No More Disputes; Chiefs Declare

Chiefs of Akyem Kotoku Traditional Council in the Eastern region have expressed their disquiet about the increasing rate of chieftaincy disputes in the traditional area, affirming that chieftaincy disputes were hampering the security and development of the region. “We are sick and tired of chieftaincy disputes which are dividing us in the Akyem Kotoku Traditional Council. For some years now, we have not been able to hold our traditional council meetings just because the late President of the Council, Nana Obrepon Afum, took us to court after he was banned from coming to council meetings when he had an issue with the council. “…and how can we allow chieftaincy disputes to send our royalties to the Abuakwa Traditional Council just because we are fighting among ourselves over who should lead the chiefs in Akyem Kotoku Traditional Council,” the chiefs averred. According to the chiefs, protracted chieftaincy disputes in the Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area had prevented the chiefs from celebrating their various annual festivals. The worried chiefs said plans were far advanced to liaise with the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, Eastern Regional Security Council ERSC and Registrar of Akyem Traditional Council to come out with measures to settle such issues to foster unity in the region. They cited instances, where some developmental projects in the region had been abandoned as a result of their inability to come together as one people. The chiefs made these remarks when they spoke at a meeting held on Friday, January 16, 2015 at Ayirebi Chief Palace. The meeting—which was attended by police officers and national security officers—was used to discuss the issue of how to appoint a new president of the Akyem Kotoku Traditional Council due to the demise of the acting President of the Council, Nana Obrepon Afum. Significantly, the chiefs at the said meeting took a unanimous decision to hold its traditional council meeting in the first week of February 2015 despite a court injunction on the council not to do so. And at that intended meeting, the chiefs hinted they would appoint a new president for the Akyem Kotoku Traditional Council to represent the late Nana Obrepon Afum. Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of Akyem Kotoku Traditional Council, Nana Obrepon Agyekum II, assured of his outfit’s commitment and preparedness to work closely with the Registrar of Akyem Kotoku Traditional Council and the Eastern Regional Security Council to deal with the protracted chieftaincy dispute in the region. Nana Obrepon Agyekum II, however, underscored the need for amicable solutions to the problem. “It will be in the interest of all of us present here in this meeting to ensure that peace and unity prevail in Akyem Kotoku land,” Nana Obrepon Agyekum II told the chiefs. He indicated that in order to adopt preventive measures, the Akyem Kotoku Traditional Council would intensify its collaboration with all stakeholders, particularly the National Peace Council, and religious groups for effective implementation of laid down strategies to promote peace in the region. He expressed that the council’s desire accelerate the pace of development in the region would continue to be a mirage “if we allow these needless violent conflicts to linger on.” To this end, he warned all trouble makers (referring to the feuding chiefs and their subjects) in the region to desist from fomenting trouble since the council would deal ruthlessly with them. He also urged the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to liaise with chiefs and other relevant stakeholders to deal with early warning signals.