Upgrade Chieftaincy Institution

We have learnt with relish about the good counsel from the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to the people of Dagbon to desist from acts of sabotage that could endanger the peace now prevailing in this part of the country.

Of course, the King could not have remarked any better considering the energy, frustration and other inconveniences he suffered in his and other eminent chiefs efforts to restore normalcy to the then restive Dagbon.

He must be first person to oppose any signs of sabotage which could reverse the positive achievements chalked so far.

According to the Dagbon King, the issue of a chief whose enskinment is irregular and must not be entertained ‒ a revelation which he made when he called on the Asante King to express gratitude to him for his role in restoring peace to the Dagombas ‒ is a time-bomb and therefore worrying.

Keeping incendiary chieftaincy-related issues under the carpet indefinitely should be avoided because of an eventual explosion. It is more serious in Dagbon whose people are still relishing the newfound peace after decades of restiveness.

If the previously seemingly intractable Dagbon debacle was addressed and remarkably so, the Nanton issue too by far miniscule can be dealt with when the King is supported by his elders and the rest of Dagombas towards that objective. Being a stool under the King, he should be able to tackle the matter as he deems fit provided such a decision is in conformity with tradition.

As a people, we should work towards ensuring that chieftaincy disputes become a thing of the past. Last week, the country received shockingly news about the murder of the Municipal Director of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) at Mankessim and a student.

For two lives to be lost in a chieftaincy dispute ‒ especially when a court of competent jurisdiction has already given its judgment on the subject-matter ‒ smacks of sheer irresponsibility and mischief.

The venerable chieftaincy institution ‒ our most outstanding heritage ‒ as foreign cultures threaten our values, language and traditional procedures should wean this unnecessary garb of bloodshed, intolerance and other negativities. Even regrettably is the fact that these are sometimes fuelled by desperate politicians who find in confusion an important ally.

It is for good reason that the institution is recognized by the Constitution; the National House of Chiefs created to add to the preservation of this important heritage.

Anybody seen to be fuelling chieftaincy conflicts irrespective of their standing in society must not only be named and shamed but dealt with according to the law.

The cost of chieftaincy-related disputes is enormous, some of them having claimed lives as in the case of the Mankessim debacle.

The murderous act of some irresponsible persons in Mankessim has robbed some families of their breadwinner even as Christmas approaches: it is heartbreaking and painful, and only the bereaved persons know how it feels.

Chieftaincy disputes should not lead to murder if such stalemates are resolved amicably and on time.