Professor S.K.B. Asante
The Legal Committee of the National House of Chiefs has revealed that it never settled for a ‘No’ vote agenda for the December 17, 2019, referendum as was indicated by the statement issued by its President, Togbe Afede XIV.
A statement issued by Togbe Afede XIV and his vice, Daasebre Nana Kwebu, last week had pointed out the House of Chiefs’ opposition to the December 17th referendum to amend article 55 (3) of the Constitution to allow for political party participation in local government elections.
But the Chairman of the legal Committee of the National House of Chiefs Nana Professor S.K.B. Asante has denied that the House was opposed to the referendum.
Speaking to Francis Abban on StarrFM, Prof. Asante stated that “we did not specifically advise a ‘NO VOTE’ to our colleagues. I’m contemplating an emergency meeting with my colleagues so we thrash this thing out. The memorandum made by the NHC to the Minister did not press for a ‘NO VOTE’. That is the fact.”
There is a royal fight over the planned election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCES) in Ghana.
Even though that statement issurd by Togbe Afede XIV and his vice sought to suggest that it represented the views of the National House Chiefs, it has turned out that there was no consultation done on the matter.
That has apparently angered a number of Chiefs in the country.
Specifically, chiefs from the Eastern Region are reportedly unhappy about the statement issued by the National House of Chiefs.
Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, Okyenhene, President of Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, in a statement copied to DGN Online, said “this statement is being effected upon receiving complaints from chiefs and people of the Eastern Region and well-meaning Ghanaians in reaction to the purported opposition of the National House of Chiefs to the December 17th referendum to amend article 55(3) of the Constitution to allow for political party participation in local government elections as stated in the press release issued by Togbe Afede, President of the National House of Chiefs.”
The statement added that “it is to this development that we wish to relate to the people of Ghana the following facts:
The National House of Chiefs is a responsible body of eminent chiefs and the symbol of traditional and national authority.
According to the statement, the National House of Chiefs position on critical national issues evolves from broad consultation and deliberation to reflect and enforce collective national conscience and aspirations.
It noted that the National House of Chiefs has administrative, procedural and consultative measures with regards to matters of national interest.
“The statement issued on the 15th of November 2019 by the President of the National House of Chiefs had not the knowledge of the Governance Committee Chairman Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II, who has found the need to express shock at not being aware of the statement by President of the National House of Chiefs and other related matters in violation of due process,” it explained.
It added that “the Standing Committee of the National House of Chiefs has no record of deliberations on the matter.”
Again, it said the Committee of the Whole House has not been informed or met on the matter in question.
It stressed that the Leadership of the various Regional House of Chiefs have not been informed or consulted.
According to the statement, in relation to the above, it is the considered opinion of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs that the statement issued by the President of the National House of Chiefs does not reflect the views of the traditional leadership of Ghana.
“The public should expect from Nananom in the coming days, a communiqué on this critical national issue in line with established consultative processes,” it said.
BY Melvin Tarlue