09.09.2004 Regional News

Upper East House of Chiefs meets in Bolgaganga

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Bolgatanga, Sept 9, GNA - The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Mahami Salifu, has advised chiefs in the region to be very sceptical about politicians and be careful they do not mislead their people into bad political alliances this election year.

He said it is expected that chiefs would not use their traditional authorities to deny their people the right to decide a leader of their choice.

Mr Salifu gave this advice at a meeting of the Regional House of Chiefs in Bolgatanga on Wednesday.

The Regional Minister said as role models, chiefs are expected to exhibit a high degree of leadership, which requires tolerance and sacrifice and urged them to conduct peaceful elections to choose their representatives to the National House of Chiefs.

Mr Salifu indicated that traditional boundaries are different from the District boundaries and that the creation of new districts should, therefore, not make any chief or traditional head in the new districts to feel that he will no longer pay allegiance to the traditional area he belongs.

He appealed to the chiefs to continue to play their traditional role as unifying agents, and also examine their relationship with Tindamas or land owners.

Mr Salifu, on behalf of the government commended the chiefs and people of the region for their co-operation and support in maintaining peace and stability in the region, and expressed the hope that chiefs would continue to build on it.

The President of the House, Naba Asigri Abugrago Azoka II, Paramount Chief of the Bawku Traditional Area, in a welcoming address, said the chiefs were meeting to share ideas and to remind themselves of the impending Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

He said chiefs should know how to conduct themselves, during the electioneering campaign, bearing in mind the 1992 constitution, which prevents chiefs from engaging in active partisan politics. He announced that the House would elect five representatives to the National House of Chiefs on September 14, and prayed for a peaceful elections that day.

Naba Azoka appealed to the Director of the Chieftaincy Secretariat to consider the issue of inadequate staffing of the secretariat in the region.

He said among the priority areas are the Traditional Councils where Bailiff Grade two or court clerk grade two is heading the offices, making job performance very inefficient.

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