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23.01.2005 Regional News

Chieftaincy dispute a dent on traditional authority - Nana Angu II

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Accra, Jan 23, GNA - The Apinto Hene of Wassa Fiase Traditional area in the Wassa West district Nana Kwabina Angu II on Sunday said the image and power of the traditional authority has been dented by the numerous chieftaincy disputes that has plague the institution and called for immediate remedial action.

"The dignity, respect and integrity of the chieftaincy institution is under serious threat from within and without and stands the risk of losing its influence if the necessary mechanism are not employed to save it," Nana Angu stated.

Nana Angu who is the chief of Awudua was speaking to newsmen in Accra who had sought to find out the causes of recent tribal and chieftaincy clashes at Awudua in particular and other traditional areas in the country.

The Apinto Hene said misinformation, suspicions, lack of clear order of succession, subverting of rules, infiltration of outside forces, including political parties on the mode of ascension unto the throne have all contributed to the numerous chieftaincy disputes. He appealed to all parties to be circumspect in their statements so as not to lay any grounds to discredit the chieftaincy institution. Nana Angu noted that traditional authority is very crucial for the development and sustaining democracy and urged non-governmental and civil society organizations to support and promote the dignity of the institution.

On the December 24, 2004 clashes at Awudua where two hundred and fifty citizens were chased out of the town as a result of a chieftaincy dispute, Nana said the action was a propagandist method to derail peace moves by majority of the youth who have denounced violence. On the eve of the Christmas festivities, two youth factions in the town clashed, which resulted in the destruction of two vehicles, Renault Bus with registration number GR 2950 V and a taxi with registration number AS 5203 U.

A Renault bus with registration number GR 2950 V belonging to one Opia Mensah was set ablaze in addition to a taxi car with registration number A S5203 U.

The rampaging youth was reported to have cut down cocoa and plantain plants in a nearby farm belonging to Nana Kwaku Baah, who is an elder brother of Nana Angu.

In addition, a number of houses, a chemical store and provisions shop were burnt

Nana Angu retreated the call for peace and adherence to due process of law to resolve conflicts instead of resorting to violence. He also refuted the allegation by few disgruntled youth who had accused him of organizing people to demonstrate for peace.

Nana Angu described the allegations levelled against him by a small section of the youth as unfortunate and a calculated fabrication to bring his personal reputation and the integrity of the Awudua stool into disrepute.

"Am the Nifa Hene of the Wassa Fiase, and key member of the Traditional Council, our youth should therefore cooperate with the authorities to bring lasting peace to Awudua."

Nana Angu said, "It is not true that I have imprisoned some of the youth members, the truth was that after an act of destruction sometime ago, the police arrested suspects and put them before Sekondi Circuit Court and the Tarkwa High Court and Tribunal.

"Through the intervention of the regional security council and other respected personalities I have withdrawn all cases against all those who destroyed my properties; anyone who doubt this can verify at the various courts mentioned."

Nana Angu urged the youth to renounce violence and join hands with all peace loving people for amicable settlement of the four-year old dispute.

He said the dispute had stifled the development of the traditional area, stressing: "the youth should be agent for development not destruction."

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