Opinions Sun, 3 Jul 2005

Chieftaincy In Ghana

After many years of oppression under one man, Ghana is now, under two terms of true civilian administration, trying to find her bearing. True system of self-expression and movement is at work.

Chieftaincy plays an integral part in the governing system. chiefs in all categories command authority and respect. It is an institution that has helped shaped the national psyche and continues to do so. Cases that otherwise would have 'choked' the court system, had been settled fairly and amicably. This trend continues and it shows how important the institution is. Many chiefs have engaged in fruitful and meaningful development in their respective areas.

Now, the National House of Chiefs enjoy autonomy and the Regional House of Chiefs as well. They are given the authority to settle chieftaincy matters which formerly were settled through the judicial system. At the moment there are paramount chieftaincy disputes that have been lingering for years with no end in sight. One wonders what the leaders of this all important instuition are doing. Their inability to solve chieftaincy disputes indicates something amiss. Consider how these disputes affect the vital development of the areas 'drenched' in the disputes. It is a very divisive issue and very unhealthy. It eventually affect the nation in general.

The protracted disputes that seem to have no end must be due to the fact that those entrusted to settle them perhaps do not know how to execute settlements sincerely and fairly, or they are simply taking sides secretly. Or perhaps they are just playing the 'old boys network' game. If they cannot execute judgment at all fairly or otherwise, then how effective is the institution in some respects, that Ghanaians have respected and cherished for so long.

Imagine what these inactivity, with regard to disputes, does to this noble instituition and the areas affected. It is an integral part of nation building. the government should not allow these areas to wallow in disputes. They impede development.

It is high time the government steps in to make sure that this, all important instituition functions as it should be.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Afrani, Kwabena