Koforidua — The President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, Osaagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, has urged government and security agencies to do more in their efforts to address chieftaincy disputes in the country.
According to him, chieftaincy disputes and conflicts continued to impact negatively on the development and progress of regions, particularly the Eastern, leading to waste of resources, time and energy which could have been channeled into solving socio-economic challenges.
Osaagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, who is also the Okyenhene, was speaking at the end-of-year general meeting, organised by the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, in Koforidua, on Monday, however, said the problem is multifaceted and requires tact for stakeholders, particularly, government and the security forces to address.
The meeting was to enable the chiefs take stock of the challenges, opportunities and lessons of the outgoing year, in order to provide the blue print for plans and expectations of the next year.
Osaagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin said the house had put in lots of efforts and sacrifices to resolve chieftaincy disputes amicably.
He called on the chiefs to bring their expertise to bear on the task of uplifting the image of the chieftaincy institution, to make it a relevant partner in governance, to meet the challenges and demands of the 21st century.
"The chieftaincy institution cannot afford to remain a ceremonial edifice dedicated to past or a status symbol for vain reasons," Osaagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin stated.
He said there was the need for traditional governance to actively dedicate its efforts to the progressive transformation of society and the economy.
He urged chiefs to lead transformational exemplary leadership for the youth to emulate, and desist from engaging in chieftaincy disputes.
Speaking on the referendum, he said the overall benefit of amending Article 55(3) of the 1992 constitution would have been enormous if it had been held.
Osaagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin said it was unfortunate it had been withdrawn, blaming the situation on the misunderstanding associated to it and the way the message was conveyed.
"The message was not delivered properly and people have not understood the benefits of the referendum," he said, adding, it was his wish that people would seek to understand the process and the need for a referendum.
Osaagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin called on government to allow greater participation of traditional rulers in the decision and implementation of development programmes.
"As a bastion of rulers from time tested traditions and values, traditional rulers, having deeper knowledge of the challenges and aspirations of people when given the opportunity and support will be able to mobilise their communal spirit for the common good", he said.