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03.09.2004 General News

Judge suggests ''entry requirement'' for chiefs

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Ho, Sept 03, GNA- Mr Justin Kofi Dorgu, a Kpando Circuit Court Judge, has suggested that only people with "peaceful dispositions towards conflict resolution'' should be made chiefs.

He said the chieftaincy institution, the pivot around which people regulate their everyday lives, must exclude those "who would want to show where power lies at the least provocation".

Mr Dorgu was delivering a lecture on the "Role of Chieftaincy in Democratic Governance" at the National Youth Camp for Peace going on in Ho.

He said internecine conflicts that entail huge financial burden on government were within the ability of traditional areas to resolve. ''Chiefs need to resolve conflicts speedily and effectively and work towards the attainment of peaceful environment for their subjects," Mr Dorgu said.

He said chiefs and the chieftaincy institution are still relevant in modern day governance but their focus should be on development. "They should forget about asserting superiority or supremacy over others."

Mr Dorgu expressed regret that the otherwise effective historical arbitration and settlement mechanism in the traditional system had been corrupted, leading to "protracted litigations over trifles."

Responding to concerns of some of the participants regarding the alleged fraudulent sale of lands by some chiefs, he said such chiefs were like any other individual who could be sued or charged for fraud. Mr Dorgu said it was incumbent on those wishing to buy land to do thorough investigations before committing themselves to such transactions.

The camp that the National Youth Council (NYC) organised under the theme "Peace and Stability in Ghana: The Role of the Youth in Consolidating Democracy" ends on Saturday.