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Opinions of Friday, 15 February 2008

Columnist: Quaye, J. N.

Rejoinder: Odai Ayiku Threatens House of Chiefs

The article is inflammatory and misleading. It is titled "Odai Ayiku Threatens House of Chiefs". Yet, it contains no scintilla of information reflecting any threat let alone a semblance thereof. Also, the article needs some correction. In part, the fourth paragraph reads: "Documents in the form of letters point to the fact that the purported enstoolment of Nii Odai Ayiku (IV) through EI 18 in 1983 was accepted by the House of Chiefs as no charges were preferred against him." Not only is this statement erroneous, but it is also self-contradictory. The word "enstoolment" clearly does not sound logical in this context. But if "destoolment" was the word sought to be used, there is a further contradiction in the phrase "purported enstoolment of Nii Odai Ayiku (IV) . . . was accepted by the House of Chiefs as no charges were preferred against him." How could a chief, at least within the Ga Traditional system, be destooled by an Executive Instrument when the requisite traditional procedures have not been followed? Every reader of the article and this comment should pause, reflect, and ponder over what is going on and ask himself whether Nii Odai Ayiku is being treated fairly. Although under our national constitutional hierarchy, the Government, as the sovereign, is higher than the Chieftaincy Institution, it is axiomatic that the Government’s authority over chieftaincy is more in the nature of procedure than of substance. Specifically, the Government does not and cannot create or destool a chief from the abstract. Instead, it gazettes or ungazettes a chief only after the chief has been properly installed or destooled by the proper traditional elders and upon following the proper customary rules and procedures. These pivotal preconditions must be met before a chief can be installed or destooled. Many articles have been written on Nungua and its so-called chieftancy issue. Yet no single one has pointed to a single document reflecting charges against Nii Odai Ayiku, let alone that the properly constituted elders or any elders in the kingmaking House ever took measures to destool him. So, here too, readers should judge for themselves and see whether Nii Odai Ayiku is being treated truthfully and fairly. Not only is this troubling, but it is reprehensible, to say the least. Even more troubling is the fact that Mr. Prah, the then Acting Registrar who seems to have been acting inconsistently (at least from the import of this article), cannot produce a single document or even comment to vindicate any of his conflicting positions. Yet nobody has been courageous or bold enough to address this blatant unfairness. Nungua, and for that matter Ghana, is dear to all of us, and unfairness or maltreatment to anyone of us, especially our duly installed mantse, is an unfairness and maltreatment to us all. Moreover , it robs us of the peace and tranquility necessary for the pursuit of ventures that will be productive to society and foster its progress. Nungua is suffering a lot from this matter, and it is time the duly-installed mantse, Nii Odai Ayiku IV, is left to perform his duties as a chief to bring to our dear town the twenty first century progress and promises it woefully deserves.

J. N. Quaye MD Washington, DC

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