09.04.2005 Regional News

Chiefs asked to re-define their roles

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Sombo (U/R), April 09, GNA - Mr Ambrose Dery, the Upper West regional Minister, on Friday appealed on chiefs to re-define their roles and act as true agents in the fight to stop all harmful customary practices that retarded growth and development.

Female Genital Mutilation and widow inheritance, he said, were some of the cultural practices that could terminate people's lives through the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

Mr Dery said this at the enskinment and outdooring of Naa Dr Banka Nagyale Oraa 11, as divisional chief of Sombo in the Kaleo Traditional Area of the Nadowli District.

Known in private life as Dr Francis Banka, he was the immediate past Regional Director of Health Services for the Upper West Region. He succeeded Naa Tilinaa Bagbin who died some few years ago.

The Regional Minister appealed to traditional rulers in the region to establish dialogue with his office for a collective effort to reduce poverty and create wealth. "That for me is a battle that must be fought and won".

He expressed concern about the numerous chieftaincy disputes in the region that had resulted in many vacant skins and expressed regret that out of 17 paramountcies, five are vacant chiefs while 23 of the 120 divisional skins were also without occupants.

The ceremony was given a religious seal with a catholic mass celebrated by Most Reverend Gregory Kpiebaya, the Archbishop of Tamale. In a homily, Most Rev Kpiebaya called on chiefs to be selfless and see their role as servants of the people who should handle all issues in the best interest of their people.

He said some people tended to forget God as soon as they assumed leadership positions and therefore advised the new chief not to fall in that trap. 09 April 05

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