The immediate past president of the Bono Ahafo Regional House of chiefs, Osahene Kwaku Aterkyi II has advised colleague chiefs to desist from publicly declaring support for political figures. His comments follow recent debates over the participation of chiefs and traditional leaders in active politics considering the provision of Article 276 Clause 1 of the 1992 constitution which states that, “A chief shall not take part in active party politics; and any chief wishing to do so and seeking election to Parliament shall abdicate his stool or skin”. The chief of Kukurantumi is reported to have declared a fifty percent vote for President Mahama come 2016. A similar assurance has also come from the chief of Sunyani, Nana Bosoma Asor Nkrawiri who stated that the people of the Brong Ahafo region will give the President 80 percent of the total votes. But the comments have since been met with mixed reactions from sections of the public. Speaking to Citi News, Osahene Kwaku Aterkyi maintained that the comments from the chiefs are paramount, hence the need to recede from such issues. “My advice to them is to be silent and try to work with any government that comes into power. They may commend the government for whatever development that it brings to their communities…the preferred candidate to vote for is an individual decision, the rule of law is supreme,” he said.
Meanwhile the Faitse of Sakumotso shishi, Nii Ayaa Koto Fai III, disagrees. According to him, the right for chiefs to vote will ultimately make them have preference for one candidate over the other. “Those against this do not know the implication of their arguments, so far as they (chiefs) are allowed to vote, it means they have a choice. The choice is the party the chiefs have. If they really want chiefs to avoid taking part in active politics, then they should be equally exempted from voting,”he stated. In a related development, the Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party(NPP), Nana Obiri Boahen, has dismissed the comments suggesting that President Mahama will secure 80 percent of votes cast in the Brong Ahafo region in next year’s general elections. His basis is that the NDC has over the years performed poorly in terms of winning votes within the region. Some residents in Sunyani have also described as unfortunate, Nana Nkrawiri’s promise to President Mahama.
Source – Citifm