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Constitution Has Paralyzed Chiefs – Governance Expert

Governance expert Mr. Kwaku Owusu Antwi has asserted that Ghana’s 1992 constitution has incapacitated chiefs in the country. He argued that the constitutional framework has elevated political leaders, leaving chiefs with limited influence.

“Our chiefs are more or less paralyzed but we look up to them. Our laws have cut them off. So the MPs and DCEs have been empowered by the law. Chiefs have become some sacred institutions that we can’t benefit much from them like we are suppose to.”

In a panel discussion on Opemsuo Radio’s Nkwantannanso with Kofi Boakye on February 1, Mr. Antwi contended that democratic principles have stripped chiefs of their traditional powers.

Demoracy must fall because it will try to tailor to everyone. The poor will want the wealth of the rich, and democracy will give it to them. Young people will want to be respected as elderly and democracy will give it to them. Women will want to be like men and democracy will give it to them Foreigners will want the rights of the natives and democracy will give it to them. Thieves and fraudsters will want important government functions, and democracy will give it to them. And at that time, when thieves and fraudsters finally democratically take authority because criminals and evil doers want power, there will be worse dictatorship than in the time of any monarchy or oligarchy.

Socrates (470-399 B.C.)

He highlighted the relevance of Socrates’ warning in Ghana, particularly the aspect about foreigners being granted the rights of natives. He pointed to instances where Chinese nationals engage in environmentally damaging activities like galamsey under the guise of democratic processes.

“The Chinese come here and destroy the lands, but if you speak out against it, you face human rights issues. The lands belong to the chiefs, yet someone in Accra can authorize foreigners to engage in galamsey on these lands. Then, we turn around and blame the chiefs,” he lamented.

Mr. Antwi urged chiefs to rise against these challenges and advocate for their rights in the face of such encroachments.


Story by Adwoa S. Danso

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