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23.05.2007 General News

Chiefs have sole right to gong-gong beating - Boafo

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The Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, Mr Sampson Kweku Boafo, has said the right to order "gong-gong" to be beaten resided solely in the purview of the traditional authority and not in a politician or their appointees.

He said any assembly member or politician who caused "gong-gong" to be beaten without the consent of a chief was usurping the power and authority of the chief.

Mr Boafo said this on Monday at Jasikan during an interaction with chiefs and people of Bueman Traditional Area as part of his three-day visit to the Volta region.

The Minister, who touched briefly on the content of the Chieftaincy Bill, said the bill was aimed at giving the dignity and authority back to the traditional leaders to empower them to play their crucial roles of arbitration and champion the socio-economic development of their areas.

Mr Boafo said culture and tradition continued to chart the development agenda in some areas and it was time to harness the country's rich cultural heritage for socio-economic advancement.

He appealed to chiefs to eschew tendencies that would bring the revered institution into disrepute and to reprimand wrongdoing in the society.

Nana Aburam Akpandja IV, the Paramount Chief of Buem Traditional Area, commended President John Agyekum Kufuor for establishing a ministry to champion the course of the custodians of the land and belief systems.

He acknowledged the crucial roles being played by chiefs in contemporary times in leading the socio-economic development of their areas contrary to what pertained in the past when they prided themselves in the number of wars and frontiers they had conquered.

Nana Akpandja said he was optimistic that the new dispensation would give a face-lift to chieftaincy and its infrastructures.

He reiterated the creation of a second region in the Volta region and suggested it be called the Oti Region to galvanize the socio-cultural and linguistic diversity of the area.

Mr Solomon Donkor, the Jasikan District Chief Executive, said the chieftaincy institution was a noble one that practiced democracy and decentralization before it gained currency presently and needed to be accorded the necessary impetus to advance development.

Source: GNA

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