Politicisation of work of commission on new regions worrying — National House of Chiefs
The National House of Chiefs has expressed disquiet over what it called the politicisation of the work of the Commission of Enquiry into the creation of new regions, considering that the task is purely a fact-finding one.
It has, subsequently, urged politicians not to interfere in the work of the commission but allow it to complete its work of determining whether new regions were needed or not.
The President of the house, Togbe Afede XIV, who is the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, made the appeal when the commission, led by the Minister of Regional Organisation and Development, Mr Dan Botwe, called on the house to consult with it as the commission wound up its activities.
Togbe Afede said it was important that discussions on proposals for the creation of new regions be devoid of politics and tribal sentiments, adding that the citizenry must see the commission as a fact-finding one that was impartial in its dealings.
Togbe Afede said the house was also worried over the increasing rate of chieftaincy disputes in the country and interference in chieftaincy matters by politicians.
“The house has observed, in recent times, the escalation of chieftaincy disputes in the country and the direct involvement of politicians in the disputes,” he stated.
He said the phenomenon had assumed alarming proportions and needed to be arrested.
Togbe Afede mentioned that the National House of Chiefs, for its part, had cautioned chiefs involved in disputes to ensure that they adhered to the due process of the law and the procedures laid down in the relevant statutes on chieftaincy, “rather than resort to using politicians who tend to meddle in the disputes and invariably distort laid- down processes and procedures to their advantage”.
He added that the house had also urged politicians to steer clear of chieftaincy matters and not meddle in or use their influences or authority to interfere with due processes on behalf of their favourites because that was only an agenda on their part to score political gains.
“The house wishes to stress that whenever a chief approaches a politician to cause him or her to interfere on the chief’s behalf in a chieftaincy dispute, the politician should be bold enough to advise the chief to resort to the use of due processes of the law in resolving the dispute or conflict, instead of seeking political patronage,” Togbe Afede noted.
The Chairman of the commission, Mr Justice Stephen A. Brobbey, briefed the house on its work, which he said was primarily to gather and collate information from the public on proposals for creating new regions.
He stressed that the commission was a fact-finding one set up to assess the demand for new regions and that in the course of performing that mandate, it had held public fora in the regions concerned and also met with all the regional houses of chiefs to seek their views.
Mr Justice Brobbey said the commission was winding up its work and needed to seek the input of members of the National House of Chiefs.
Consequently, he explained that the meeting with the house was only consultative and geared towards enriching the final report of the commission.