The Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Hon. Ebenezer Kojo Kum at a beautiful ceremony last Monday inaugurated the Traditional Councils for Sankana – located in the Nadowli Kaleo District, Takpo and Manwe in the Wa Central District.
The Minister whose mandate among other things is to promote the utilization of Chieftaincy and Traditional values to serve as a basis for wealth creation and socio-cultural empowerment supervised the swearing of oaths to the Paramount Chiefs, Divisional and Sub-chiefs as well as Queen Mothers of the Districts by the Wa Circuit Court Judge.
The Sankana Traditional Council with 36 members is led by Naa Pagranege Sakoe Mornah III as the President; Takpo with 15 members is led by Naa Widaana Nanga II while Naa Alhaji Abubakari Yussif Wiah leads the 37 member council of Manwe.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Kum said, the government committed to ensuring peace should push the Traditional Councils to work with security agencies to ensure that people do not hide behind chieftaincy issues to disrupt the peace of the area and its adjoining communities.
“To the end, I wish to call on Namine to explore their traditional reconciliatory practices in the resolution of conflict within their areas. Parties in disputes are also advised to avail themselves of the laid down procedures in the Chieftaincy Act 2008, Act 759 to settle all disputes. By this, all legal issues connected with the disputes can be exhaustively dealt with to the satisfaction of all”
He added, “I hope the Takpo Naa and his chiefs would take the opportunity to prove skeptics that the chieftaincy institution is ready to take the appropriate steps to better the lot of its community members. There is no gainsaying therefore that the inauguration of the Takpo Traditional Council could be a game changer and a giant step to support government to eliminate outmoded customary practices.
“Mr. Chairman, despite the slow process of change since independence, the role of chiefs continues to evolve in response to change. With the inauguration of your Traditional Council, it is anticipated that, it would yield the desire results. The 1992 Constitution stipulates under Article 26(2) that ‘All customary practices which dehumanize or are injurious to the physical and mental well-being of a person are prohibited’. The Chieftaincy Act – 2008, Act 759 Section 50 empowers Traditional Councils to modify customary law into common law. I therefore challenge you to use your Traditional Council to effect the necessary positive changes required by law”.
He further noted that chiefs are the center of discipline in rural communities; therefore they should ensure all COVID protocols are adhered to during all gatherings.
“Another area the government seeks your support is the fight against the COVID menace. We seek your cooperation to canvas against the spread of COVID by calling on your people to observe the Covid protocols especially during funerals, festivities, in markets and other social gatherings. His Excellency the President and the NPP Government is working tirelessly to secure vaccines to vaccinate at least 20 million citizens and residents in Ghana. Please avail yourselves for the jabs when the vaccines are made available. We will count on Namine to achieve this feat.”
Naa Mornah on his part commended the government and the Ministry as well as the UWRHC for taking the necessary steps to ensure that the Sankana Traditional Area attained a paramountcy status, saying, “The road to paramountcy was quite long and rough.”
“Within my reign as paramount chief, I envisage my leadership as service to mankind and my people, the foundation of my followers,” Naa Mornah said and appealed for the needed support to succeed.
He appealed to the authorities to help connect the rest of the traditional area to the national grid, especially the Council Secretariat, and to improve access to potable water.
Naa Dikomwine Domalae, the Paramount Chief of Daffiama Traditional Area and President of the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs (UWRHC), the Registrar of the UWRHC and the Chief Director of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, were also at the inauguration ceremony.