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14.05.2007 Regional News

Chiefs call for recognition under local gov’t system

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The Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional Area, Daasebre (Dr) Oti Boateng has said that the nomination, selection and enstoolment of a chief are more democratic than the nomination and selection of members of cabinet and the District Chief Executives.

Therefore, if the democratic nature of the institution should be the basis for the formal inclusion of the chieftaincy institution into the local government system, then, the chieftaincy institution was more qualified for that position.

Daasebre Boateng was contributing to the roundtable discussion on the decentralization and local government, the case for enhancing the effective participation of Traditional Authorities in Ghana's Local Government System at Koforidua.

The function was organized by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF).

He observed that the local government system in the country, currently, was not working effectively because the system had excluded some segment of the society in contradiction to the intentions of the designers of the local government system and suggested that the situation need to be corrected if the country is to develop faster than it is doing now.

A legal practitioner and an expert in traditional affairs, Nana Asante Bediatuo observed that, since independence, very little had been done by the various governments to ensure effective participation of chiefs in the local governance of the country.

He said in many parts of the country where the District Assembly's influence had not been felt, chiefs had played both political, economic and developmental roles.

Nana Bediatuo said even in areas where the District Assembly's influence could be felt, chiefs had served as a conduit through whom the people channel their request for development projects to the District Chief Executives and the Public Servants.

He observed that in areas where the District Assemblies had worked in collaboration with the traditional authorities, the people had moved in a more purposeful and determined way and development had been faster.

Nana Bediatuo therefore, suggested that the constitutional requirement that the president should nominate 30 per cent of the members of the District Assembly be reserved for the Traditional Authorities in the Area.

Source: GNA

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