26.04.2005 Regional News

Minister warns chiefs who hide behind institution to cause trouble

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Sunyani, April 26, GNA - Nana Kwadwo Seinti, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, has cautioned chiefs who he said hide behind the chieftaincy institution to cause trouble in their areas to desist from the practice. He noted that recent events in some parts of the Region suggested that "some people hide behind chieftaincy to cause trouble in their areas".

Addressing the first general meeting of the Regional House of Chiefs for this year in Sunyani, Nana Seinti warned that the government would not tolerate chiefs whose behaviour and acts would disturb the peace.

"The Regional Security Council has asked the Police to enforce the public order law to ensure that trouble-makers are brought to book", he said.

Nana Seinti noted that the perennial chieftaincy problems of the Region had impeded the development process in some communities. He expressed regret that chieftaincy cases pending before the House had increased from 48 to 49 since its last meeting and appealed to the chiefs to persuade feuding parties to make concessions to ensure the peaceful resolution of such cases for the speedy development of the Region.

The Regional Minister noted that litigation had polarized communities, whose people were suffering and urged the chiefs to invest their resources, time and energy into productive ventures that would make a positive impact on the lives of the people.

Okatakyie Agyeman Kudom, Omanhene of Nkoranza Traditional Area and President of the House urged members to seek alternatives for the resolution of disputes.

He noted that the situation of settling chieftaincy disputes had not changed and as a result, "the number of cases keeps on increasing". The Omanhene pointed out the frustrations of the Mediation Committee of the House as their work was often hampered by the lawyers that parties engaged.

"The Lawyers always write letters to the House to discontinue further hearing of the cases or their withdrawal from the case at an advanced stage", Okatakyie Agyeman said.

He added that the non-performance of the mediation committees was not the result of unfairness or unnecessary delays but due to interference by lawyers.

Okatakyie Kudom appealed to lawyers to cooperate in the resolution of chieftaincy disputes pending at the House to promote peace and development in the Region.

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