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Going to the President to find a Chief?

Going to the President to find a Chief?

I just read that some Ga chiefs went to Flagstaff House to ask the President of the republic of Ghana to come to their house and decide for them who will be their chief, the response was genuine and sympathetic but at the same time it is yet another manifestation of what is wrong with the institution of chieftaincy in urbanised Ga.

It beggars belief that chiefs, some of whom hitherto have been complaining about the interference of Government in their affairs will ask the President for a Judicial Commission to resolve what some us – supposedly commoners – have been asked to keep our mouths shut over the issue.  When some of us had advocated caution and suggested that this matter could and should be sorted out in chambers, the standard answers from these so called royals have been – ayee moni homoyeolɛ shi moni noni. To wit – ‘the owner of the something is the chopping not the hungry man’

I have variously been asked to keep my poisonous fingers from their delicious pie, or to go back to Grushie where I supposedly come from when I am providing wise words of wisdom.  The strange thing is that some of these people who suggested that the NPP had imposed King Tackie Tawiah III on the Ga State have now gone to the President to ask for assistance on something that they claim they know how to do.

Is this not akin to giving the door to your bedroom for the thief who would not need to come at night but will now boldly come during the day to thrash your land and your language to boot but will also have free access to your women? Is this not tantamount to asking them to plunder your culture and obliterate your language in your own land.

Since King Tackie Tawiah III was hounded out of office, we have taken leave of our ability to diagnose our problems and formulate solutions!  The place called Teiko Tsuru We, is a very small place.  The people who live there have elders, they all know themselves, there are no strangers there, it is close knit family unit, they are all supposed to be Ga kronn and yet when it comes to their sitting down to discuss the matter of ‘eating chieftaincy’, they have to take each other to court, and in court they disown their own King Tackie Tawiah III, and after they have disowned their own, they cannot still agree on who is their chief and now not having been able to implement the decision of the courts, they go to government.

And what do they ask of government, more paramountcies, money to celebrate Homowo ( perhaps I am making this one out) and a judicial commission to tell us who is chief

Why waste time to have elders, why waste time to have professional chieftaincy eaters and stool makers when indeed there is now an admission that in the midst of their problems, they will appeal to the head of the Republic of Ghana for him to ask his executives to resolve a problem at Abola.

Supposing the President tells them that they should go and bury King Tackie Tawiah III first before they come back to him, will they do that?  Supposing he tells them that he will appoint a Mantse for them, will they agree to that.

If in the collective wisdom of our chiefs is about celebrating Homowo and not about development, then Quo Vadis? as my eminent pastor and scholar will ask.  If there is no development content in their request then why are they there. If we cannot see or recommend solutions to the plight of the urban poor, then what exactly is their role?  Is their role now about being invited to Flagstaff House and state functions?  How are our chiefs serving the people?

Can they not bring the two jaasetsemie together? Can they not interview the three existing claimants to determine who is the rightful person? And yet they continue to claim that – they are not making it as they go along but they know what needs to be done and yet since 2006, they have been to court so many times and the lawyers have chopped all their monies so they come crawling to the president – find us a chief!

What is their job description outside their usual partaking of banku and tilapia when land is sold.

Perhaps my avowed wish for the institution of chieftaincy to be buried in Accra together with its ineptitude so that we can proudly raise the flag of he Republic of Accra may yet come true

Nii Kanto Oberserber January 17th 2019

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The Matters Arising blog is a collection of thought-provoking, thought-leadership pieces sprinkled with some blue-sky thinking on pertinent issues affecting African communities both in the diaspora and at home. It includes articles on culture, politics, social and economic advancement, diversity and inclusion, community cohesion topics. It is also a repository of the political history of Ghana, traditions of the Gadagme people of Ghana, and the Pan-African politics of Kwame Nkrumah. Read, enjoy, like, share, and join!


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