Chiefs Urged to Refrain from Partisan Politics

Naa Puoure Puobe Chiir VII, Paramount Chief of the Nandom Traditional Area, has called on all chiefs in the country to refrain from participating in partisan politics so as to safeguard the integrity of the chieftaincy institution. He said bestowing the title chief on any person was "big and enviable" enough for that person to be content with. He therefore urged chiefs not to spoil the name of the institution by engaging themselves in partisan politics. The Nandom Naa was addressing chiefs and people of Nandom Traditional Area at this year's "Kakube" festival on Sunday. "Kakube" is an agricultural festival organised by the people at the end of every farming season to thank their ancestors for a bumper harvest. With regards to the debate as to whether chiefs should be allowed to take part in active party politics, Naa Chiir disagreed with those advocating for that but opted for the creation of an upper chamber in parliament for traditional authorities, especially members of the National House of Chiefs. He also suggested that 30 per cent of the seats in the various district assemblies should be allocated to traditional authorities alone. Naa Chiir appealed to the government to consider creating a constituency or district for the Nandom Traditional Area to enhance development while efforts were also being made to construct the Kamba Irrigation Project to enable the people to do farming throughout the year. The project would also help stem migration of the youth to the south in search of non-existing jobs. He reminded the people the traditional laws prohibiting bush burning, the impoundment of stray animals and "all children must go to school" were still binding and any person violating them would be sanctioned. Mr. Mahmud Khalid, Upper West Regional Minister, said it was the intention of government to modernize agriculture to help address general deprivation of the north. He urged the people to organise themselves properly to take advantage of the initiatives that would be unveiled to boost crop and livestock production. He said the government would undertake road infrastructural development to support agriculture, provide more water facilities and extend electricity to rural areas to enhance the livelihoods of the people. Mr. Khalid urged the people to use the festival to foster unity and peace and pool resources to help government's development efforts.