Stop Being Sycophants

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Wednesday challenged Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts Chief Executives to be bold enough to criticize the government, particularly when it bothers on economic policies which are intended to improve the economic circumstances of the people. He said despite the competence levels of most of the MMDCEs, the fear of being sacked from office had compelled them to become sycophants. Otumfou noted that since MMDCEs are the direct agents of development in the various Assemblies, they must be courageous and put the government on its toes without any fear. The Asantehene threw the challenge in a speech read on his behalf by the Mamponghene, Daasebre Osei Bonsu, at a four-day inaugural Ashanti Regional Policy Fair under the auspices of the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council and the Ministry of Information, which was on the theme, “Empowering the people as we build a better Ghana”. A total of 120 institutions including the 27 MMDAs in the region are participating in the fair. All MDAs as well as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies have been showcasing their policies, projects, programmes and activities and are expected to receive feedback from the people for government's attention after the fair. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II commended the MMDCEs in the region for what he thinks they are doing right to give meaning to the lives to the people, “but one thing that is bad about you is your inability to chastise and constructively criticize your own government when its policies are not the best for your people.” He told them to “understand that you are directly connected to the people and represent their hopes and must therefore make sure you scrutinize the government’s programmes for the people without any fear”, adding “nobody can deprive you of your job for constructively criticizing the government”. Otumfuo further urged the MMDCEs to partner with the chiefs in their communities and ensure that there is good rapport between the two agents for the benefits of the citizenry. He noted that there were countless issues of tension between traditional rulers and their MMDCEs, a situation he said was only creating big gaps between the districts and development in those areas. In the view of the Asantehene, some DCEs are not welcoming the traditional leaders, “but our palaces are always there for all the DCEs to come and engage us in the supreme interest of all.” He promised: “Nananom are ever ready to guarantee for investors who are serious and ready to come to the region to invest, to seek loans from the banks to start their ventures.”