Ghanaians across the political divide should be concerned that the National House of Chiefs which hitherto was a conservative voice of moderation and truth in the face of periodic political upheavals is being hijacked by politicians who are trying very hard to impose leaders on the House by offering huge sums of bribes to some chiefs ahead of their elections on Thursday, 12th November, 2020.
We at the Chieftaincy Forum, Africa, have stumbled on a scheme of bribery ongoing among the delegates to this week’s elections.
The plan we are told is to make the institution amenable to a certain political party and its government by ensuring that the voices of independence and assertiveness at the House are removed and replaced by political hunchmen and apparatchiks who are parading themselves as independent-minded chiefs.
Our source has revealed that one of the candidates whose tenure in the house has been nothing short of rancour and division is said to have possessed a war chest of huge resources that he is going round distributing to some members with tacit approval and support from some powers that be to buy the conscience of delegates in the election .
The chief, our sources revealed, is paying as much as Twenty Thousand Ghana Cedis (GhC20,000) to some colleague chiefs in his bid to buy their votes.
In a related development, our sources have revealed that another chief who is also a candidate in the election is also giving as much as Ten Thousand Ghana Cedis (GhC10,000) to some chiefs to be able to buy their allegiance.
The said chiefs, we are told, have no qualms about their overt association with political parties in flagrant violation of the provisions that debar them from involvement in active partisan politics.
They are being promoted to the once august body to go do the bidding of their political paymasters.
Surprisingly, these chiefs have thrown decency, integrity, independent mindedness and truth to the winds.
They do not care about the national interest and the sacredness of the stools and skins they occupy.
Our source has it that the main agenda behind these vote buying that has rocked the institution is to get rid of leaders who have tried to be independent minded, assertive, truthful, bold, and honest in serving the national rather than narrow partisan and sectional interests.
Our findings have revealed that the bold leadership of the house had for the past four years, renovated and expanded the House to accommodate new members and give it a pride of place.
The brazen politicization and monetization of the institution at this period flies in the face of bold initiatives to make the institution steer clear of governmental and partisan control.
It further defeats the attempts to make the institution a respectable one whose wise counsel will be sought by all political parties and governments.
We are appealing to the media, CSOs, citizens and the Office of the Special Prosecutor to pay attention to the corruption and monetization that is ongoing at the National House of Chiefs.
Our chiefs must not become puppets, stooges and henchmen of politicians who would use them as ‘errand boys’ in exchange for appointment into Boards, luxury cars, fat bank accounts and influence peddling.
It is important to appreciate the fact that by corrupting this last bastion of independence and truth talking body, the fight against corruption will remain a mirage no matter the numbers of anti-corruption institutions we establish as a country.