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Opinions of Thursday, 2 June 2005

Columnist: Mensah, Alex Adomako

What Are The Qualities & Functions Of Our "Nkosuohene" ?

It leaves a sour taste in the mouth of one to see people being appointed to positions of responsibility without themselves knowing their functions. A case in point is the mushrooming post of "Nkosuohene" (Welfare Chiefs) at every level of Ghana Township. May I pause to ask, the authors of such posts their aims and objectives for their creation, the laid down principles regulating such office and the consequent punishment should the office holder fail to live up to expectation?

I am yet to know through inquiring, the qualities and the functions of the so-called "Nkosuohene" and "Nkosuohemaa" as abound in fashion, in prevalence in the modern day Ghana.

Not having patience to wait for the answer I shall proceed to spell out my own views on such posts irrespective of the authors' own.

The office of "Nkosuohene" should not necessarily go to a rich man in the community but someone who is selfless, commands organizational ability, has the welfare of the community at heart, has long term prosperous vision for the town or community, knows how to deliver on their promises as befitting the post bequeathed on them. It can however go to a rich man but who is as well a philanthropist and also, combines the above stipulated qualities in him but not a stingy selfish rich man who for one of the functions of money as in the study of economics, loves money for its own sake.

Positions mean nothing to their holders in the entire Ghana except for the per diem and the concomitant gravy train that goes with, sauntering about in the macadamized and the untarred roads with puffed out chests in their sun-glittering clothing, or driving up and down the roads in their expensive eye catching vehicles. If people cannot deliver on their office requirements and policies, they should in the first place not accept the positions.

A Ghanaian for the sake of what will accrue to him or she accepts a post but not what is the expectation of him or her by the people. This entrenched mentality in us, cutting across the rank and file, envisaged in all levels of our Ghanaian human development must be held in check as it is the number one enemy of our human and nation advancement and development.

The post of "Nkosuohene" could be an engine for community development if such traditional office holders will live up to the dictates of requirements of their posts as against appropriating to themselves the wealth and fame that come with holding such office. What fame is in holding a post if one does not deliver on policies according as enshrined or expected of them?

Lack of accountability transcending all levels of the Ghanaian society to the detriment of the suffering poor masses, is well to blame for the non performance of almost all our so-called welfare chiefs.

People must be compelled to account to the governed or their subjects if Ghana were to advance and Ghanaians alleviated of their sufferance. Anybody in the society gets away with anything and commits despicable acts with impunity. This should stop henceforth.

Our local "Nkosuohene and Nkosuohemaa" should start delivering on services as required or else; the posts should go to the competent White "Nkosuohene" lately being appointed by some Townships in Ghana. Sooner, one will notice the stark difference between the competence of the Whiteman and the incompetence of the Blackman on the ground when both are offered the same opportunity, same time scale to better their areas on service delivery.

I will keep scratching my head, resting my chin in my palm, figuring out why this negative behaviour at all times and at all levels, as daily portrayed in and by Ghanaians? The solution is at the tip of our noise though we keep searching for them elsewhere.

Stay tuned for more information on all aspects of Ghana in her vain struggle to shake off the mantle of disgrace forced upon her through the selfishness and incompetence of all and sundry, by our actions and inactions.

Alex Adomako Mensah. (London)

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.