The Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Ebenezer Kojo-Kum, has charged traditional rulers to overlook their outmoded duties, and lead the war against environmental degradation, poverty, among others, aimed at achieving some level of development at the local and national levels.
He also reminded them of their core role to ensure good governance to make life more dignifying and comfortable in their respective traditional communities.
The Minister gave the charge in a speech read on his stead at Buipe in the Savannah Region during the inauguration of the Buipe Traditional Council.
Mr Kojo-Kum said government, under the stewardship of President Akufo-Addo, attaches much prominence to the administration of chieftaincy, considering the role of the chieftaincy institution in maintaining peace and ensuring development at the grassroots level.
The Ministry, he explained, is mandated to develop an effective interface between government, traditional authorities, religious bodies, and civil societies on matters relating to chieftaincy and religious affairs for the promotion of peace and good governance.
He stressed the need for chiefs to understand the processes and procedures involved in resolving conflicts through the judicial and arbitration system and other alternative methods. That, he indicated, will help in resolving conflicts that may arise within their traditional areas or localities.
“You also need to understand the process involved in allocating land, granting leases and land administration in general. We need to also understand and know some of the laws and Acts covering the chieftaincy institution. The prime one is the Chieftaincy Act of 2008, Act 759. Others are the Legislative Instrument (L.I) 798, the Constitution Instrument (C.I) 27, Chapter 22 of the Constitution and other enactments,” the Minister stated.
He said it would empower the Traditional Councils to exercise their mandates as enshrined in section 29(1)(2) of the Chieftaincy Act since the “Act gives a Traditional Council exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine a cause or matter affecting chieftaincy, hence arises within its area”.
He pledged that the Ministry would ensure the posting of staff, either on temporary permanent basis, to help with their administrations, and assist chiefs with logistics.
The Minister lauded the efforts of the various leadership of the new traditional councils, and urged them to strive collectively to resolve chieftaincy matters, and expand their frontiers for development.
“The inauguration should be seen to integrate the people of this Traditional Area, especially our revered chiefs, to work hand in hand for endless development but not to disintegrate you. We should be able to see progress and unity among you the next time we visit this Council,” he advised.
For his part, the paramount chief of the Buipe Traditional Area in the Savannah Region, Buipewura Abdulai Jinapor II, urged the members to work hard to preserve and protect the Council to maintain its traditional role of peace building, justice delivery, chieftaincy conflict resolutions and effective decision-making to propel the development agenda of the Traditional Area.
“Change, they say, is difficult, but we must embrace it in these contemporary times. Our revered chiefs, ladies and gentlemen, the establishment of the Buipe Traditional Council will add to our responsibility of settling cases in a more formal manner and in line with the exigencies of the law,” he added.
The paramount chief also entreated chiefs who will be members of the Council to seek more knowledge in the quest of discharging judicial responsibility on behalf of the council.