Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, is said to be playing a highly risky game in a unilateral and needless restructuring of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs (ERHC). So far, he has failed to present any tangible reason why the ERHC must be restructured.
According to reliable sources within ERHC, Okyenhene’s only motive for his bent-on reconstituting ERHC is to have a firm grip of the Regional House of Chiefs even after his reign as the Presidents of the House.
The ERHC has maintained the same membership of eleven (11) Paramount Chiefs for over half-a-century and has worked well under various Presidents of the House including his predecessor, Osagyefuo Kuntunkununku I so why the hast to change the structures?
According to Omanhene of New Juaben, Daasebre Prof (Emeritus) Oti Boateng the steps taken by Okyenhene offend against the salient provisions of the Chieftaincy Act which does not discriminate among Paramount Chiefs but rather accords them the same privileges.
The Omanhene of New Juaben in his letter to the National House of Chiefs (NHC) explained that what has clearly confirmed the earlier allegations and suspicions by many that Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin want to control the ERHC and the entire region in perpetuity is the allocation of sixteen (16) slots to Divisional Chiefs from his Paramountcy as new members in his proposed restructured House.
Part of the Daasebre Oti Boateng’s letter read “The steps taken by Okyenhene offend against the salient provisions of the Chieftaincy Act which does not discriminate among Paramount Chiefs but rather accords them the same privileges. Yet the Okyenhene has side-stepped the Chieftaincy Act by allocating sixteen (16) Divisional Chiefs from his Paramountcy as new members in the proposed restructured House while allocating only between three (3) and seven (7) members to other paramountcies.
Curiously, the New Juaben Traditional Area, which includes the capital of the Eastern Region, Koforidua, was completely ignored with no allocation at all to the Paramountcy. Here again, we expect Okyenhene to provide the rationale for this unpardonable omission”
According to Daasebre, Okyenhene has a duty to explain to Ghanaians why at the tail end of his eight-year Presidency of the ERHC and in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic afflicting the world and the nation, he should find it necessary to saturate the membership with Divisional Chiefs which heavily tits in his favour under the pretext of a restructuring.
“Okyenhene does not have any mandate under the Chieftaincy Act to allocate sixteen Divisional Chiefs to himself whilst giving other Paramountcies a paltry three to seven slots in a deliberate attempt to tilt the balance of power in his favour with such skewed and asymmetrical allocation. This would seriously restrict and cripple the incoming President.” Daasebre Oti Boateng disclosed.
He went further to explain that the new unilateral allocation of disproportionate number of Divisional Chiefs from the Okyenhene’s Paramountcy to the ERHC is a mere subterfuge to consolidate his position and power-base within the House and elevate himself above his contemporaries.
“It is extremely important to refute the wrong notion being bandied around that increasing the membership of the House will improve the quorum and the working of the House. The quorum is fixed by law and does not change under the invariance principle. For example, with a 50 percent quorum, a House with 10 members will require only 5 members to form a quorum whereas doubling the membership to 20 will automatically double the required quorum to 10 members. Thus the burden of a quorum increases proportionately with increasing membership due to the ratio of proportionality.
It is therefore completely fallacious to assume that increasing the membership of ERHC will improve the quorum and the working of the House. There are many innovative techniques which could be used to improve the working of the ERHC without necessarily tampering with the membership.” Daasebre Oti Boateng argued.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH