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General News of Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Don’t openly support political parties - Axim Chief tells chiefs

The Paramount Chief of the Nzema Traditional Area and acting Vice-President of the National House of Chiefs, Awulae Ati Brukusu, has lashed out at chiefs who have openly declared support for one political party or another, saying their actions have brought the chieftaincy institution into disrepute.

According to him, the framers of the 1992 Constitution did not mince words when they said chiefs ought not to partake in partisan politics or overtly show their political inclinations.

That, he said, was because of the hallowed role played by chiefs in their respective traditional areas in providing true and objective leadership that should earn the confidence of their subjects when the chief had to arbitrate in clashes between two of his subjects belonging to opposing political parties.

Awulae Brukusu said this when the Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, paid a courtesy call on the chiefs of the area as part of his campaign tour of the Western Region.

The obligation of chiefs

Explaining further, he said if a chief openly declared that he belonged to one of such parties, regardless of how objective he might be in arbitration, one party would consider him biased because of his political affiliation.

It was for this reason that he said it was rather appalling for chiefs to openly declare support for any political party.

He, therefore, reminded chiefs that their first and foremost obligation was to ensure that their subjects were united and not divided by the nuances of seasonal politics.

From that meeting, where he obtained the blessings of the chiefs for the ‘Change Agenda’, Nana Akufo-Addo and his entourage moved to the rally ground at Axim where hundreds of party faithful were waiting for him to address them.

One speaker after another recounted the better life under former President Kufuor but which had been eroded by the “incompetence” of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration led by President John Dramani Mahama.

Restoring a perfect order

The parliamentary aspirant for the Evalue Ajomoro Gwira Constituency, Madam Catherine Afeku, said the area would prosper “when the people stand united and restore things to perfect order as was done under President Kufuor. It is for this reason that you have to remain resolute in voting for Nana Akufo-Addo as president and also give me the nod as your Member of Parliament (MP).”

When Nana Akufo-Addo finally took the stage, there was a rapturous response hugely aided by the blowing of vuvuzelas and the beating of drums and gong-gongs by groups of young men and women who appeared to be ‘drunk’ with the change agenda.

Nana Akufo-Addo asked the people to ignore spurious rumours that he was a violent person because he was far from that. He recounted the 2012 election petition where he exhibited a posture that healed the nation following clear electoral anomalies that did not favour him.

EC must play its role well

Comparing this year’s elections to a football game, he said the referee for the game, “which in this case is the Electoral Commission (EC), has to ensure that the right things are done in an open and transparent manner to the satisfaction of all with vested interest.”

That way, he said, everyone would accept the outcome of the polls as being truly reflective of their wishes for life to continue.

“Should the EC fail to achieve such a simple obligation, then the good people of the country would have been let down by an institution mandated to execute its mandate in the name and interest of national unity, cohesion and peace,” he added.