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24.11.2007 Editorial

Another Chieftaincy Dispute

By Daily Guide
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Another bloody chieftaincy dispute has erupted in the country. As usual, it is over who is the rightful person to succeed a dead chief.
This time around, it is at Adoagyiri, near Nsawam in the Eastern Region, which until last Sunday was a very peaceful town, well-known for producing quality bread.

Our information is that the youth of the town, armed with cutlasses and knives, attacked a sub-chief of the town and inflicted deep wounds on him for supporting one chieftaincy gate against the other for a vacant stool whose occupant died last January, after ruling for 54 years.

We regret that the unwanted event is coming on the heels of the bloody Anlo chieftaincy dispute, the dusts of which are yet to settle completely.

Generally, chieftaincy disputes sapped energies, caused loss of money, generated deep antagonism and above all, resulted into untimely deaths.

Many problems are associated with stools whose occupants live for too long and the case of the Adoagyiri chief who reigned for 54 years would not be an exception.

What usually happens is that after the long reign of a late chief, people who know something about the succession line die and the few who might still be around take advantage of the situation to twist history.

Similarly, the twisted information is passed on to the youth, who receive it with youthful exuberance, without looking at the other side of the coin.

We are not pre-judging the Adoagyiri case; We are only stating what normally pertains in such cases, so that steps can be taken to nip them in the bud before they escalate.

In such cases, it is important for the youth to be patient and listen to the history of the stool before embarking on any action, since by that they can also be used as an important reference point in the history of the stool.

From experience, it appears as though all claimants to a particular stool indeed have some amount of rights to that stool. The only difference is how the succession line was being religiously followed.

This is the reason why it has become very necessary to document the line of succession of every stool in the country. The beginning might be difficult, but it would save a lot of situations in the future.

The start of the exercise itself could spark a lot of controversies among the interested parties, but it could save many nasty situations in future also.

We suggest that paramountcies should take the lead in the documentation.

DAILY GUIDE urges the Ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs to start the exercise by early next year to see where it would reach by the end of the year.

The paper feels such an exercise could drastically reduce chieftaincy disputes in the country.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."