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When in modern day Ghana are chiefs vested with power to banish people, businesses or organizations from their land?

Oyerepa FM Logo.png Oyerepa FM shut down after order by Kumasi Traditional Council

Sun, 28 Aug 2022 Source: Rockson Adofo

I may be away from Ghana for the past two scores but very much abreast with the current affairs of the nation. I am always in touch with friends, relations and countrymen so there is no way that I cannot be aware of important happening in the country.

My knowledge of up-to-date events in Ghana is made more enhanced when I go online and listen to Ghana news as is broadcast on the airwaves. Is my knowledge not reinforced by my periodic but incessant holidaying in Ghana? Yes, ooo!

Never have I read it anywhere and from any books that some act of government has empowered modern-day chiefs in Ghana, the constitution, the Chieftaincy Act 759, etc., to exercise the power of banishing people or genuinely-established businesses from their jurisdiction.

I may be wrong, and if yes, can anyone point me in the right direction to familiarise myself with that law granting absolute authority to chiefs to banish people or ban authentic businesses from their land as and when they choose to?

All that I can vividly recollect is how the ex-late President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah threatened to let Ashanti chiefs run away leaving their sandals behind when he became convinced that they were not on the same political divide as him.

Anyway, it has come as a shock to many to hear that the Asanteman Council by the exercise of some autocratic powers have forced the closure of Oyerepa FM & TV station until such time that its management will appear before them to explain why they allowed Mr Akwasi Addai, a.k.a. Odike, founder and leader of United Progressive Party (UPP), to freely express his mind about the destructive surface and alluvial mining ongoing in the Atwima district/constituency in the Ashanti region.

Odike in expressing his candid opinion about the devastations being caused to the ecology of the district or constituency linked it to the chiefs. He said some chiefs are waist-deep involved in the illegal galamsey activities that are undoubtedly ruining the river bodies, forests, arable and fertile lands as well as polluting the air, although the NPP government of President Nana Akufo-Addo has declared a war on illegal galamsey in Ghana.

The chiefs are saying the host of the programme should have intervened to moderate the criticisms by Odike, or taken him off air, however, they allowed him to continue to exercise his right of free expression, although derogatory or denigrating as it was.

Whatever the views of the chiefs are, I should be frank with them by saying they have absolutely no right to ban the operation of Oyerepa FM & TV station for any reason. I will suggest to them that if they feel offended, they had better take the station and or, Odike, to court, rather than taking the laws into their hands to act stupidly lawlessly.

It is only in Ghana, and for that matter, a republic, that chiefs still see themselves as living in absolute monarchy and hence can act anyhow and flout the laws with impunity. If it were not so, the Asante Overlord, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, would not have said in a recorded video that no court in Ghana can reverse any decision he takes, no matter how sensible or preposterous it may be. No wonder that the Asanteman Council he presides over is taking autocratic action contrary to the laws of the land, against the radio/TV station.

Many are those that support the honest views expressed by Odike. It is an open secret that most of the traditional chiefs are in alliance with the surface miners to wreak maximum damage to the nation’s water bodies, forests and arable/fertile lands, all for the stipend they are paid or stand to gain.

Allow the station to operate. Allow Odike to air his concerns and views freely with any threats on his life or restrictions. There is coming a day that such suppressions of the people by the chiefs will not be tolerated but vehemently resisted by the youth to culminate in the chiefs actually running away, leaving their sandals behind as said by ex-President Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

Columnist: Rockson Adofo
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