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17
Sun, Dec

Judge urges traditional rulers to uphold justice, fairness

Justice Forson Baah Agyapong congratulating members of the Bulenga Traditional Council. Picture: MICHAEL QUAYE

A circuit court judge in Wa has appealed to traditional rulers to uphold justice and fairness in the discharge of their duties towards their people.

Mr Forson Baah Agyapong said adherence to those principles in traditional rule could cure many of the ills that afflicted the society, and instead inject a sense of trust and responsibility among society.

He said those would also bring about the necessary orientation for society to channel energies into productive efforts to help develop the country.

Oaths

Mr Baah Agyapong made the appeal when he administered the oaths of allegiance, secrecy and office for 18 chiefs and two queenmothers into the Bulenga Traditional Council at Bulenga in the Wa East District of the Upper West Region last Thursday.

The Bulenga traditional area used to be part of the Wala traditional council until an exercise of re-designation in 2014 conferred paramountcy status on the new traditional area, with Bulenga Naa, Naa Seidu Nawologime IV, becoming the head of the paramountcy.

It was the first of two separate inaugurations of separate chieftaincy paramountcies in the region during the week.

Sissala East

The Bawiesibai traditional council was also inaugurated last Friday at Bawiesibelle in the Sissala East District, with 87-year-old Kuoro Bayadomo Fentuo III, as the paramount chief.

Kuoro Fentuo is in his 44th year of reign even without counting some nine years he acted as regent when his uncle and predecessor Kuoro passed on.

More paramountcies

Following the re-designation exercise, the Upper West Region now has 32 paramountcies from the previous 18. The remaining 12 paramountcies are yet to be inaugurated.
The two ceremonies at Bulenga and Bawiesibai happened at durbars attended by the average community members, politicians and chiefs from other jurisdictions of the region.

There were heavy police presence at the separate events, with heavily-armed combat-ready officers taking positions in the midst of general merry-making around the grounds.

The Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Mr Kofi Dzamesi, and the Upper West Regional Minister, Alhaji Sulemana Alhassan, both emphasised in their addresses that the plethora of chieftaincy disputes within the region had become one too many.

“It is absolutely necessary for you as traditional authorities to use your leadership positions to mitigate, de-escalate and resolve disputes involving succession to stools and skins in your communities,” Mr Dzamesi said.

“To this end, I wish to call on Namine (the chiefs) to exploit their traditional reconciliatory gestures and practices such as festivals and purification rights towards the resolution of conflicts within their area,” he said.

The chieftaincy minister also inaugurated two separate buildings at Bulenga and Bawiesibai for the respective traditional councils and urged the chiefs to hold the property in good stead for future generations.