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Chieftency succession: Only 6 of 300 areasdocumented - Asamoah Boateng
Asamoah Boateng

Chieftaincy succession: Only 6 of 300 areas documented - Asamoah Boateng

 Only six out of the 300 traditional areas in the country have validly completed the documentation of their lines of succession, about 20 years after the National House of Chiefs initiated moves to have lines of succession to stools and skins codified to help address chieftaincy disputes.

The six traditional areas are Offinso, Tepa, Awutu, Berekum, Hwidiem and Kwahu.

The Minister-designate for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Stephen Asamoah Boateng, who made this known when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament last Monday, said: “This is woefully inadequate as the Volta Region alone has about 100 traditional areas and the Ashanti Region has 57.”

Mr Asamoah Boateng therefore called for the intensification of the codification exercise to address the numerous chieftaincy disputes across the country.

He said a well-resourced research must be carried out to codify and itemise succession family lineage to stop people from circumventing or distorting chieftaincy succession plans.

“Chieftaincy institutions are the custodians of traditional values and norms that should be upheld. Chieftaincy lineage and succession plans must therefore be well-documented and published in the chieftaincy bulletin,” he said.

House of Chiefs mandate

Article 272 (b) of the 1992 Constitution, on the functions of the National House of Chiefs, mandates the House to “undertake the progressive study, interpretation and codification of customary with a view to evolving, in appropriate cases, a unified system of rules of customary law, and compiling the customary laws and lines of succession, applicable to each stool or skin.”

In the early 2000s, the National House of Chiefs, acting in concert with the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), embarked on a project to codify lines of succession to stools and skins in the country.

Funded by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the Ghana Government, the project was aimed at building a good database to end enstoolment and enskinment disputes.


Answering questions during his vetting , Mr Asamoah Boateng said there were areas where people circumvented succession plans because they did not come from the royal lineage.

“Therefore, the valid nomination, enstoolment, enskinment and installment of chiefs must be properly put together,” he stated.

The challenge

The nominee told the committee that there were many chieftaincy cases pending in the National House of Chief and the Regional Houses of Chiefs.

He attributed the development partly to financial constraints on the part of the research department of the Chieftaincy Ministry to undertake thorough research of succession lines.

Furthermore, he said many lawyers were unwilling to offer their services to various Houses of Chiefs due to low remuneration.

“If you look at the number of divisional chiefs and paramountcies, it is very significant and we need to move faster so that people do not circumvent the process because that is where the conflicts come in.

“Somebody usurps the power of the chief and he wants to be enstooled. It is a question of getting resources,” he said.

Second Chamber

On the question of whether he supported the creation of a second chamber for queenmothers, he said he agreed that women must play crucial roles in the chieftaincy institution.

He, therefore, urged chiefs to come on board to support the idea “so that as a people we can work together.”

Same sex marriage

When the NDC MP for Awutu Senya West, Gizella Tetteh-Agbotui, asked him his position on same sex marriage being legalised in the country, Mr Asamoah Boateng said: “I am opposed to it.”

On what he would leave as a legacy for the Chieftaincy Ministry, the nominee said it was his wish to see the ministry assume its rightful position as the “custodians of our traditions.”

“I will make sure our traditional authorities are lifted higher to a dignified and noble status that we revere them,” he stated.

He opined that the Christians and Muslim leadership must also be given the necessary support so they could get their congregation to understand that “we are one nation and there is a sovereign state.”

On the chieftaincy conflict in Bawku, the former Local Government Minister described it as “unfortunate” and stressed the need for dialogue to be used to broker peace in the area.

He also pledged to consult a lot with religious authorities as well as traditional authorities to come up with solutions to most of the problems.

“I am talking to the players as the issue needs jaw-jawing,” he added. 

‘I’m not for merger’ 

When the nominee’s view was sought on whether it would be prudent to merge the ministries of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and the Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, he said: “From where I sit 
I will rather do more of the collaboration than advocate merging now.”

“It is the prerogative of the President but I see the need for a lot of collaboration for heritage sites’ visits and local pilgrimages to promote tourism,” he said.

SOEs performance

Sharing views on the health of state-owned enterprises, Mr Asamoah Boateng, who is the immediate past Director-General of the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA), said those entities were supposed to bring profit and not to dissipate state assets.

“If we are in economic difficulties, we should look after them and focus on them a lot more as businesses to provide more for the sustainable development of the nation,” he said. 

He acknowledged that some of the SOEs were insolvent and were struggling to survive, a reason that there was a programme to float some of them on the stock exchange to help them get private capital and shareholding to improve.

He, however, expressed delight that some of the SOEs, such as Ghana Gas, and the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company had currently cleared their debts, becoming more profitable entities due to the government’s intervention.

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