A Supervising High Court in Tamale has urged chiefs not to take the law into their own hands when dispensing justice at arbitrations, to ensure peace and harmony in their communities.
Mr. Justice Lawrence Ladzagla Mensah, who made the call, told chiefs to always take decisions “with the presence of God in your minds, since you represent the voice of God in your communities.”
He was addressing the inaugural meeting of the reconstituted Northern Regional House of chiefs in Tamale on Tuesday.
The Judge said: “This region has great potential and if you abide by the spirit of peace and tolerance, the region will experience accelerated development within the next ten years”.
The Yagbonwura, Bawa Abudu Doshie, Overlord of Gonjaland was elected unopposed as the new President of the House with the Nayiri, Na Bohagu Mahami Abdulai Sheriga, while the Overlord of Mamprugu was elected as Vice-President of the House.
Wulugu Naba, Professor John Nabila, the Kpembewura Alhaji Harunah Kibashibie, the Sunso-Naa Shani Hamidu II, Kumbun-Na Yiri II, and Bamboi Kuoro, Nana Kwaku Dapaah II, were also elected unopposed as representatives to the National House of Chiefs.
Mr. Mensah appealed to the Yagbonwura to run an open door administration and allow for free and effective communication between him and the other members of the House to promote peace and harmony.
Yagbonwura Doshie pledged to give the region the necessary leadership to enable it to surmount the numerous challenges it was facing.
He gave the assurance that no chief would shirk his responsibility in ensuring peace in the region.
Yagbonwura Doshie commended government for the establishment of the Northern Development Fund.
He urged all well-meaning citizens and the country's development partners to contribute to the fund for accelerated development of the North.
Yagbonwura Doshie expressed worry about the manner in which some political party leaders were carrying out their campaigns, saying it was creating tension.
He urged political leaders to be moderate in their activities since elections “is not a matter of life and death”.
Yagbonwura Doshie appealed to the Electoral Commission to ensure free, fair, transparent elections.
Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, Northern Regional Minister, entreated chiefs in the region to resolve all disputes in the region and to seek technical advice during arbitration.
He, however, reminded chiefs that they could not arbitrate on criminal cases and appealed to them to study the Chieftaincy Act 2008 in order not to fall foul of its provisions.
Alhaji Idris told the chiefs that the development gap between the North and the South could never be closed if they did not ensure development to complement government's development programmes.
“In your unique positions as custodians of the land, the district assemblies, for instance, could rely on your good counsel and willingness to release land for infrastructure development in your traditional areas,” he said.
Mr. Sylvester Kanyi, Northern Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, supervised the elections while, the Supervising High Court Judge administered the oath of office to the chiefs.