Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has inaugurated the new Western Region House of Chiefs in Takoradi.

The former Western Region House of Chiefs was dissolved on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, following the creation of the new Western Region House of Chiefs.

After it held its final meeting, Dr Bawumia inaugurated the Western Region House of Chiefs comprising only traditional authorities in the Western Region.

Addressing the Chiefs after their inauguration, Vice President Bawumia said, despite controversies that the Chieftaincy institution has gone through in some areas, the relavance and contribution of chieftaincy to the development of the country cannot be underestimated.

“Nananom, the Chieftaincy institution, like other various institutions of the state, has lived through controversial periods of our history, playing different roles at different times,” Dr Bawumia said.

The Vice President noted that some people often raise criticism about the relevance of chieftaincy, but he maintained that the institution is indispensable.

“I do not hesitate to state that Chieftaincy has, and will be an indispensable part of our history and development.

“It is so widely respected that even when our fellow Ghanaians leave our shores and are free of the influence of chieftaincy, they create chiefs wherever they are,” Dr Bawumia stated.

Government committed to strengthening Chieftaincy institution

Vice President Bawumia stressed the Akufo-Addo led government believes in the Chieftaincy institution as an integral part of the nation’s development process, especially in our democratic dispensation.

He also listed a number of things government has done since assuming office in 2017.

“Government recognises that, in order to ensure the success of the programme of social and economic transformation that was put before the Ghanaian people, we have to do a lot.

“It is important that we bring the traditional role of our Chiefs into the modern, constitutional set-up, under which we govern our country,” Dr Bawumia emphasised.

He added that government has also assisted the National House of Chiefs with ¢3.5 million for the completion of its new headquarters complex in Kumasi.

The Vice President said a pledge in the NPP’s 2016 Manifesto to increase monthly allowances paid to Chiefs, and the quarterly budgetary support to the Traditional Councils and Houses of Chiefs has been done.

“Government is also committed to assisting the National House of Chiefs to move speedily on finishing works on the codifcation of the traditional norms and rules that have guided our communities throughout the ages.

“The Ministry, in collaboration with the National House of Chiefs, has also begun the process of digitising records of the National House of Chiefs, particularly records in the National Register of Chiefs,” he stated.

Dr Bawumia applauded the initiative instituted to have courses in Chieftaincy development, comprising lectures, seminars and other activities, aimed at building the capacity of Chiefs and all persons with interests in the Chieftaincy institution.

He also bemoaned the many Chieftaincy disputes in the country, stating it is “unfortunately one of the major setbacks to our nation’s socio-economic development.”

“Such disputes have resulted, sometimes, in full blown conficts, threats to our nation’s peace and stability, destruction of properties, loss of lives, closure of educational and health facilities, and separation of families.”

He added that government is concerned, and in a move to help curb chieftaincy disputes, has decided to take up the cost of extrajudicial committees of the various House of Chiefs to help speed up the adjudication of disputes.

“This should hasten the adjudication of pending issues, in order to bring closure to outstanding disputes that continue to generate tension,” he said.