The Volta Regional House of Chiefs has taken a swipe at the incessant postponement of the President Atta Mills’ tour of the region which, according to them, is an affront to the chiefs and people of the region.
According to the chiefs, the postponements and conflicting information about the visit had distorted their activities and arrangements of meetings at the House.
The chiefs condemned the president’s protocol, political heads in the region and the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) for disrespecting and disregarding their sovereignty and authority as traditional leaders.
The chiefs made the statements at the second general meeting of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs in Ho. The annoyance of the chiefs comes in the wake of the latest postponement of the president’s tour in the region. This is the third time his visit has been postponed.
Information on his visit was not clear and personnel at the VRCC and some political heads could not give any concrete information about the tour. The President of the House, Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede, commended his colleagues for making such bold statements.
According to the chiefs, they were informed to prepare for the President’s 2-day visit two days ago, Tuesday 26th of July, 2011.
However, at the 11th hour, they were told that the visit had been called off and postponed indefinitely.
The chiefs, who did not hide their displeasure, were more infuriated at the manner in which the change in arrangements was relayed to them. According to them, apart from the last minute change in plans, no letter or tangible reason was given to them on why the president’s tour could not come off.
They added that no apology had been made to them for the inconvenience created.
The Vice President of the House, Togbe Soglo Aloh, Fiaga of Likpe Traditional Area, expressed dissatisfaction at how politicians and public servants treated chiefs in the region. According to him, since the beginning of the term of the current government, the president’s visits in the region had always been postponed, regardless of the plans and schedules of chiefs in the region.
The Paramount Chief of Avatime, Osie Adzatekpor, noted that though the chiefs in the region were ill-treated by public servants and politicians, some chiefs in the region must also be blamed, alleging that some of them had made themselves ‘yes’ men of politicians.
Togbe Tepre Hodo, Fiaga of Anfoega Traditional Area, also noted that “enough was enough”, adding that the VRCC and whoever was involved in such disrespectful acts against the chiefs should be given a strong warning by presenting a strongly-worded letter to them. He said, “Chieftaincy is an indispensable institution and that it was uncalled for, for the presidency and the VRCC to treat them with such levity.”
He noted that even though the president was described as humble and respectful, his subjects were the opposite and that all such people have to be cut off to avoid future occurrences. He called on the house not to be timid but instead “hit hard and crack the whip as hard as we can for the government to take us serious”.
The Krachiwura, Nana Mpra Besemuna, cautioned the VRCC, political heads and the Presidency to check their facts and plans properly before they made such information available to the chiefs. He said, “If they are not certain about when the president will come, they should hold their peace and save us the embarrassments before our subjects.”
Nana Besemuna noted that the chieftaincy institution was based on trust and love and not votes and so chiefs could not be like politicians who changed their statements indiscriminately and made unreasonable promises for the sake of power. He asked the house to ensure that the petition was written in a language that would reflect the gravity of their displeasure.
“No civil servant English. Let’s couch the language in the spirit with which we are talking now and let us not be charitable with the attitude of the VRCC,” he noted.
The Fiaga of Ziavi, Togbe Korku Ayim, opted for a better option as he suggested that the VRCC be openly castigated to deter the occurrence of similar occurrence.
The Fiaga of Gbi Traditional Area, Togbega Gabusu, in expressing his displeasure, noted that he was not surprised at the turn of events, referring to an Akan expression that says “Yateaaaa abre!!!”
He said the NDC government and for that matter politicians had on many occasions showcased such attitudes and the only thing that was said to rectify the situation was, “We are sorry. It will not happen again”, yet the same actions were repeated with ease.
He cited the first visit of the president when he first took office as an example. He said chiefs in the region were made to stand in the sun without seats and canopies during the visit, and all they got was “we are sorry it will not happen again”.
Meanwhile, the president has been touring some flood affected areas in the southern part of the region to sympathize with victims and give them some relief items.
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