The Omanhen of the Nsein Traditional Area in the Western Region, Awulae Agyefi Kwame II, has described as unfortunate the statement by the president of the National House of Chiefs that Nananom were in support of a ‘No’ vote in the upcoming referendum.
Awulae Kwame II, who is a pioneer member of the National House of Chiefs, stated that the position of Togbe Afede XIV as President of the National House Chiefs, made him an automatic member of the Council of State which counseled the President of the Republic of Ghana on important national issues such as the referendum.
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In a statement issued in Takoradi, Awulae Kwame II, indicated that the president of the National House of Chiefs was not an executive president of the House but an elected president and was, therefore, not clothed with the power to think exclusively for Nananom.
He said for the president of the National House of Chiefs to have issued the statement without the due process of allowing the Regional Houses of Chiefs to deliberate on the upcoming referendum and stating the purported position of Nananom was improper.
The Nsein Omanhen explained that with the establishment of the National House of Chiefs, every issue that came before Nananom had to be discussed at the regional level before deliberation.
He said every region was given two weeks to deliberate on any referred issue and if a Regional House of Chiefs did not offer its suggestion within the two week period, it was deemed that the said House was not interested in the issue.
In respect of the referendum, Awulae Kwame II noted that the National House of Chiefs did not notify the Regional Houses of chiefs to enable them to deliberate on the issue, only for the president of the National House of Chiefs to come up with the statement as if enough consultations were done.
He in this regard stressed that, after broader consultations, members of the Regional Houses of Chiefs expected the National House of Chiefs to come out with a statement on the issue.
The President of the National House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede XIV, and his vice, Daasebre Nana Kweku Ewusi VII, issued a statement last Friday aligning the House with the proponents of a ‘No’ vote.
The statement made reference to a memorandum by the Legal Committee of the House, which it claimed, recommended that chiefs should “strongly object to the proposal that membership of local assemblies should exclusively comprise representatives of political parties, as in the case of Parliament”.
But Governance Committee Chairman of the National House of Chiefs, Nana Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, questioned the statement by Togbe Afede and his vice and said “it is never true” that the House met on the issue.
The President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, also asked Ghanaians to vote ‘Yes’ in the referendum to pave the way for the amendment of the 1992 Constitution to enable political parties to sponsor candidates for local level elections.