The Paramount Chief of Essikado Traditional Area in the Western Region, Nana Kobina Nketsia V, has observed that the challenges facing assemblies resulting in the slow pace of development is as a result of the lack of collaboration with the traditional councils.
Nana Nketsiah said without partnering with the traditional councils, the local governance system would continue to be dysfunctional. He said urgent steps needed to be taken to make amends in order to speed up development.
Nana Nketsia made the observation when the Minister of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, Dr Henry Seidu Daannaa, called on him at his palace as part of his five-day tour of the Western Region.
The focus of the visit was to interact with traditional rulers and listen to their concerns and also share with them what government had in store for traditional rulers who formed a very integral part of the developmental agenda of the country.
Nana Nketsia expressed regret over non-adherence to traditions by most government officials and politicians and indeed the public at large.
“Without engagement between traditional councils and local government authorities, the concept of local governance will continue to be dysfunctional and its aim of fostering development will never materialise.”
“Our traditions are what make us unique in the world. It defines our heritage and who we are. We have to stop the persistent desire to set aside our own traditions and take up those of others," he added.
Though he commended the minister for paying a visit to the region, Nana Nketia was not happy about what he described as “the gradual tendency by officials of the assembly to exclude traditional authorities from becoming participants in development.
He said the Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA), which was in his traditional area, Essikado, ought to include the traditional council in administering the areas since it fell under his jurisdiction.
For his part, the Minister of Culture and Traditional Affairs, pledged government’s support to ensure a better collaboration between the traditional councils and the metropolitan municipal and district assemblies (MMDA) to accelerate development.
He said the government was taking steps to restore the chieftaincy institution to its former glory to enable the institution to play its full role in nation building.
He said the authority of chiefs should not be weakened and limited, and added, "Instead, their authority must be strengthened as their contributions were essential to keeping law and order in the society."
Dr Daannaa, however, entreated traditional rulers to collaborate with the local government system to ensure that a lot of developmental projects were carried out and maintained for the benefit of the members of the society.
“Some chiefs indulge in personal and selfish activities that denigrate the development of the country and the traditional institution they represent,” he said.
He called on chiefs to be supportive of the government as it continued to implement various strategies aimed at improving upon the living standards of the people.
At Shama, the chiefs and queens of the traditional council in the district appealed to the minister to put in a word on their behalf to the Ministry of Health (MOH) to speed up the construction of a hospital that was started 13 years ago.
The Shama District does not have a public hospital of its own, as such, residents continue to travel to Sekondi-Takoradi for medical attention.
The tour of the Minister is part of a nationwide tour that is aimed at providing a platform for the relay of concerns from the government to the chiefs and vice versa.
Dr Daannaa is visiting 16 traditional councils in the region, including Lower Axim, Wassa Fiasse, Eastern Nzema and Sefwi Bekwai Traditional Councils.
Source: Daily Graphic
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