Osahene Kwaku Aterkyi II, Omanhene of Kukuom Traditional Area, was on Monday elected as the new President of the Brong-Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs to serve for four years.
In an election, supervised by officials of the Electoral Commission, the new President polled 23 votes to beat his closest rival Okatakyie Agyemang Kudom IV, out-going President and Omanhene of Nkoranza Traditional Area, who obtained four votes.
Nana Kwame Korang VI, out-going Vice-President of the House and Omanhene of Awua-Domase Traditional Area had 10 votes.
Pemanpem Yaw Kagbrese VI, Omanhene of Yeji, was elected as the new Vice-President when he polled 29 out of the 37 votes to beat Nana Fosu Gyeabour, Omanhene of Bechem who got eight votes.
Five new members of the House were also elected as its representatives to the National House of Chiefs.
They are Nana Ansah Adu Baah II, Chief of Yamfo, Nana Bofo Bene IV, Omanhene of Dwenem, Agyewodin Adu Gyamfi Ampem, Omanhene of Acherensua, Nana Bosoma Asor Nkrawiri II, Omanhene of Sunyani and Nana Yaw Agyei II, Omanhene of Mim.
Two Chiefs namely Nana Kutu Ayim Baffour II, Omanhene of Nsawkaw and Nana Okogyeadea Yaw Adusei II, Omanhene of Sankore, were also introduced to the House.
They swore the oath of allegiance and secrecy to the provisions of the Chieftaincy Act 759, to discharge their duties as members of the Regional House of Chiefs after their recognition by the National House of Chiefs in the National Register of Chiefs.
In a welcoming address, Okatakyie Agyemang Kudom explained that the passage of the Chieftaincy Act 2008, Act 759 paved the way for the elections to be held.
He reminded the chiefs about the December general election and implored them to educate and advise their people to be law-abiding and tolerant before, during and after the elections.
The out-going President of the House noted that chiefs were duty bound to play their roles as chiefs with absolute impartiality, and expressed their willingness to welcome all political parties in their areas without participating in any rallies in accordance with article 276 of the 1992 Constitution.
Okatakyie Kudom appealed to the media to be circumspect in their reportage before, during and after the elections to avoid inflaming passions.
Okatakyie Kudom urged his colleagues to collaborate with bush fire prevention agencies in educational campaigns and the training of fire volunteers to help prevent bush fires during the harmattan season.
He entreated the courts to deal drastically with persons brought before them for bushfire offences.
The Omanhene of Nkoranza announced that chieftaincy cases in the region had reduced from 54 to 42 with the disposal of twelve cases and expressed the House's determination to reduce the number further by the close of the year.
He appealed to chiefs in whose areas there were chieftaincy disputes to make use of the mediation process to settle them to ensure continued peace.
“The National House of Chiefs in collaboration with the Law Reform Commission is undertaking a research to ascertain and codify customary law relating to land and family law in Ghana,” Okatakyie Kudom said.
He added that, the research was being piloted in 20 traditional areas across the country and Nkoranza and Duayaw-Nkwanta traditional areas in Brong-Ahafo had been selected for the exercise.
Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, urged the chiefs to initiate programmes and projects that could attract funding from donors and financial institutions.
He appealed to the House to be proactive in dealing with chieftaincy cases to ensure absolute peace in affected areas, stressing that government would continue to monitor the disputed areas and deal swiftly with any emerging trouble.
The Regional Minister asked them to use their positions to preach the message of political tolerance and peace ahead of the national elections.
The new President, Osahene Kwaku Aterkyi, a land surveyor by profession, noted that uncertainties and conflicts of boundaries, the vesting of lands in Brong-Ahafo, judicial function, allegiance of some chiefs to some traditional authorities outside the region, ownership and limitation of titles to stool lands were peculiar problems that confronted stools and traditional councils and which needed to be tackled to achieve the desired results and move the region forward.
He said he had a vision for the House to embark on some development projects such as a brick and tile project at Abesim, estate housing project in Sunyani and an oil palm plantation, as well as capacity building of chiefs, training of staff and environmental conditions of the workplace.
Time management was crucial in the current technological age, Osahene Aterkyi said the House needed to adopt a business attitude to improve revenue generation to help fund its activities instead of always relying on the central government.