Political Analyst Kwaku Owusu Antwi is calling on chiefs to actively voice their concerns against the actions of political leaders within their communities. While acknowledging the authority granted to political leaders by the constitution, he stressed the importance of chiefs speaking out, particularly concerning the development of their communities.
“Our chiefs are also quiet. Why have you left the communities in the hands of city officials? People are undisciplined, and government officials are only concerned about being called ‘honourables.’ We have created slums…”
Despite the constitutional limitations and the increased power of political leaders due to legal provisions, Antwi believes that chiefs still possess significant influence. Chiefs, according to him, have become sacred institutions, and the community is not benefiting from them as it should.
“A person to whom the land and everything on it supposedly belongs finds themselves without the authority to ensure community development. Monies are taken, and chiefs are left out.”
“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 in a panel discussion on Opemsuo Radio’s Nkwantannanso with Kofi Boakye on February 1.
Despite these constraints, Antwi is optimistic about the potential impact of chiefs, citing the example of the Mamponghene who resisted an order from the Lands Commission for a company to mine on his land.
He encourages other chiefs to follow the Mamponghene’s example and assert their influence in the interest of community development.
Story by Adwoa S. Danso