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13.12.2009 Regional News

People without royal blood should stay away from chieftaincy matters

By gna
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Stakeholders at a peace building seminar in Wa have called on people without royal lineage not to interfere in chieftaincy matters, as their activities were disturbing the peace in the North.

They said such people were fomenting chieftaincy disputes in the Northern, Upper West and Upper East regions.

The stakeholders, involved religious, opinion leaders, security personnel and sectional heads in the Wa Municipality.

They called on kingmakers to use the right procedures to elect chiefs, irrespective of one's social, economic and political standing.

They also appealed to the National House of Chiefs to fast track the documentation of the lineage of succession of stools and skins throughout the country to avoid litigations and disputes.

The Ghana Network for Peace building (GHANEP), a non- governmental organisation organised the seminar to help find amicable solutions to issues that have the potential of escalating into conflict situations in the municipality and other communities.

The participants called on chiefs not to assume the role of (Tindambas) landowners and avoid partisan politics to keep their people united.

They urged religious organisations to ensure that their leaders who go to preach on radio, mosques and churches incorporate peace messages in their sermons while avoiding doctrinal presentations.

The contributors appealed to religious groups to take steps to document succession to leadership positions for their followers.

They should also give moral support to the law enforcement agencies by educating their followers to conduct themselves properly and be law abiding at all times.

The leaders advised the police in the municipality to act professionally in whatever situation they might find themselves because people were looking up to them for exemplary leadership.

The stakeholders called for regular in-service training for security personnel to upgrade their skills and knowledge on how to enforce laws and the handling of issues of human rights.

They expressed worry about political interference in the operations of security personnel and the judiciary and urged civil society organisations to advocate against the practice.

Some of the stakeholders appealed to the Ghana Musicians Association to be wary of the type of songs some of their members compose in favour of political parties and against some ethnic groups, which could undermine national peace, cohesion and integration.

A senior police officer who attended the forum apologized for some of the atrocities some police personnel meted out to the public and called for the co-operation of the people to enable them to work effectively.

He advised the people to be law abiding and also form community watchdogs committees to help the police to track down criminals.

Mr. Muntaka Hafiz, Acting National Network
Co-ordinator of GHANEP said the organisation had received reports from its Community Surveillance Team in Wa, indicating that there was poor relationship between the public and the Police in recent times.

He said were also agitations about land and chieftaincy disputes at Ga, Nyoli, Bucie, Nadowli and Wa, as well religious intolerance regarding preaching on radio stations by some people.

These among others prompted the GHANEP to organise the seminar to address the issues before they could escalate into conflict situations to disturb the peace in the communities, he said.

GNA

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