Mr. Ambrose Dery, Upper West Regional Minister has called on stakeholders in the chieftaincy institution to work quickly to resolve all chieftaincy disputes in the Upper West Region to pave way for peace, progress and development.
He said the few troubled spots in the region were as a result of chieftaincy disputes and pointed out that the region, which had an enviable reputation of being very peaceful, was losing grounds on that title due to some chieftaincy disputes, the cost of which was huge and a detriment to development.
He bemoaned the situation and said it was unfortunate that in recent times the deserved recognition of the institution has been affected by litigations and conflicts and called for concerted efforts to address the issues to enhance progress and development.
Mr. Dery made the call during the out-dooring of Naa Naabomo Gandaa IV, Divisional Chief of Birifo in the Lawra Traditional Area on Saturday, which was attended by people from the three Northern Regions and neighbouring Burkina Faso.
Naa Gandaa, 68, who is known in private life as Harry Edward Naabomo Gandaa is a contractor and hotelier and one time a Member of Parliament for Lawra Nandom during the Limann administration.
Mr. Dery said he was not happy that there was no full complement of Chiefs in the Regional House of Chiefs because of disputes in some paramountcies, a situation, he said, was dividing the people and impeding development in the communities.
He said, even though the government would remain committed to its policy of non-interference in chieftaincy matters, it would not shun its responsibility of ensuring peace for the people to go about their normal duties.
Mr. Dery therefore, warned chieftaincy litigants to stop fomenting troubles and to resort to the use of peaceful means to address chieftaincy matters as a way of unifying the people and ensuring peaceful co-existence.
He called on traditional rulers in the region to complement the government's efforts in enhancing the quality of life of the people through its pro-poor interventions such as capitation grant, the National Health Insurance Scheme, the National Youth Employment Programme, by disseminating information on these issues to encourage the people to patronage them.
Mr. Dery commended the kingmakers of the Birifo Divisional Council for the peaceful manner they conducted the process of nominating, enskinning and outdooring of Naa Gandaa and urged others in the region to emulate them.
"I urge you to sustain that unity and understanding and even more importantly, to translate them into unflinching support for our new chief to bring more development to the traditional area", he said.
In his welcoming address, Naa Gandaa pledged his continuous support and cooperation to the Lawra Paramountcy to contribute positively towards national development.
He said, his priority area of development would be on education, which he described as the bedrock of any society and mentioned four primary schools and two junior secondary schools he intended to develop.
Naa Gandaa appealed to the government to consider his area for a senior secondary school to cater for the numerous junior secondary school graduates who have no access to a senior secondary school and have to travel outside to attain secondary education.
He also bemoaned the periodic migration of the youth of the area to the southern parts of the country, especially during the dry season for white-colour-jobs and appealed to the government to provide the area with dams and dugouts to enable the youth to stay at home to undertake dry season gardening.
Water pumping machines could also be given to the youth on credit basis to embark on irrigation along the Black Volta River, while efforts were made to provide the necessary logistic and resource for the Integrated Community Centre at Birifo to offer employable skills to the youth there.
On tourism, Naa Gandaa said Birifo is home to a natural spring, which flows throughout the year and called for its development to attract tourists to the place to generate income for the country.