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14.06.2005 Regional News

New chieftaincy bill to address issues - Togbega


Ho, June 14, GNA - The new Chieftaincy Bill, which is being enacted would go a long way to address some of the thorny issues undermining the chieftaincy institution in the Volta Region.

Togbega Gabusu VI, President of the Volta Region House of Chiefs gave the hint at an emergency meeting of the House on Tuesday. Togbega Gabusu, who is also the Paramount chief of the Gbi Traditional area observed that much of the problem has to do with "amalgamation." He said this has brought about the misconception that some Traditional areas, especially those hosting Traditional Councils were overlords to other traditional areas forming such Councils.

On the contrary, he said, all traditional areas forming such Councils were autonomous and traditionally independent and therefore do not owe allegiance to any particular Council member because they do not swear allegiance to them. Togbega Gabusu also observed that the present traditional Council arrangements tended to make such councils unwieldy many of which overlap. "When the new bill comes out, at least the problem would have been dealt with to some extent." "We are about to land but definitely not all will be satisfied but it would reflect a positive beginning," Togbega Gabusu said.

On the role of the House in resolving disputes in the region, Togbega Gabusu said the House's initiatives have been thwarted by political powers in the region. For example, he said the House had almost succeeded in resolving the Alavanyo-Nkonya conflict through its mediation committee only for the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) to constitute another committee on the same matter instead of supporting the House's initiative with logistics.

Similarly, "the House's good advice to government on the problem of the location of the capital of the new Adaklu-Anyigbe district was disregarded even though such advice reflected exhaustive consultations with the two traditional areas. "This august House will not have anything to do with the problem, as chiefs, we do not lick our spittle", he said. Togbe Kwasi Sasraku II, Fiaga of Tsrukpe traditional area commended Togbega Gabusu for facilitating frank and open discussions on issues concerning the House and the development of Chieftaincy in the region. He said such open exchanges promote transparency and engender popular participation and thus avoid suspicion among members of the House.