Ghana: Refrain From Meddling in Chieftaincy-Related Issues ...Mamprugu Youth Association Urges Govt

13 September 2023

The Mamprugu Youth Association (MAYA) has called on the government to refrain from meddling in chieftaincy-related issues in the country.

According to them, the 1992 constitution was clear in that government should not get involved in chieftaincy matters to ensure it has the trust and support of feuding factions in any dispute surrounding chieftaincy matters.

Addressing a news conference in Accra on Monday, the spokesperson of the association, Dr Musa Isahaku Yamba, said it was incumbent that the government washed its hands off the Bawku Chieftaincy issues.

He cited for instance that within 12 hours after the enskinment of the Nayiri, the government issued a statement condemning the long-established customary process of enskinment of Bawku Naaba as illegal by alleging that Bawku already had a chief.

Dr Yamba recalled that on December 27, 2022, the government arrested 12 elders of the Overlord of Mamprugu who were unlawfully detained for two weeks without bail, just because they performed a traditional and customary funeral.

"The accused were bundled to Accra in a 'Rambo style' and were not arraigned within 48 hours as demanded by law. Lawyers for the accused had to complain before they got to see their clients and finally, the case was dismissed by the presiding judge for lack of any evidence against the accused when it was brought before the law courts," he added.

Dr Yamba said the government followed the statement with a bench warrant for the arrest of the Nayiri and his elders as well as the lawfully enskinned Bawku Naaba.

Then on February 19, this year, military entered Nalerigu at midnight attempting to effect the arrest of the King of Mamprugu and his lawfully enskinned Bawku Naaba.

The spokesperson recounted that the action of the government was resisted by the youth of Mamprugu where as a result, the arrest warrant was varied with the Nayiri and his elders expunged while that of the lawfully enskinned Bawku Naaba unlawfully remains.

He said "government's response to the Nayiri enskinment of the Bawku Naaba and Okyenhene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin enstoolment of the rival chief of Adoagyiri to support our case of the government double standards and biasedness in its response to chieftaincy disagreement between competing parties."

He said unlike the Nayiri's enskinment which saw serenity across the Kingdom with no immediate casualty, the Adoagyiri enstoolment led to the killing of two persons with several others sustaining varying degrees of injuries as was reported by the media outlets.

Dr Yamba said the silence of the government further raises question of whether the enstoolment on August 19, 2023 meant that the government now appreciate the fact that it was constitutionally barred from interfering in chieftaincy matters.

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