There was near blows at the National House of Chiefs (NHC) over the 'No' vote position, which was taken before the referendum was aborted, has reared its head once again.
The reason is that the Western Regional Chiefs are venting their spleen on the President of the NHC, the Agbogbomefia Togbe Afede XIV, for removing Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II as chairman of the Governance and Development Committee of the House.
According to the chiefs, the removal of Ogyeahoho, who is the Paramount Chief of Sefwi Anhwianso and also president of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, was “an affront to customary integrity of the chieftaincy institution.”
They have, therefore, demanded the reinstatement of their president “as the chairman of the Governance and Development Committee of the National House with immediate effect.”
On December 12, at the final sitting of the House in Kumasi, the NHC announced that it had removed the Omanhene of the Sefwi Anhwianso Traditional Area as the chairman of the Governance and Development Committee of the House with immediate effect.
The House had explained that it removed Odeneho Gyebi because it was the second time the paramount chief had gone public to criticise a unanimous decision taken by the House.
Recounting the processes that led to the issuance of a statement by the NHC on why partisan politics should be rejected at the local level elections and the subsequent public pronouncements by Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II in disagreement with the position of the House, Togbe Afede XIV said the reactions by the Sefwi Anhwianso paramount chief was unfortunate, misleading and untrue.
At the House of Chiefs meeting where the announcement was made, the three prominent chiefs, namely Nana Professor S. K. B. Asante, the Asokoremanhene; the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin II and Ogyeahoho Gyebi, who disagreed with Togbe Afede's camp, were all absent.
Reading the regional chief's press statement in Takoradi yesterday, Tetrete Okuamoah Sekyim II, Paramount Chief of Wassa Amenfi Traditional Area, said the decision to remove Ogyeahoho from the position was not part of the agenda when the National House met on December 12, 2019.
He said even the recommendation of the Standing Committee of the National House with respect to the removal of Ogyeahoho was not endorsed by the full House.
He said the move by Togbe Afede to remove Ogyeahoho was a deliberate attempt to damage the reputation of the Paramount Chief of Sefwi Anhwianso.
“We are, therefore, asking the National President of the House of Chiefs and the Standing Committee to rescind the decision and restore Ogyeahoho to his former status,” he stressed.
He said in order to avoid rancour and strengthen harmony with national cohesion, certain issues, especially among peers in the National House, were best heard or discussed in camera.
“Taking cognizance of the person and the role Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi plays in national, regional and traditional development, the issue could have been discussed in camera,” he noted.
The Western Chiefs who endorsed the press statement included the acting Chair of the WRHC, Awulae Amihere Kpainyili III; Omanhene of the Nsein Traditional Area, Awulae Agyefi Kwame II, and Paramount Chief for Essikado Traditional Area, Nana Kobina Nketsia V.
The rest were Paramount Chief for Upper Dixcove Traditional Area, Nana Kwesi Agyeman IX; Paramiunt Chief for Mpohor Traditional Area, Osabarima Kwaw Entsie II, and Paramount Chief for Gwira Traditional Area, Awulae Angama Tu-Agyan II.