President John Evans Atta Mills has said the appointment of Chief Executives and 30 per cent of the membership of District, Municipal and Metropolitan (MMDCEs) Assemblies would be done in consultation with traditional rulers.
He observed that chieftaincy was at the core of the Ghanaian society, and reiterated that Government would collaborate with traditional authorities and put matters concerning traditional rulers on the front burner.
President Mills said this when a 13-member delegation of the National House of Chiefs called on him at the Castle, Osu, to congratulate him and Vice President John Dramani Mahama on their election.
President Mills said both the Government and traditional rulers sought the welfare of the people and the two institutions had to work very closely with each other to build a better Ghana.
He decried the disrespect shown by some MMDCEs to traditional rulers but turned round to solicit their help in times of challenges, stressing the need for consistency in their relations.
President Mills recognised the vast knowledge of traditional rulers, and said he would not only tap into their knowledge, but also accepted an invitation to “pop in from time to time” in their deliberations as he did during the campaign in the run up to the elections.
The President of the National House of Chiefs, Wulugu Naba Pusansoa, Professor John Nabila, who led the delegation, also congratulated Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), in the last general election, for accepting the results after the Presidential Election Runoff.
The delegation also commended former President John Agyekum Kufuor for facilitating a smooth transition to the present government and on his positive disposition and commitment to upholding the constitutional order.
The Chiefs welcomed the PresidentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pledge to be the President of all in his inaugural speech and his call on all Ghanaians to put behind them the rivalry and acrimony that characterised the recent elections.
The Chiefs appealed for adequate budgetary allocations to the various Houses of Chiefs – the Traditional Councils, the Regional Houses, and the National House – to enable them to creditably perform all their constitutional responsibilities.
These responsibilities, Naba Prof Nabila said included the codification of the lines of succession of chiefs as required by the Constitution. Adequate funds would also ensure appropriate legal counsel at the various judicial committees, to reduce the time of adjudicating chieftaincy disputes.
Furthermore, they called for a re-examination of the decentralisation of local government to increase the representation of traditional authorities at the District Assemblies to make them active participants in the democratisation process for sustainable development.
The Chiefs expressed the hope that the Government and its relevant agencies would help the traditional authorities to nurture the Chieftaincy Bulletin, which had replaced the Local Government Bulletin for the gazetting of chiefs.
Naba Prof Nabila noted the passage of the new Chieftaincy Act, Act 759, which replaced the Chieftaincy Act of 1971, Act 370, which mandated the National House of Chiefs to publish a Chieftaincy Bulletin.
“Apart from publishing the names of chiefs in this Bulletin, which have been entered in the National Register of Chiefs, instead of the Local Government Bulletin, it provides us with the opportunity to tell the story of chieftaincy in Ghana with reference to its multifaceted relevance to the development of Ghana,” Naba Prof Nabila said.