President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said that the chieftaincy institution has been and will continue be relevant and critical to national development and urged chiefs to work towards attaining this goal.
The President stated this when he addressed members of the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs on Thursday in Bolgatanga.
President Akufo-Addo said that notwithstanding the critical role of the chieftaincy institution, it was characterized by chieftaincy and land disputes which were major threats to national development.
The President stated that recognising the critical role the chieftaincy institution played to national development, the New Patriotic Party upon assumption of office in 2017 decided to strengthen the institution to complement the efforts of government in development.
He stated that apart from the government working through the Ministry of Chieftaincy and to ensure that a course was mounted to empower chiefs to help deal with conflicts, it was also supporting the Chieftaincy Ministry to delineate traditional areas of paramountcy and codification of gates qualified as becoming chiefs.
He added that the NPP government also put up a scheme in place to ensure that chiefs benefit from monthly and quarterly allowances for office administration.
“Additionally the NPP government also supported the National House of Chiefs to restructure its headquarters at Kumasi. These are all indications that government is committed to the chieftaincy institutions,” the President stressed.
While commending the house for complementing the efforts of the government to fight against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the President urged the house as trustee of land of the people to support government streamline land administration in the country in the areas of land titles and fixing of land boundaries to help avoid conflict.
The President further called on the traditional rulers to be in the forefront in fighting against abolishing absolute cultural practices such widowhood rights and female genital and child marriage that are dehumanising to human rights.
President Akufo-Addo who urged the chiefs to speak out by joining the government to fight societal illness such as corruption and injustices also underscored the need for them to join the government preserve the environment and water bodies from being destroyed.
Speaking about the development initiatives undertaken by the NPP government in the region, the President stated that about 1488 development projects are being implemented in the region.
He stated that while the 688 of the projects have been completed in the areas of education, health roads and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene 800 of the projects are ongoing in addition to the ongoing construction of the Bolgatanga-Bawku road and the Pwalugu multipurpose dam.
President Akufo-Addo said the government is to construct district hospitals in all districts that do not have and mentioned the Binduri, Builsa South, Kassena-Nankana West, Nabdam and Pusiga districts as beneficiaries.
The President called on the people in the region to retain him and the NPP government in power to continue to deliver more projects to help improve the livelihoods of the people.
The Outgoing Upper East Regional President of the House of Chiefs, Naba Orlando Ayamga Awuni III, commended the President for the numerous interventions he had implemented in the region and indicated the good works of the government would retain it in power.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA