The increasingly call for unity of the nation by the custodians of our heritage and the need to concentrate our energy in developing the country instead of fanning tribal sentiments should be a wake up call for all Ghanaians.
First, it was Nana Daasebre Dr OtI Boateng in London (December 2004) who laid down the gauntlet and challenged those who were advocating ?The so called Liberia Way? to think about the wellbeing and unity of the country. Then Togbe Asor XIV (Ghana Web 14.01.05) called for tribal tolerance and respect for rule of law and the need to channel our resources towards the development of the nation. Togbe Asor went as far as bringing forward our target of take off from 2020 to 2012.
Otumuo Nana Osei Tutu?s contribution to this unity debate and calling on all citizens to work together as one people to ensure speedy growth and development (i.e. achieving middle income status as the shortest possible time) must be heeded.
Throughout our history, Nananom right across the country have been the embodiment and source of pride in our very existence and thus have been looked upon to resolve our differences. They have performed their duties of bringing warring factions together apart from the incidents at Dagbon which was more political.
The crises in neighbouring countries and elsewhere on the continent and the disintegration and senseless killing of innocent and poor people, in some cases dislodging whole communities have been troubling Nananoms? mind. Thus using every opportunity to advice those who are bent on destroying the political process for their own selfish gains should not be allowed to succeed.
As the custodians and guardians of our heritage our Nananom have got The God given right to at times venture into the political arena to offer their wise advice. Increasingly playing a major role in the socio-economic development of the country, Nananom (majority have wealth of experience in International business and NGO?s) are refocusing their role from those of traditional rulers to developmental experts. This strategy is paying off not only for their chieftaincies but for the whole country.
The essence of nationhood is paramount to the current crop of Nananom as their assertive statements in the media and their advice and interactions with the whole Ghanaian communities in Diaspora when go abroad. Our Nananom are now becoming a source of inspiration and unity for our country. In earlier articles (The Role of Traditional Rulers in National Development) this writer paid a glowing tribute to the good work of Nananom, some largely goes unrecognised, and the urgency they have shown to seeing our country achieving rapid growth. This writer argues that every trade representation or delegation sent overseas to solicit funds and/or developmental partners should include one or two Nananom (especially the current young rulers, majority with vast International business experience).
The fact that majority of our Nananom having given up luxurious lifestyles and promising careers to live among their people in Ahenfia, some with just basic structures and bare necessities in villages and towns right across the country. Not only are they living among their subjects, but are also striving to uplift the people from poverty by providing them with better education, health care facilities, good drinking water etc all the issues identified in the Alma Ata Declaration some few decades ago. Some have gone as far as generating programmes to benefit the whole nation as the Otumfuo Education fund testifies. Some are urging citizens to channel resources to hometown projects to help provide employment to the youth, majority roaming our towns and cities aimlessly. The issue of ?Street Children? has been troubling the minds of Nananom since the phenomenon emerged in Ghana. Once alien in our country, this phenomenon and the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS among this group is now a problem that should worry all of us and not only Nananom. Majority of these ?Street Children? are orphans and are thus open to abuse and exploitation. This writer poses this question to Daasibre Nana Dr Oti Boateng in London about the plight of the ?Street Children?. This writer recognised the important role that Nananom are playing in the socio-economic development of the country and their contribution towards finding jobs for this excluded group. As the nation head towards the take off phase, the weakest sections of the society should not be left behind to fend for themselves. The case of Nkosi Johnson in South Africa illustrates the danger of neglecting those groups that through no fault of theirs are hardest hit by the pandemic and hardship.