“When there is an enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you”, Winston. S. Churchill.
When one wants to impact on his society and leave footprints which can be easily identified that individual must always rise above race, tribe, nationality, creed or religious affiliation. Whether by accident or good fortune, 27million of us have been allocated a tiny piece of the earth- Ghana to enjoy and pass it on to our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in a pristine condition
The simple and honest truth is: we have no choice than to help create a country where all the people feel connected because of our distinctive history and heritage. A society whose future, we are all helping to shape. It is therefore categorical imperative that as citizens we respect, care and share a sense of responsibility for each other always remembering that we are all equal in the fact that we are different.
Make no mistake, our country has made great strides in the area of good governance in recent years but recently we were in danger of becoming a less cohesive society and in danger of tearing ourselves apart for political expediency.
However, the picture of President Nana Akuffo Addo, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin II is simply “beautiful”. It proves and shows that our country is a more cohesive society, we recognise our diversity and we draw strength from our distinctive identity.
It also proves to the doubting Thomas’s and the prophets of doom who raise white flags when we tear ourselves apart from that we are a matured democracy a tolerant nation and hell-bent on preserving our hard-won unity and peace
Ghanaians may recall that over 2 months ago some individuals tried to sow discord among our two peaceful monarchs and people. Personally, as a Ghanaian, I was saddened by this attempt by some of our brothers and to create disunity among us. My sadness emanated from the premise that the bastion of our cultural heritage is our chieftaincy institution, much admired by outsiders Moreover, the chieftaincy institution has been critical to our socio-economic development and I felt it was in danger of being politicised…
Fruitful Meeting President National House of Chiefs and Osagyefuo Amoatia Panin 11
My discomfort and bewilderment also stemmed from the fact that prior to the brouhaha over the so-called, imaginary divisions, I had the privilege and honour to accompany Togbe Afede X1V, President of the National House of Chiefs, Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Member of the Council of State, to a meeting with Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin 11 Okyenhene at his home in Adabraka.
Folks, when you have the privilege to sit in such meetings it humbles you and reinforces your belief in the “Ghana Project”. The meeting was civil, cordial, informative and statesmanlike. Moreover, the discussions centred around socio-economic, national development and traditional issues. The main discourse was about how these important Kings and Otumfuo (triumvirate) could work together, improve their lines of communication and make a real difference to the body politic of our society.
Togbe and Osagyefuo touched on many issues including establishing and promoting economic development projects that would complement the efforts of Central Government. I was so impressed and excited about the deliberations that I personally begged Togbe and Osagyefuo to have the discussions bi-monthly and to make it a triumvirate to include Otumfuo.
Important Role of Traditional Rulers
Folks, there is not a shadow of doubt in my mind that, chiefs in Ghana, in particular, our current breed of Chiefs and other traditional leaders have always played and would continue to play significant roles in governance, administration and development. Bearing in mind the roots of legitimacy for our Chiefs are partly pre-colonial, partly historical, partly religious and partly cultural.
Although often overlooked by international development organizations and donor agencies the chieftaincy institution has and will continue to play a very important role in the lives of many citizens. For example, Article 270(1) of the 1992 Ghanaian Constitution provides that the “institution of chieftaincy together with its traditional councils as established by customary law and usage, is hereby guaranteed” in present-day Ghana.
Moreover, the major roles and functions of our Kings and Queen mothers are to complement the developmental efforts of Central Government. It is therefore important that traditional values, ruling systems and legislation interact with the structures of modern democratic system to ensure harmony, coexistence and complimentary effectiveness.
For example, there is no reason why traditional authorities are not provided with a list of all current Government approved projects in their respective areas? They are closest to the people, they have an interest in their areas being developed and they take the credit when their areas are beautified. This coordinated and holistic approach to development would ensure that there is a fruitful working relationship between chiefs and elected officials.
Moreover, it adds value to the work of the Government, synergies and creates a holistic approach to developmental work by both central and local government.
Bear in mind, the chieftaincy institution also presents an indispensable condition for the continual prosperity of our nation and it was heart-warming and refreshing to see our two great Kings and President Nana Akuffo Addo joining hands together.
Well done you have made my father’s day special. Our fight is against the cancer of ignorance, squalor, poverty and wants not tribal bigotry.
My humble plea to President Nana Akuffo Addo, Otumfuo Osei Tutu 11, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin 11 and Togbe Afede X1V, President of the National House of Chiefs, turn your energies, intellect, power and strength to lead us to fight the challenges facing our nation in the twenty-first century.
We must educate our people that:
(a) That illness, sickness or poverty is not caused by imaginary enemies but by bad governance.
(b) That there is no Akyem. Ashanti, Voltarian, Northerner, Brong, Ga tribe just “tribe poverty”. All of us are in the boat of poverty, ignorance and hopelessness.
(c) That cholera, dysentery is caused by filthy and contaminated water not witches.
(d) That mental illness is not a curse or generational disease.
(e) That river bodies have no power to destroy, kill or maim.
(f) That motor vehicle accident are caused by faulty lorries, dangerous drivers, drunk idiots and bad roads not by envious cousins, aunties or stepmothers.
(g) That the value of the cedi will not rise on the instructions of the Lord but by sound and prudent management of the economy.
(h) That destitute old ladies in the Northern part of our country are not witches.
(i) That no quack “spiritual or medicine man can provide you with “sika aduro” (money magic); Only hard work produces rewards.
(j) That ordinary hard-working folk should not give a dime to fake Pastors but use their hard earned cash to care for their children.
“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided”- J. K. Rowling