The National House of Chief has expressed concerned about the growing tension in the country over the compilation of a new voter register in the face of challenges that require national unity and cohesion such as the Covid-19 crisis.

It observes that political leaders appear to be more concerned about winning power than in the developmental needs of the people.

In a statement, the President of the National House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede XIV, said traditional rulers are unhappy the Electoral Commission (EC) has failed to appear before the House, which has been seeking an “opportunity to promote dialogue in the interest of peace.”

“We want to call on the EC to make peaceful conduct of this year’s general elections its primary objectives,” the statement said. “It would require, among others, that no qualified Ghanaian is disenfranchised, and that the elections are free and fair.”

 “We want to call on the EC to make peaceful conduct of this year’s general elections its primary objectives. It would require, among others, that no qualified Ghanaian is disenfranchised, and that the elections are free and fair.”

Below is details of the full statement;

We are very concerned about the growing tension in our country, at a time when we are confronted with a lot of challenges – COVID19 pandemic, CSM epidemic, flooding, joblessness —that naturally require that we stick together and work towards finding the appropriate solutions

In the face of these challenges, what Ghanaians need is hope, not fear. But sadly our airwaves are filled with intimidation, and threats of anarchy, mayhem, war…. Our political leaders appear to be more concerned about winning power, than the development needs and the happiness of our people.

Central to the escalating tension is the decision of the electoral commission to compile a new voter’s register. Unfortunately, the EC failed to honour invitations to the national house of chiefs, when our traditional leaders wanted the opportunity to promote dialogue in the interest of peace.

We want to call on the EC to make peaceful conduct of this year’s general elections its primary objectives. It would require, among others, that no qualified Ghanaian is disenfranchised, and that the elections are free and fair.

We all have to remember that power is not exercised in a vacuum, and so it would be naïve of anyone to think that a constitutionally created “independent body” has unbridled power. That cannot be the intention of the framers of our constitution.

We humbly ask for sober reflection, an honest evaluation of our progress as a nation over the past 63 years, and a recommitment by all Ghanaians to the ideals that inspired our founding fathers.

We need to give substance to their claim that the black man is capable of managing his own affairs.

At this time when unimaginable atrocities are being visited on the black man in various parts of the world, we need to work together to strengthen the peace, and create harmonious living conditions at home, so that xenophobic isolation abroad would not be preferred by our people.

As chiefs, we have the responsibility, and the duty, to speak objectively on national issues, and in defense of the national interest.

So at this crucial time, we owe a sacred duty to our people to remind all of us about the “pledge to be faithful and loyal to Ghana, my motherhood”. That is why we are asking all Ghanaians to subordinate individual interest and political party loyalty to the national desire for peace, unity and development.

Signed Togbe Afede XIV, President

Signed Dasebre Kwebu Ewusi VII, Vice President