Chiefs Have Ignored The Wise Counsel Of Otumfuor And Behaving Like Hungry Kids

Chiefs Have Ignored The Wise Counsel Of Otumfuor Chiefs Have Ignored The Wise Counsel Of Otumfuor

It is Frantz Fanon, who said "The future will have no pity for those men who, possessing the exceptional privilege of being able to speak words of truth to their oppressors, have taken refuge in an attitude of passivity, of mute indifference, and sometimes of cold complicity."

'Chiefs will run and leave theirs sandals behind' -Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. More than 54 years after Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, made this profound, albeit controversial statement then, it is as relevant today as it was when it was first made.

Our chiefs, since the introduction of multi-party democracy in 1992, have continued to constitute themselves into a nuisance that must be addressed, else we will all be doomed.

Until Ghana gained independence, the chieftaincy institution, was the symbol of authourity among our people. Chiefs are revered all over the country and are given their pride of place in matters of state.

The 1992 Constitution, taking into consideration the history of the country vis-à-vis the involvement of chiefs in politics, made it clear that, chiefs are not expected to take part in partisan politics.

Section (1) of Article 276 of the 1992 Constitution, states that, "A chief shall not take part in active party politics; and any chief wishing to do so and seeking election to Parliament shall abdicate his stool or skin."

Section (2) of the same article goes further to state: "Notwithstanding clause (1) of this article and paragraph (c) of clause (3) of Article 94 of this Constitution, a chief may be appointed to any public office for which he is otherwise qualified."

The operative word, which should not be lost on all of us is active party politics, but unfortunately at the turn of every election period, the penchant for chiefs to be endorsing presidential candidates, especially the two main political party, the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress, has assumed an alarming rate.

Unfortunately, since 1992, we have seen preponderance of chiefs, falling over each other to endorse one candidate or another. The fallout of their endorsement, has not deter them from engaging in act that has been frowned upon by the Constitution.

Despite the fact that, the role of Chiefs, has been watered down with the introduction of democracy, they still occupy an important position on our society, they have thus become our last resort, when politicians fail us.

As the conscience of the society, a lot is expected of them, they rule over subjects, who belong to various political parties, so an open endorsement of any political party, does not bode well for the unity of the people.

It is a trite knowledge that, before any individual is enstooled a Chief, the person already has a preferred political party, but when your status changes, so must your actions. As a Chief, you are expected to embrace everyone that calls on you, your subjects expect you to use your enviable position to lobby for developmental projects to complement what their representative in parliament is doing.

Your neutrality, will go a long way to ensure that, whoever occupies the presidency, will give you a listening ear.

The overload of the Ashanti Kingdom, Otumfuor Osei Tutu II, continues to blaze the trail, his composure and sense of duty, will always place him ahead and above the pack.

He continues to serve as the source of inspiration and strength for whoever becomes the president. Because of his neutrality, they all run to him for wise counsel and assistance and he is never short of it.

At the turn of every election season, he never stops to admonish his fellow chiefs to desist from openly endorsing presidential candidates, but his caution always falls on deaf ears.

Today, because of the behavior of our Chiefs, political actors, who are young to be their grand kids, without regard to old age and the revered position of Chiefs, insult them, because when you want to play with the pig, prepare to get dirty.

I have heard some suggestions that, if Chiefs do not desist from the practice, perhaps sooner rather than later, we should start electing them too. Some of them are too partisan than the politicians.

Across the country during the 2016 campaign, some chiefs openly declared their support for the New Patriotic Party's (NPP's) candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo or President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

They included the Gbese Mantse, Nii Ayi Bonte, the Dormaahene, Oseadeeyo Agyeman Badu II, the Paramount Chief of Sunyani, Nana Bosoma Asor Nkrawiri, among a host of others who openly declared support for President Mahama.

Those who openly declared support for Nana Akufo-Addo included Nana Yaw Owusu, the Asantehene's Mpaboahene, and some 58 chiefs from the Atwima Kwanwoma area, Ogyeahorhuor Kwaku Gyebi II of Sefwi Anhwiaso, Okoanadwo Afutu Dompreh II of Adoagyir and the Ankobeahene of the Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area, the Kpembewura, Gbanbagne Ndefeso IV, and Nana Kofi Drobo III of Nwoase-Ahenkro, near Wenchi, among others.

The phenomenon this year, has gotten worse. I am beginning to think, politician after succeeding in stampeding the people, have also descended heavily on the last barrier for the people. The reason for the open endorsements is not far-fetched as it is no longer news to hear a politician gifting a Chief with a car.

his rapid switch to our parochial instincts that has reduced the country to a big-for-nothing giant, a condition exacerbated by our embrace of a "lootocratic" form of government as against a flourishing one, with very little to show for the massive wealth buried beneath the soil, rarities on top of it and most damning, the brilliant ideas within the skull of the people

One clarity in Ghana today, is the rarity of statesmen-men and women whose duties lie, strictly, in the promotion and propagation of the common good

Going by the level of corruption and waste in this administration, as well as the very fact that the country, keeps going adrift, hope appears to have eluded us as a people. Will the Chiefs, who have the responsibility to rescue us from the clutches of recycle politicians, throw their hats in the ring to salvage their subjects?

Source: By Abdul Razak Bawa/