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23.06.2004 Regional News

Chiefs urged to ensure civility among politicians

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Kumasi, June 23, GNA - Mr Owusu Ankomah, an independent presidential aspirant, has urged chiefs to bring the enormous influence they wielded in society to prevail on politicians to be more civil in the conduct of their electioneering campaign.

He said: "As the very embodiment of the soul and unity of the nation, they owed it a duty to themselves, the people and posterity to ensure the protection and sustenance of the peace and cohesion of the country at all times."

Mr Ankomah was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Kumasi on Wednesday.

He said although it would be simply hypocritical for anyone to refuse to recognise that the power base of traditional rulers had considerably been eroded, the fact still remained that they commanded tremendous amount of respect, support and following.

"There could, therefore, be no good reason why they should be petrified into inaction and fear and allow the indiscretion of any self-seeking politician to tear and ruin the nation."

The independent presidential aspirant promised that if given the mandate to lead the country in Election 2004, his first task would be the restoration of some political powers to chiefs to enable them to become real pivots of development in their communities.

"They definitely are going to play an important role under my administration."

Mr Ankomah said since even the colonial masters saw wisdom in making chiefs an effective part of their administrative machinery, there should be no problems doing that now.

He said he would, therefore, see to it that the necessary laws were passed to give back to the chiefs some of the powers that had been taken away from them but would not be drawn into discussing the specifics.