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Kwesi Pratt Made Chief (PHOTO)   
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Outspoken critic and Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr. has been enskinned Yelvuhi Naa by the Gulkpe Naa in Tamale.

Yelvuhi Naa loosely translates into Chief of Freedom of Speech in Dagbani.

The Gulkpe Naa, Alhassan Abdulai, who conferred the title on Mr. Pratt on Sunday in the northern regional capital, is traditionally the representative of the Ya-Na in Tamale.

Mohammed Rashad, the Secretary to the Gulkpe Naa, told newsmen Mr. Pratt’s fearless criticism of authority and unflinching pursuit of the truth earned him the titled – the first ever. He said the senior journalist was in Tamale to participate in the Damba festival of the Dagombas but the chief thought it was proper to confer the title on him.

Mr. Rashad said the honour is meant to encourage Kwesi Pratt “to continue to speak the truth for Ghana. When he sees the truth, he shouldn’t paint it.”

Commenting on the conferment of the title on Mr. Pratt on Facebook, a Dagbon youth activist, Akbar Khomeini, said the Gulkpe Naa acted lawfully.

He said, “The Gulkpe Naa has the power to create chieftaincy titles under his jurisdiction and to enskin people as he pleases.”

“The exercise of that power by various chiefs in the Dagbon State,” Mr. Khomeini said, “has never been questioned and will never be questioned.”

He, however, expressed concern that Kwesi Pratt whose aversion for the chieftaincy institution is no secret and who has in the past called for it be abolished, was chosen by the chief for the honour.

“Kwesi Pratt has no regard for the Chieftaincy institution; on many occasions he has called for the scrapping of the institution; he believes strongly it is absolutely wrong to have chiefs under a Republican democratic dispensation,” Mr. Khomeini said.

But the Secretary to Gulkpe Naa disagreed.

Mr Rashad said Kwesi Pratt is entitled to his views about the chieftaincy institution – views he disagree with – but insisted those views do not necessarily disqualify him from being enskinned, Yelvuhi Naa.

He believes the decision was well-reasoned and proper.
Source: JFM/facebook

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