About ninety-five to ninety-six percent of traditional chiefs in the country have endorsed president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s re-election bid, Communication Director at the Jubilee House Eugene Arhin has disclosed.
The development according to him did not come as a surprise as the chiefs in question have shown appreciation for the development they have received in their districts.
He adds, however, that these endorsements can’t be described as the traditional leaders engaging in open partisan politics.
Mr Arhin’s comment comes on the back of criticisms by some Ghanaians over what they describe as chiefs breaking the law that bars them from engaging in active politics.
One of these individuals is Prof Agyemang Duah who believes the constitutional provision that bans chiefs from active politics is not enforceable.
According to him, the law failed to consider the cultural disposition of traditional leaders as political leaders of their subjects.
Meanwhile, speaking to Regina Borle Borteyon the Campaign Trail Mr Arhin maintained “by and large, it did not come as a surprise to the president because literally almost everywhere we’ve been so far, in all the regions we’ve toured so far, every single place we’ve been to, by and large, I can say about 95, 96% of the chiefs who speak at these durbars expressed satisfaction as to the kind of work the president has done for them in their respective districts. As a result of that, urged their subjects to vote for the president in the coming elections.”
He went on “so the declaration by the Okyehene did not come by as a surprise because the Okyehene himself outlined some of the things the president has done over the last three and a half years, not only in Okyeman but across the country. And for him, this he believes is a good enough basis for the Ghanaian people to repose their confidence in the president once again.”
“For me, it did not come as a surprise and I don’t think it comes as a surprise to Ghanaians at all because this has been the pattern since this working visit began.”
Commenting on criticism over endorsement of political parties and politicians by traditional chiefs, Mr Arhin noted “is there a provision that says chiefs can’t endorse? There’s a difference between endorsement and there’s a difference between somebody urging somebody on.”
“At the end of the day, the chiefs have seen what the president has done for them in their respective districts. You can only admonish somebody to go and do something but at the end of the day when the person goes to vote, its a secret ballot. Nobody knows what the person is going to do.”
He added “if in the opinion of the chief he believes that as per the amount of work the president has done over the last three and a half years he believes the president should continue, I don think you can describe that as engaging in open partisan politics."