Traditional Ruler’s Role, Critical Mechanism For Democratic Order-Asantehene

Traditional authority has been depicted as an important aspect needed for sustainability in the democratic order.

According to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the democratic system of governance in Africa depends on the culture of the people.
In a speech delivered at the Rose Theatre at the University of Memphis in Tennessee in the United States, he said “no system of governance will survive in Africa unless it is deeply rooted in and nourished by the culture of the people.”

Otumfuo stated that, in a tense environment as a result of democratic politics, chiefs have been positioned in a place where they serve as arbitrators playing the role of “fathers of the communities above the combative political space.”

“Positioned to play the role of arbiters in conflict situations.”

He went on further to state that, “chiefs have become the catalyst for economic development. Traditional authorities are vital not only in the acquisition of land for development but as facilitators and direct partners in the promotion of investment and private enterprise, especially in our rural communities.”

His Royal Majesty delivering on the theme “contemporary challenges in United States and Africa Relations” noted that despite the negatives connected to chieftaincy where chiefs are assumed as “divisive promoters of tribal conflicts” chieftaincy on the other hand has been recognized as the “indispensable support mechanism for the sustenance of the democratic order.”

Relatively, in the colonial era, the traditional rule had been acknowledged as an efficient and effective system of governance.
“Colonial rule in Africa had been carried out through a policy of indirect rule by which much of the local administration was left in the hands of traditional rulers,”

Traditional rule is also evident in the early formation of the Asante empire through the efforts of Osei Tutu I, integrating states as one.
To this day, the system used prevails, “the system of governance they created for the defense of the kingdom, the cultural norms, and systems of adjudication they set in trail have endured to this day.”
“This makes things clear that traditional authority is of great concern to the Asantes”.

With regards to the pandemic, Otumfuo commended the pandemic vaccination pioneers who within a limited time produced vaccination to manage the worst pandemic in history.
“The world is just emerging from the worst pandemic in history and we have one thing to thank for the rescue, it is vaccination. It is vaccination which is giving the protection from COVID virus, it is vaccination that has saved and protected the world from previous viruses. We are boundless in our gratitude to the scientist who pioneered the use of vaccines and particularly those who in the face of COVID produced the vaccines in such record time.”

In addition, he acknowledged the pre-colonial health methods applied by the locals in the ancient times, ‘what no one has acknowledged or articulated is that long before the scientists discovered vaccination, our people were using simple incisions to apply herbs to boost the immunity of our people against various diseases.”

Source: Monica M. Appiah-Manu

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