proposed that Article 131 (1a) of the Constitution was amended to reduce the number of appeal cases referred to the Supreme Court to enable it to focus on delivering landmark cases and shaping policy.

“We wish to propose that, particularly with what we call interlocutory appeals, there should be a termination point. They should be limited to only the Court of Appeal,” he said.

Also at the seminar were Nana Kobina Nketsia V, Omanhen of Essikado Traditional Area, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, former Speaker of Parliament, Mr Emile Short, former Chairman of CHRAJ, Mr Cletus Avoka, Member of Parliament for Zebilla , Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, Spokesperson, Chief Imam, as well as some political leaders and veteran journalists.

Send your news stories to Follow News Ghana on Google News


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here