Otumfuo steps in to resolve Bawku conflict
Otumfuo steps in to resolve Bawku conflict

Otumfuo steps in to resolve Bawku conflict

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has begun the process of resolving the Bawku conflict.

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The eminent chief has already held discussions with the feuding parties.

He has also engaged the youth in the area and both sides have brought their documents laying claim to the chieftaincy.

The Asantehene said plans were afoot to have all the parties involved to sit together to find a lasting solution to the current dispute.

He was hopeful that after the meeting, all the parties would agree to resolve the conflict and allow peace to prevail.

The Asantehene disclosed this last Wednesday when the Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Stephen Asamoah Boateng, paid a courtesy call on him at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.

The visit was to introduce himself to the Asantehene as the new holder of that portfolio that works with traditional rulers and also seek his help to resolve some of the chieftaincy disputes in the country.

The Otumfuo observed that most of the chieftaincy disputes in the country were as a result of lies and greed.

The Asantehene said for anyone who was not a royal to contest or become a chief would be as a result of some traditional leaders not being truthful to the succession line and allowing money to influence their decisions.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu promised to invite the minister to sit in the meeting to be convened by Manhyia for the Bawku feuding parties.

The Asantehene said no matter the type of succession, be it matrilineal or patrilineal, it should be possible to trace those qualified to ascend the throne and therefore questioned why that should be difficult and lead to conflicts.

Using the Ashanti Region as an example, the Asantehene said when he ascended the throne, he realised that some of the judicial committees were unfair to some parties and allowed money to influence their decisions.

He said all those concerned were called and decisions they had taken were overturned, saying “and all the parties have lived together ever since.”

Resource

The Asantehene said the chieftaincy institution was still relevant in the scheme of things in the country and urged the government to resource it to enable it to perform effectively.

The Otumfuo, however, observed that the government was not resourcing the ministry to perform its function effectively.

The Asantehene noted that the minister in charge of Chieftaincy was not even a Cabinet member to enable him to sit at Cabinet meetings and share concerns of traditional leaders and how the government could rope them into its programmes.

He urged the government to give meaning to the importance of the chieftaincy institution by resourcing the ministry adequately.

Drain on national coffers

For his part, Mr Asamoah Boateng said about 70 per cent of all national security issues in the country were due to chieftaincy disputes.

He said such disputes were draining the coffers of the country as the government had to channel resources into maintaining peace in those places when “these resources could be channelled into developmental projects.”

The minister said the money the government was spending on maintaining peace in those areas was quite substantial and expressed the belief that if all those conflicts were resolved, the government would have resources for other needs.

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Mr Asamoah Boateng was grateful to the Asantehene for stepping in to resolve the Bawku chieftaincy conflict which, he said, would bring a huge relief to the government when resolved.

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