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State should stop interference in chieftaincy matters — Okyenhene

Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori-Panin, Okyenhene and immediate past President of Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, has said state interference in traditional matters is not helping Ghana’s chieftaincy institution to function properly.

He said the involvement of state security in traditional matters leading to setting aside of traditional processes and even in some cases locking up palaces in the name of enforcing injunctions and other security measures were not helpful and ought to be addressed.

According to him, there had been several instances where traditional procedures and processes had been halted “because someone felt that he has been sidelined as the rightful person to a stool and therefore places court injunction just to satisfy his interest,” adding, “This must stop.”

Speaking at an open forum at the end of year meeting of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs in Koforidua, the Okyenhene stated that selection and enstoolment of chiefs was sole prerogatives of kingmakers and paramount chiefs in line with customs.

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Therefore, he said nothing should stand in the way of traditional authorities in performing such functions.

The Okyenhene agreed with the edict that in some cases the security of a given area was threatened.

Though, he was of the view that because people who challenged the authority of kingmakers and paramount chiefs had gotten some kind of refugee in the police and courts, that had prolonged chieftaincy disputes in many traditional areas.

Daasebre Akuamoah Agyepong, Paramount Chief of Kwahu Traditional Area and Vice President of Eastern Regional House of Chiefs who corroborated the views of Okyenhene, added that it was worrying the rate at which chieftaincy matters and disputes were discussed in the media.

He said such acts where aggrieved people tended to show disrespect to their traditional councils and thereby brought confidential traditional matters to the media was a gateway to desecrate the chieftaincy institution.

He therefore called for a stop to it.

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Earlier, Mr Eric Kwakye Darfuor, Eastern Regional Minister, said with the support of the House about 23 major chieftaincy disputes had been prevented, citing Yilo krobo, Oda and Kade.

He called for the Regional House of Chiefs’ support to end the devastating impact of illegal mining (Galamsey) in the Region.

—GNA