Chiefs Demand Active Involvement In Local Governance

EVEN THOUGH the British colonial policy of indirect rule, of which the traditional authorities played an important role had long been scrapped, the contribution of chiefs in our modern day governance cannot be overemphasized.

Chiefs promote effective and efficient governance in their respective traditional areas, and as well, ensure strict maintenance of law and order.

In spite of these roles, chiefs in the Upper East Region are worried that they are not involved or consulted by the District and Municipal Assemblies during district and Municipal elections and the appointment of government appointees.

The President of the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs and the Paramount Chief of the Sakote Traditional Area, Na Sigri Bewong, expressed these concerns on Tuesday on behalf of his colleagues during the visit of the Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, who met with the chiefs at the Regional House Chiefs.

Though the President affirmed the support of the house to the current local governance system and pledged their readiness to assist in the proper implementation of the decentralization system to promote good governance and economic development of their localities, he called for good and effective working relationship and cooperation with the Local Government ministry.

‘We have noted with great concern the lack of effective consultation during district and municipal elections of assembly men and women and government appointees. We also think effective consultation before the President appoints our DCEs and MDCEs would help to eliminate the problems encountered in confirming them in the various assemblies…’.

Na Bewong also called for consultations in dealing with developmental issues and sitting of projects such as   boreholes in their communities. This, he explained, was because they live with the people and know and understand better their needs and concerns.

In response, Mr. Oppong-Fosu, assured the chiefs of his commitment to strengthen the collaboration between them and the local government structures in their respective areas.

According to him, all the departments and agencies under the assemblies with the exception of the Ghana Education Service and Ghana Health Service have been fully decentralized and urged all state and non-state actors to take advantage of the initiative to have all their issues addressed at the assemblies’ level.

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