Speaker of Parliament, Alban S. K. Bagbin is advocating for traditional leaders, both chiefs and queen mothers to be brought up to national governance level as members of Parliament.
He said that was why at the ongoing review of the 1992 Constitution, areas should be earmarked to allow some traditional leaders, both chiefs and queen mothers, to qualify to be in Parliament.
“Countries like Botswana and Rwanda have gotten it right. The presence of these traditional leaders brings sanity and discipline into the House [Parliament] and contribute to enhancing our rich culture,” the Speaker said.
Mr Bagbin was addressing the Queen Mothers Association of Ghana last Friday [Dec 8, 2023] at his office in Parliament.
The queen mothers were there to familiarise with the Speaker and to acquaint themselves with the legislative processes in Parliament.
The Speaker said governance was not only about political parties and as such could not be left in the hands of politicians alone.
“We can play politics without being partisan.
“Politics is about the formulation of policies that are nurtured by the interest of all and their view taken into consideration in fashioning out such policies,” Mr Bagbin told the queen mothers.
He said when that is done, everybody feels part and parcel of the policy at the implementation stage.
“You are an authority and influential people in your communities and your view cannot be overlooked,” he told the queen mothers.
Tracing the trajectory of governance in Ghana, the Speaker said, “as a country we lost our direction when we gain independence by wrongly identifying the true leaders of our country.”
“We placed our hopes and aspirations into the hands of only the politicians and we lost it,” he said.
Indeed, the speaker said even during the pre-independence era, when the whites invaded the country, they recognised the traditional leaders as the true leaders.
“That was why they ruled us indirectly through our traditional leaders and not politicians,” he said.
The President of the Queen Mothers Association and the Queen mother of the Nkonya Traditional Area, Nana Otubea ll, bemoaned the exclusion of queen mothers in decision-making at the regional and national houses of chiefs.
She said the exclusion of queen mothers at regional and national houses of chiefs was discriminatory and made them second-class citizens.
Nana Otubea, said the association was, therefore, seeking clarification and interpretation of the word chief in the constitution.
She said as it stands now, the constitution is biased towards them and allowing only their male counterparts to appropriate the word “chief.”