Accra, May 13, GNA – Mr Paul Essien, the Deputy Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, has appealed to the chiefs and people of the Nkonya-Alavanyo Traditional areas in the Volta Region to smoke the peace pipe.
Mr Essien made the appeal to Nana Otubea II, the Paramount Queenmother of Nkonya Traditional Area, and Mamaga Ametor II, the Paramount Queenmother of Alavanyo Traditional Area, at the graduation ceremony of the Otumfuo Centre for Traditional Leadership (OCTL) of the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) Accra.
He said peace and stability were critical for the socioeconomic development of the nation and, therefore, there was the need for the chiefs and people of the two traditional areas to bring to an end their over 90 year-old protracted dispute.
Both Nana Otubea II and Mamaga Ametor II were among the OCTL’s graduating traditional rulers.
In all 50 paramount and divisional chiefs and queenmothers graduated at the weekend after participating in a five-day training course. They formed the third batch of OCTL graduants.
The participants were trained in Land Administration and Management, Conflict Resolution and Gender issues.
The programme, which is made up of three stages; had first time participants receiving certificates of participation, while the second timers received certificates in Traditional Leadership and Chieftaincy.
Those who made it through to the third stage of the programme successfully were awarded Diploma certificates.
Mr Essien expressed certainty that the training programme would help reduce and eliminate chieftaincy disputes for national development.
He said the chieftaincy institution was not only revered but formed an essential instrument for national progress, cohesion, peace and development.
“Therefore, we are interested in ensuring that this noble institution, which occupies every space in our country, is assisted and encouraged to be relevant at all material times in our body politic, ” he said.
He said government was aware of the numerous chieftaincy disputes and Christian related matters and that all houses of chiefs and traditional councils must deal with it amicably.
He urged the graduating chiefs to be good ambassadors of OCTL and encourage their colleagues to patronise the centre’s training programmes.
Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, the Vice-chancellor of UPSA, said management was still looking at modalities for the creation of a post-graduate programme in chieftaincy.
He urged the chiefs to ensure that the knowledge they had gained at the UPSA impacted on the nation and ensure that their people took the education of their children seriously.
Lepowura Alhaji Mohammed Nuru-Deen Jawula, the OCTL Consulting Director, lauded the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development for its sponsorship of the programme and called on the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs to also assist.
He noted that if all chieftaincy conflicts were to be handled by chiefs without any political interference, they would all be resolved smoothly.
Mr Justice Stephen Alan Brobbey, a retired Supreme Court Judge, urged the chiefs to let the knowledge they had acquired guide them in the discharge of their duties. GNA
By Iddi Yire, GNA