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General News of Friday, 19 June 2020

Source: GNA

Rights of chiefs to comment on national issues must be respected – Togbe Afede


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President of the National House of Chiefs (NHC), Togbe Afede XIV, has called on Ghanaians, especially politicians to respect the rights of chiefs to comment on national issues that affect them and their subjects.

He said traditional leaders had a stake in the socio-economic development of the country and that politicians must spare them unnecessary insults and name calling when they express their views on critical national matters.

Togbe Afede XIV, who was addressing the second general meeting of the NHC in Kumasi on Friday, said it was important for political actors to exercise circumspection when discussing comments made by chiefs in the media space.

“We need to understand that the constitutional provision that chiefs should not participate in partisan politics does not mean chiefs cannot comment on political issues that affect them and their subjects”, he maintained.

He further observed that the fact that political parties take entrenched positions on a matter of national interest does not mean chiefs could not expressed their opinion on such matters.

He underlined the need to “create the environment for tolerance of dissenting views as a people committed to advancing our democracy in the interest of national development”.

Touching on the role of chiefs in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, he said the House was committed to supporting government in its response plan to contain the virus.

He said the chiefs had resolved to contribute meaningfully to the fight in their local areas following a meeting with the President in April, where he updated them on the COVID-19 fight.

He entreated members of the house to impress on their subjects to observe all the safety protocols to curb the spread of the disease at the community level.

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