Eastern Regional House of Chiefs Under fire

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By: Jamila Wahab

Daasebre Prof. (Emeritus) Oti Boateng the Omanhene of new Juaben traditional area has protestated against the bizarre attempt to exclude the New Juaben
Traditional Area from the re-structured Eastern Regional House of Chiefs (ERHC), and more
particularly the capricious determination and selection of Divisional Chiefs amongst various
paramountcies.

He said “It has become necessary as one of the Paramount Chiefs of the ERHC to speak
on this new proposal initiated by the President of ERHC without due consultation in order to
preserve the hierarchical structure of the Chieftaincy institution”

According him, admission of Divisional Chiefs into a Regional House of
Chiefs must be discussed by the whole House with agreement on it modalities before submissions of any memorandum to the
National House of Chiefs for further action.

“But The leadership of the Eastern Regional House
of Chiefs failed to observe this protocol by bypassing the full House in the submission of
the said memorandum to the National House of Chiefs”, he added.

These was contained in a statement signed Daasebre Prof. (Emeritus) Oti Boateng the Omanhene of new Juaben traditional area.

He said “Minutes of the Standing Committee of the House meeting on 25 May 2020 which
decided on this crucial matter contains the following two terse statements: first,
“Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin welcomed all members and thanked them for
making time to attend in spite of the short notice given. Nana President informed
Nananom that owing to the limited Membership of the House which almost
invariably impair the effective functioning of the House, it had become imperative
to add some Divisional Chiefs to the membership of the House” and second,
“After a lengthy discussion, Nananom unanimously agreed to provide a list of
Divisional Chiefs from their respective Traditional Councils from which a slot due
to each Traditional Council shall be selected by the respective President in
consultation with the Traditional Council concerned“.

He said the meeting did not spell out the specific functions of the House which were being impaired by the limited membership but only to rope the imperative solution “to add some Divisional Chiefs to the membership of the House”
without soliciting for viable alternative solutions.

Daasebre Oti Boateng claimed the lengthy discussion and proposal by Nananom failed to give the substance of the discussion and also indication on any
basis for the allocation of the Divisional Chiefs to the house from the various paramount chifes in the Region.

“Yet the Standing Committee came out with “a decision” which was hurriedly
sent to the National House of Chiefs in the same week on 29 May 2020 without following
the normal practice of referring the matter to the full House for debate”.

According to Daasebre Prof.
(Emeritus) Oti Boateng, the immediate past President, said he was once the president with 28 years of experience
in the ERHC, such crucial matters are always referred to the full
House for a final decision.

Adding that “The failure of the President to refer such an important matter
to the full House, which could easily provide innovative solutions to any delineated
problems, reveals a total lack of transparency and calls into question the real motive
behind the move”.

He said the letter send to the National House of Chief lacked the essential
diversity of thought and support from the full House and also failed to justify why
paramountcies in the Eastern Region should select the so-called “diverse” numbers of
Divisional Chiefs.

He revealed that the arbitrary nature of the allocation, the proposal
from the ERHC lacks merit for three important reasons:

“Thus first, by proposing a solution
without delineating the precise problem to be solved; second, by failing to justify the
asymmetrical allocation system adopted, and third, by bypassing the full ERHC in the
submission of the memorandum to the National House of Chief”.

However “the leadership of ERHC has reported to have informed the National House of Chiefs that
the Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional Area has stated that he did not want any of his
Divisional Chiefs to be in the Regional House of Chiefs”.

“This information is news to me
since I have not spoken nor communicated with the leadership of the ERHC regarding
this issue. Fact is, the Omanhene of New Juaben was in London during the period under
reference writing a book on the Root-based Development survey conducted in New
Juaben in February 2020″. Daasebre Oti Boateng

He said “I heard about this issue through the President of the National
House of Chiefs who brought it to my attention for the first time when the National House
was about to take a decision on the matter”.

I wish to commend the
leadership of the National House for making a conference call to the Omanhene in
London who categorically denied the above statement attributable to him, to the hearing
of the whole House. At that critical moment, the leadership of the ERHC who were also
at the august National House meeting could not contradict the Omanhene of New Juaben.
Had it not been this prudent last minute intervention by the National House leadership
aided by our ancestralspirits, which revealed the fabricated lie from the ERHC leadership,
New Juaben Divisional Chiefs would have been perpetually disenfranchised from the
proposed composition of ERHC. Lying to the National House of Chiefs is an extremely
serious offence that a Chief in Ghana could commit as a wilfully perjured individual”.

One
is at a loss why such a lie should be perpetrated at the highest level of Chieftaincy forum
to push an agenda by hook or crook. Like COVID-19, this unfortunate incident of New
Juaben could amplify its ugly wings to all paramountcies in the country whose leadership
is considered formidable enough to control. It carves a menacing path threatening to
destroy the Chieftaincy institution which must be curbed with the truth and a united front.
Any paramountcy in the country could be so threatened and sacrificed for a hidden
agenda.

He claimed the issue of the principle of allocation was so cardinal to it exercise and members of the
House need to be informed of any cogent reasons why the fair principle of equal
allocation which had characterized the workings of the House from its inception should
be thrown asunder without any justification whatsoever.

He said the adoption of unequal
allocation principle introduces serious bias and asymmetry into the composition of the
ERHC without a justifiable rationale.

“Indeed, the introduction of asymmetrical allocations which gives some paramountcies undue advantage over others, is totally repugnant to the spirit and letter of the Chieftaincy Act”.

He mentioned that “This extremely distasteful and
arbitrary allocation method also plants a perpetual seed of discord into ERHC which will
be difficult to erase. Above all, it could lead to potentially dangerous unintended consequences to undermine the Chieftaincy institution”.

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