Chieftaincy Disputes Hindering Development
Mr Kofi Dzamesi, the Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs has said the greatest honour that can be done to a departed Chief is to quickly perform his funeral and immediately install another Chief to promote and maintain the peace.
He observed that it was uncommon for people within a traditional area to solve Chieftaincy disputes by themselves to pave way for the installation of a new chief to promote development, and commended the Royals of the Navrongo Traditional Area for the peace and unity they maintained since the late chief departed them three years ago.
Mr Dzamesi who said this in Navrongo, added that the Royals had done something unique which was recognised by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, and indicated that if by the grace of God, the Navrongo Traditional Council and the Royals were able to reach a common goal in the end, they would have made history in the chieftaincy institution.
The Minister was accompanied by the National Security Advisor to the President, Brigadier General Emmanuel Okyere, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, Member of Parliament (MP) for the area and Minister for Water and Sanitation, Members of the Upper East Regional Security Council (REGSEC), headed by Mr Rockson Ayine Bukari, the Regional Minister.
Mr Dzamesi presented GH¢ 25,000.00 on behalf of the President towards the funeral arrangement of the late Paramount Chief of the Navrongo Traditional Area, while the MP presented a personal gift of GH¢10.000.00.
The Minister commended the REGSEC for maintaining peace in the Region and further urged the Royals to announce a road map for the installation of a new chief.
Brigadier General Okyere on his part, said there could not be development without peace, and disclosed that the President was happy when he heard that they had maintained peace because it would enable government to extend some of its flagship programmes to the area.
Giving the history of the issue, Mr Bukari said the Navrongo Chieftaincy issue came to the fore after the substantive Chief died three years ago even though the current Regent occupied the seat about eighteen years ago because the late chief then was on medical leave in Accra.
He recalled that the issue started last year when elders of the royal family sought a court injunction against the Regent from holding himself out as such, and further fixed March this year as the date to perform the funeral rites of the late chief without recourse to the Regent and King Makers when the proposed date for the rites was two days to the court hearing on the injunction.
Mr Bukari said the Kassena-Nankana Municipal Security Council (MUSEC) wrote to the elders to cancel the intended rites pending the outcome of the court hearing, and subsequently referred the matter to the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) which then formed a Reconciliation Committee chaired by the Municipal Chief Executive to resolve the issue.
He said a formal symbolic ceremony was held by the family on January 27 this year where all members sipped flour water from common calabashes to mark the end of the hostilities and to pave way for them to fix a date for the funeral rites of the chief, and communicate to the REGSEC and the general public.
The Regent of the Area, Mr Arther Balinia Wekem, said through the intervention of the REGSEC and for that matter government, all was well, and thanked the President and the Regional Minister for their support.
He gave the assurance that a date would be fixed by February 16 for the funeral rites which would be communicated to the President and the general public.
Aside Navrongo, the other major chieftaincy dispute in the region is that of the Bolgatanga Paramount Skin. The Judicial Committee of the Regional House of Chiefs ruled in favour of one faction last year which compelled the other to seek review of the ruling. The process has since been pursued in court.