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16.08.2017 Feature Article

Sampa; A District Capital Town Without A Chief And A Queen Mother

Sampa; A District Capital Town Without A Chief And A Queen Mother
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“Turning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon cannot hear the falconer, things fall apart, the centre cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world” so says William Butler Yeats. The case of the Sampa traditional area is not different from what Butler Yeats described in his poem.

Over the years, chieftaincy has met a great deal of opposition since many are those who consider chieftaincy in recent times as an institution that causes unnecessary pandemonium between members of the same lineage. They vehemently hold the view that chieftaincy is an archaic institution which has outlived its usefulness and should therefore be completely discarded to the museum of history.

Nonetheless, chieftaincy as an enviable institution in Ghana emanated from the social fabric of the land and should therefore be noted that Ghanaian chieftaincy is nobody’s creation and cannot be completely eliminated with ease. Chieftaincy was characterized by good governance and strict accountability to the masses.

As we procreate for population to increase, the views of people will differ. Chaos and anarchy may take place when two or more people disagree on a pertinent issue and resort to the use of force, violent behaviour and other cruel and deviant means to resolve the matter. Chieftaincy disputes normally occur when there is a succession to a vacant stool.

It is unarguable and therefore agreeable that there is no community that does not go through chieftaincy disputes at some point in time.

But the case of Sampa will definitely call for the raise of eyebrows. No doubt, many indigenes of good standing have made a grimace of disgust concerning this whole issue but the parties involved have failed to see and hear the untold plight of the masses.

In order not to be at sea, it is prudent to know that Sampa is the Capital town of the Jaman North District in the Brong- Ahafo Region of Ghana. The tonic of success started early when the Sampa Traditional Area was elevated to a paramount status in 1982. As it stands now, it is sickening, saddening and heart-breaking to know that Development has come to a halt due to its Chieftaincy crises.

One will surely be stunned to the marrow to discover that there has not been a chief in Sampa after the then Chief, Nana Kofi Sono Apim II joined the heavenly choir on the 8th May, 2007. It is apparent that for almost ten years now, the people of Sampa are still mourning their dead Chief.

Seven years earlier, the queen mother, Nana Yadwo Kakala II had passed on. It’s been almost two decades now the people of Sampa have not been able to unanimously enstool a queen mother. The town has no king and a queen mother. So I ask; for how long shall Sampa Traditional Area remain an emaciated orphan?

The parties involved in this brouhaha of chieftaincy dispute keep on treading the rugged path of the law court but all to no avail. Well, the old lady will never be at ease anytime dry bones are being mentioned in a conversation. These parties who are locked up in the supremacy of power may justify their deeds as being patriotic. But I beg to differ. This act is unheard of and unpatriotic. It is only hampering the hand of progress and still taking us to the primitive times of fear and chaos.

The role of chieftaincy can never be undermined. But for the presence of some vibrant chiefs, some districts we know today would have been nothing good to write home about. It is therefore not surprising that the Sampa Traditional Area has been left off the hook in terms of development. Many politicians, who are trapped in the deceptive game of “politricks” keep on lavishing promises that the town shall see a road made of asphalt if only they are rocketed into the realms of power. But what do the masses see? They only come to the masses to renew their promises in a year of election. Truth be told, the mere presence of a vibrant chief in the town could make these politicians spare us some of these unfulfilled promises.

The present chief palace doesn’t befit a modern day palace. The people of the town can’t erect a modern chief palace because there is no chief in the land. Need I say more?

Such issues become quite dicey because none of the parties involve would like to seem defeated. But in this case, we plead with the parties involve to bite the bullet and bury the hatchet for peace and tranquillity to prevail in the Sampa Traditional Area. These two parties should know that their positive decision on this matter will definitely turn back the clock ten years.

It is high time these parties knew that it will be more appropriate to lose this case and make peace than to win the case and cause conflict. I do not need the foresight of a Jewish prophet in order to prophesy that Sampa Traditional Area is heading towards doom if this issue is not settled amicably.

Every Tom, Dick and Harry in every nook and cranny of the Sampa Traditional Area should respond to this clarion call. We call on the various stakeholders, the Regional House of Chiefs, the concerned youth of the town and the Ministry responsible for chieftaincy to intervene quickly in order to maintain peace in the town. The dispute between these two parties should cease forthwith and off pronto. There is no place like home. Sampa Traditional Area is our home and pride.


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Elvis Effah
Elvis Effah, © 2017

The author has 28 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: ElvisEffah

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