The Chiefs in the Somey Traditional Area have said enough to what they claim are “disrespectful attitudes” by some members of the Ketu South Municipal Assembly.
The Chiefs said the Assembly-members had over the years shown “blatant disrespect to and disregard for the traditional authority” by failing to honour their invitations.
They contend failure for consultation before taking important decisions and warned they were not going to allow that to continue.
Torgbui Adamah III, the Paramount Chief, addressing a press conference to react to an earlier statement issued by the said Assembly-members, noted that officials of the Assembly ought to know that the “Somé Traditional Authority is not an appendage of the Ketu South Municipal Assembly, nor is it under the tutelage of the Assembly” to be treated as footstools of its officials.
Assembly-members from six electoral areas of Adina, Agavedzi, Amutinu-Salakope, Blekusu, Kpedzakope and Nogokpo-Atiwuta in the Traditional Area, in a press statement, cast doubts on the transparency in disbursing funds from Seven Seas Salt Limited, paid to the communities affected by its operations as compensation for loss of livelihood.
But Torgbui Adamah said concerns by the Assembly-members contained misinformation and insinuations noting, there were consultations with them for purposes of transparency and the good of the people.
He said as clearly as the laws of Ghana states that every mineral found, in, under and upon the land and in water bodies is the property of the state and is vested in the President in trust for the people and likewise, stool lands being vested in the appropriate stool on behalf of and in trust of the subjects, the Assembly must not be seen to be exercising any control over the compensation to the communities.
The Paramount Chief said on the day of the compensation payment, Mr Elliot Edem Agbenorwu, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), attempted bypassing the Chiefs present, to hand over cheques to Assembly-members stressing, “it still beats my imagination why the Municipal Assembly was trying desperately hard to control the funds accruing to the communities”.
The statement said the Assembly-members were invited for discussion days after the payment but they ignored their invitation and instead issued a press statement after which a second one on February 08, inviting the MCE and the six Assembly-members was also ignored.
“We the Chiefs are not under the Assembly-members. If the Assembly is unaware of their roles vis-à-vis the traditional authorities, they should go back and revise their notes.
“The compensation accruing to the communities is not government funds or grant and is not subject to the control of the Assembly. The traditional authority has involved the Assembly in the discussion and consultations for security reasons and by virtue of their being our partners in development.”
It said based on the Assembly-members’ disrespect and disregard for the Chiefs over the years, the three-winged Paramountcy “directs that henceforth, the Chiefs and people of the Somé Traditional Area shall have nothing to do with the said Assembly-members” and that they be denied of all the honour and privileges hitherto enjoyed by them.
Mr Eben Assay, Assembly-member for Agavedzi in response said it was unfortunate that the Somé Traditional Area considered their action as disrespectful saying there was no motivation for them to disrespect their authority.
Mr Elliot Edem Agbenorwu, the MCE said “the Assembly is only interested in the judicious use of the compensation by the communities” and had no intention of exercising control over the funds.