President John Diawuo Agyekum Kufuor has made it clear that the Asantehene, Nana Osei Tutu II, wields much more power and influence than he (Mr. Kufuor) and all his Ministers combined.
According to Mr. Kufuor, the elected President who has the mandate and authority of the State of Ghana, he and his Ministers could not get IMF/World Bank reschedule a meeting to discuss the issues concerning his government's supposedly reaching HIPC completion point. That he (Mr. Kufuor) had to beg the Asantehene to try get the World Bank/IMF to reschedule the meeting.
It is clear from the President's own words that our elected national leaders are so discredited and disrespected internationally that they are unable to get their so-called development partners to agree on rescheduling a meeting, such that it had to take the influence and image of a sectional leader to get this done. Oh!! Ghana!!!
We congratulate the Asantehene that he, a tribal chief, has been able to achieve what our elected national government could not achieve.
But, may we ask, is this revelation by itself not underlining the concerns being raised by Hon. Agyare Koi-Larbi, Ghana Palaver, and a host of others; to wit, some traditional authorities are being elevated over others?
What About Dagbon?
As the 2004 election day draws near, concerns continue to be raised about whether or not political parties can embark on electioneering in the Dagbon area. Yet the Minister of Interior appears not to have heard these concerns, so as to proffer the necessary clarification. This is not a matter for the Electoral Commission.
These concerns are being raised in view of the fact that parts of that traditional area have been placed under a State of Emergency, following the gruesome murder of the Ya-Na and over forty others in broad daylight, a criminal act for which no one has been held accountable to date.
With just about four months to go to the polls, none of the stakeholders in the political process, apart from the government, knows how Dagbon would feature in the electioneering process and the elections itself. And it appears government is happy to keep the political parties guessing for as long as possible.
While it is true that the state of emergency in Dagbon has not prevented parties from holding their primaries there, one cannot fail to recognise that electioneering is a totally different ball game from primaries.
Nobody is under any illusion about the volatile situation in Dagbon. But that volatile situation has to be managed is such a way as to enable the people in that area participate fully in the electoral process, including electioneering and the elections proper.
Managing the 'volatile' situation is the responsibility of government. But government cannot discharge that responsibility without the co-operation and collaboration of every one of us. That is why it is absolutely necessary that government is forthcoming with information on what its plans are in relation to electioneering and the elections proper in the Dagbon area.
There is no gainsaying the fact that electioneering is meticulously planned, resources secured and allotted for every step of the process. However with the current imbroglio that has been created in Dagbon; and with government's stony silence, even in the face of these concerns being raised, no political party, with the probable exception of the governing (NPP) party, can lay down any real plan for electioneering in that area.
Why is the government refusing to clarify the situation? Does government has a hidden agenda? What could the government lost by letting everyone know what its plans are in relation to Dagbon?
We of The Lens are calling on the government to, as a matter of urgency, clarify the situation.