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Ofori Panin playing highly risky game – Juaben Traditional Council continue fight against Okyehene

The New Juaben Traditional Council in yet another letter to the President of the National House of Chiefs, has asserted that the president of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin “is playing a highly risky game in a unilateral and needless restructuring of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs (ERHC).”

In a letter signed by its president, Daasebre Professor (Emeritus) Oti Boateng, the New Juaben Traditional Council stated that, “the ERHC has maintained the same membership of eleven (11) Paramount Chiefs for over half-a-century and has worked well under various Presidents of the House including his predecessor, Osagyefuo Kuntunkununku II.

The Okyenhene, as President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, is a public officer subject to public scrutiny and is expected to operate within the provisions of the Chieftaincy Act.

“He has a duty to explain to Ghanaians why at the tail end of his eight-year Presidency of the ERHC and in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic afflicting the world and the nation, he should find it necessary to saturate the membership with Divisional Chiefs which heavily tilts in his favour under the pretext of a restructuring. This is an unnecessary reconstitution since no triggers have emerged within the ERHC to merit this step,”part of their statement reads.

The Juaben Council add that the Okyenhene by his action has sidestepped the Chieftaincy act by allocating sixteen (16) Divisional Chiefs from his Paramountcy as new members in the proposed restructured House while allocating only between three (3) and seven (7) members to other paramountcies.

“This is a complete nonstarter; nothing calls for it. Curiously, the New Juaben Traditional Area, which includes the capital of the Eastern Region, Koforidua, was completely ignored with no allocation at all to the Paramountcy. Here again, we expect Okyenhene to provide the rationale for this unpardonable omission,” the council said.

Listing out what it said are the main contentions against the restructure, the Juaben Council said they have been completely excluded from the list of Divisional Chiefs submitted by the Ofori Opanin to the National House of Chiefs for their inclusion as new members of the Regional House of Chiefs, without any justification and has also failed to properly justify the restructuring at the tail end of his presidency and in the midst of a pandemic.

They add that the Okyenhene breached protocol by presenting a memorandum which does not represent the view of the full house as it was not brought to them for discussion but rather bypassed the regional house and was presented to the National House of Chiefs.

Again, the Juaben Council stated that the Okyenhene “does not have any mandate under the Chieftaincy Act to allocate sixteen Divisional Chiefs to himself whilst giving other Paramountcies a paltry three to seven slots in a deliberate attempt to tilt the balance of power in his favour with such skewed and asymmetrical allocation. This would seriously restrict and cripple the incoming President.”

According to the New Juaben Traditional Council, the rationalisation of the Okyenhene act by arguing that an increase in membership of the House will improve the quorum and the working of the House, is a fallacious argument since there are many innovative techniques which could be used to improve the working of the ERHC without necessarily tampering with the membership.

The Juaben Council further said an alleged last-minute attempt by the Okyenhene to include them in the restructured house remains inconsequential, since the whole exercise is exercise is prima facie, uncalled for, unjustified, unnecessary and is also likely to set a dangerous precedent for other chiefs with inordinate ambition to follow.

Copied from: Ghana web

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Copied from: Ghana web

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