Sekondi, May 15, - GNA - Chiefs in the Western Region have been called upon to avoid any temptation from unscrupulous politicians who would drag the noble institution of chieftaincy into partisan politics and thus undermining the cherished image of the institution.
Kasapreko Kwame Bassayin II, President of the Western Region House of Chiefs made the call at a general meeting of the House in Sekondi on Friday. He explained that all members of the various political parties and their leaders are their own people and as such, chiefs should receive them all equally without declaring their support for one particular party.
Kasapreko Bassayin pointed out: "it was only when chiefs become neutral in party politics that we will once again ensure peaceful general elections on December seven 2004." He also entreated all politicians to place the interest of the country above their personal ambitions and to refrain from any provocative acts likely to generate national disharmony and instability when they mount their political platforms. Kasapreko Bassayin regretted that funds for running the Houses of Chiefs have not been coming regularly as they used to be in the previous years, adding that the situation tended to pose a big administrative problem for the Houses of Chiefs.
He therefore, appealed to the chieftaincy secretariat in Accra to liaise with the government to release adequate funds to the houses of chiefs without further delay to enable chiefs to efficiently perform the roles expected of them under the 1992 constitution.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, who was invited to the meeting, briefed the chiefs on the number of development projects going on in the various parts of the region. Some of the projects he enumerated include the construction and tarring of roads, provision of educational and health infrastructure as well as electricity supply. He assured the chiefs that the government was determined to improve the living standards of the people and called for the support and co-operation of chiefs.
Mr. Aidoo appealed to the House to expedite action in resolving many chieftaincy disputes that had been undermining development of the region. He informed the House that the proposed farmers housing scheme in the region would start as soon as legal issues relating to land acquisition for the projects is completed. Nana Kobina Nketiah V, Omanhene of Essikadu Traditional area suggested the formation of a Regional Consultative Council, made up of officials from the Regional Co-ordinating Council, Regional Heads of Departments. District Chief Executives and chiefs to meet occasionally to discuss and exchange ideas on the developmental needs of the region.