Gov’t surrogates take over National House of Chiefs

Persons considered surrogates of the Akufo-Addo government, have taken over the National House of Chiefs, ousting Togbe Afede XIV and Vice-President, Daasebre Kwebu Ewusi VII.

While the Paramount Chief of Sefwi Anhwiaso Traditional Area, Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, who had played the role of a rebel in the House in recent past, defeated the incumbent Togbe Afede XIV, to become the next President of the House, the Paramount Chief of Lawra Traditional Area, Naa Puowele Karbo III, also defeated, Daasebre Kwebu Ewusi VII.

Not too long ago, some chiefs were given cars by the Akufo-Addo government, which got some of the traditional rulers very excited and highly appreciative of government.

It is, however, unclear if these gifts got to all the chiefs or just some of them and whether or not the gifts influenced the voting pattern in the revered institution.

Seventy-year-old Ogyeahohoo Gyebi II, who is also the President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, polled 47 out of the 72 total valid votes cast, while Togbe Afede XIV, had 25.

The interesting part is that last year, he was removed as the chairman of the Governance and Development Committee of the House, following the allegation that, he went public with information disagreeing with the House about its decision against the referendum to make the district assembly elections partisan or not.

Naa Puowele Karbo III, polled 44 out of the 72 total valid votes cast, while the incumbent Vice-President, had 28. In all, 72 chiefs voted in the elections.

Togbe Afede, it would be recalled announced the removal of Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, after he went public again to criticize a unanimous decision taken by the House.

The House had in December last year, issued a statement on why partisan politics should be rejected at the local level elections, but Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, came out to disagree with the House.

In a statement signed jointly by Togbe Afede and Daasebre Nana Kwebu Ewusi VII, President and Vice President respectively, the National House of chiefs, said “the proposed referendum to allow partisan politics in our local elections was thoroughly discussed at the National House of Chiefs, both by the Standing Committee and the General Committee”.

But the now elected President of the National House of Chiefs, claimed the House at its meeting did not adopt a “no vote” campaign at any level of its structure against that botched referendum on local level elections.

The Omanhene of the Sefwi Anhwianso Traditional Area, in an interview with the Accra-based Kasapa FM at the time, cautioned against the House being turned into a pressure group.

According to Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, such development will adversely affect the integrity of the revered institution which is playing a key role in national development.

Recounting the processes that led to the issuance of a statement by the National House of Chiefs (NHC) on why partisan politics should be rejected at local level elections and the subsequent public pronouncements by Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, the Agbogbomefia Togbe Afede XIV, said the reactions by Ogyeahohor Yaw Gyebi, was unfortunate, misleading and mostly untrue.

Togbe Afede, who was speaking at the final meeting of the House for the year in Kumasi on Thursday [December 12, 2019], said following thorough discussions on the matter by members, it was referred to the Governance and Development Committee of which Ogyeahoho Gyebi was the chairman.

Indeed, according to Togbe Afede, the matter was referred to the committee on two occasions, therefore, it will be wrong for Ogyeahohor Gyebi to say he knew nothing about it and members were not consulted.

The House subsequently, removed Ogyeahohoo Gyebi, as the Chair of the Governance and Development Committee with immediate effect, because according to Togbe Afede, it was the second time he had gone public to criticize a unanimous decision taken by the House.

But speaking to Kasapa News, Ogyeahohor Gyebi, stated that he was yet to be communicated to over his removal as he is only hearing the news in the media.

He warned that it should never be seen that the National House of Chiefs was being turned into a pressure group.

“I appeal to my fellow chiefs at the National House of Chiefs not to turn this institution into a pressure group. This is a noble institution that some of us have been pushing to be made a Second Chamber. It should never be seen as though we’re being used by a political party.”

Ogyeahohor Gyebi, added that he wouldn’t have left matter lying down, if he had attended the meeting.

“I respect the President of the National House of Chiefs just as other chiefs respect me. I’ve no issues with him, but if I were to be at that meeting where these claims were made, I would have made my voice heard. They shouldn’t think that because I’m cute in size, I’m not an easy nut to crack.

I’m a very strong person and will not allow my integrity to be impugned in any way. I always try to uphold the truth and that is exactly what I did when I spoke on that matter.”

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