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Chieftaincy Forum Africa Call For Critical Look Into Corruption Engulfing Chieftaincy

Chieftaincy Forum Africa is calling for close attention to be given to the National House of Chiefs’ election as the group raises red flags concerning corruption entangling some chiefs.

According to the group, gone are the days when Chiefs used their revered status to speak against ills and help fight against corruption in society and the country at large.

They insist that nowadays, some chiefs are allowing themselves to be bribed by various factions to sway their decisions or pledge allegiance to a particular group, particularly in the political space.

Chieftaincy Forum Africa says they are worried that chiefs who constitute the main moral paragons and critical voices in the fight against this monster of corruption are themselves being caught in the web of it by accepting bribes from all kinds of sources.

“So serious is this phenomenon that the election of chiefs – regional and national – which used to be done at the blind side of the country without citizens being in the know of how and when this democratic exercise was done in the past has now become an avenue for vote, conscience and influence buying to such an extent that some chiefs are being offered hefty resources mostly in the form of money to vote in a given direction,” part of a press release from the group reads.

Ahead of the National House of Chiefs’ elections, Chieftaincy Forum Africa says they have picked up allegations of bribery and corruption against some chiefs trying to sway other chiefs to vote in certain directions.

Lamenting over the growing phenomenon, the group says it is important for chiefs to recognize the sacred fact that, unlike their chieftaincy institution which remains in perpetuity, politicians and political office are birds of passage who live in a state of flux.

“…we appeal to the media, Civil Society Groups, and other anti-corruption bodies to begin monitoring the activities of the Regional Houses of Chiefs and the National House of Chiefs in a bid to expose corruption in the institution,” the press release from Chieftaincy Forum Africa adds.

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Meanwhile, the group has commended the Asantehene Otumfour Osei Tutu II, Togbe Afede XIV, and several other important chiefs who continuously put the national interest first above any other thing.

Read the full press release from the Chieftaincy Forum Africa below:

NOVEMBER 07, 2020
PRESS RELEASE
TOWARDS FIGHTING CORRUPTION – THE COUNTRY MUST PAY ATTENTION TO THE NATIONAL HOUSE OF CHIEFS’ ELECTIONS

1. We, the Chieftaincy Forum, Africa, have been observing with pain and worry the pace at which morality is taking a nose dive in our chieftaincy institution , once revered for its strong moral standards which include but not limited to anti-corruption standards and high ethical values.

2. It’s a trite knowledge that corruption remains a bane in our society particularly in our bureaucracy and public service, hence, successive governments have made the fight against this nation-wrecking canker a serious one with the expectation that our chiefs will use their revered offices to support the state in this fight.

3. We, are however, worried that our chiefs who constitute the main moral paragons and critical voices in the fight against this monster of corruption are themselves being caught in the web of it by accepting bribes from all kinds of sources. Our worry is borne out of the genuine concern that the chieftaincy institution which is culturally and constitutionally insulated from political control and manipulation appears to be losing its time tested value of independence and a sense of autonomy which used to be its critical hallmarks.

4. Gone are the days when chiefs because of their strong values especially in anti- corruption could speak truth to power without minding whose ass is gored. The institution appears to be losing these timeless values as some of its members have now turned themselves into the couriers of illegitimate moneys to other members or are made recipients of bribes and illegal moneys meant to buy their conscience and loyalty.

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5. So serious is this phenomenon that the election of chiefs – regional and national – which used to be done at the blind side of the country without citizens being in the know of how and when this democratic exercise was done in the past has now become an avenue for vote, conscience and influence buying to such an extent that some chiefs are being offered hefty resources mostly in the form of money to vote in a given direction.

6. We are disturbed by the allegation that some chiefs with bottomless pit of resources (which source we cannot guarantee) are going round offering moneys to some chiefs ahead of the National House of Chiefs’ elections. Similar situations, we are told played out in the Regional elections with some chiefs being sponsored by some influence buyers to either contest certain positions or vote against some other candidates in the election.

7. What is troubling is the allegation that in some cases, it is some of the chiefs who are at the forefront of doling out these illegitimate moneys to their colleagues just to influence them.

8. As citizens, we are worried that the last bastion of morality and voice of conscience is losing its pride of place and respect. Like most Ghanaians, we are worried at the extent to which our chiefs are allowing partisan politics to permeate the fabric of the once cherished institution of chieftaincy. This sordid state implies that the country’s fight against corruption and wrong doing in public office will remain daunting. It means that as a country, we are losing very critical voices of moderation and peace who are called upon during the period of political tension and misunderstandings especially at a time mistrust for national institutions is increasing.

9. How can chiefs who are helped to win positions both at the Regional Houses of Chiefs and the National House of Chiefs hold the government to account by speaking up against wrong doings in public office? How do such chiefs who see nothing wrong with their ignominious acts expect the public to accord them respect?

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10. By their indulgence in these immoral acts, they are denigrating their sacred stools and skins as well as making nonsense of the great oaths of office they took in the presence of their subjects.

11. These concerns notwithstanding, we are consoled by the fact that there remains many conscionable chiefs with a true sense of integrity and independence who will not allow themselves to be corrupted by others. Such individuals, we believe, are ready to uphold their respective oaths of office and hold sacred their stools and skins. Such chiefs, we are convinced will always defend the pride of their ancestors.

12. It is important for chiefs to recognize the sacred fact that, unlike their chieftaincy institution which remains in perpetuity, politicians and political office are birds of passage who live in a state of flux. What is important is the national interest, but not our individual and parochial interests.

13. We salute the Asantehene Otumfour Osei Tutu and Togbe Afede XIV and several other important chiefs who continuously put the national interest first in all things. We respect them for their defence of the truth even when it is not too popular or pleasing to the ear. They deserve our commendation and national celebration, especially as truth is becoming a scarce commodity in public office and private life. Both history and posterity will judge them favourably. The nation needs such voices to keep our political office holders in check by speaking truth to power. Let’s encourage rather than denigrate them.

14. Finally, we appeal to the media, Civil Society Groups, and other anti-corruption bodies to begin monitoring the activities of the Regional Houses of Chiefs and the National House of Chiefs in a bid to expose corruption in the institution.

Philip Mensah
Chieftaincy Forum, Africa
P.O. Box CS8840
Tema, Ghana
West Africa
0541591080