More Chieftaincy Confusion in Wa
2007-01-22 22:02:27This article has been read 992 times.Three of the four royal gates to the Wa skin have said they would never recognize Mr. Fuseini Seidu Pelpuo as chief of Wa and called on the Upper West Region and Wa Municipal Security committees to cooperate with the elders and kingmakers to amicably resolve the chieftaincy crisis in the town.
They assured the government and the public that they would never take arms to fight with anyone since fighting would not solve the problem but they would ensure that the right thing is done to ensure peace.
Gbeture-Naa Alhaji Issah Bukari, head of the princes of the Wala Traditional Area, gave the assurance at a news conference at Wa last weekend to explain the chieftaincy dispute at Wa following an announcement that a faction in the dispute had nominated Mr Pelpuo as chief of Wa.
Mr. Pelpuo, a former employee of the defunct Omnibus Services Authority, is the senior brother of Mr. Rashid Pelpuo, MP for Wa Central.
He said the chiefs and elders of the Jonnyuosi, Najeri and Yijisi royal clans, kingmakers of Wa together with the Foroko, who has the responsibility of crowning any elected Wa Naa, were not party to the purported nomination of Mr. Pelpuo.
Naa Bukari said the Tendaana (land guardian) of Wa, Mr. Mahama Bayon, has no authority under Wala customs and practice to convene a meeting to elect or install any Wa Naa.
Producing documents from the Supreme Court and the National Archives to support his claim, he said only the "Nabikpon" or head of the princes was vested with the power to convene a meeting to elect a chief and such a meeting was always chaired by the Busa Naa or regent of Busa.
He said when he was informed that the Tendaana and one Alhaji Mogtare (Yare Naa) were about to convene a meeting with the purpose of nominating a Wa Naa, he wrote to the Chairman of the Municipal Security Committee, clearly stating their position but the letter was ignored.
Instead, he said, the Chairman of the Committee, who is also the Municipal Chief Executive, allowed the meeting to go ahead and to their surprise, heavily armed police and military personnel were deployed at the venue to give security cover while the ceremony went ahead.
He accused the Tendaana of being mischievous by condoning with others to change the rules to suit selfish interests
"Wa chieftaincy was founded by our grand father in the mid 17th Century. Our traditions and practices have come a long way. We should be careful when dealing with traditional matters".
Naa Bukari declared the nomination of Mr. Pelpuo null and void and therefore not binding on the people of the Wala Traditional Area.
Naa Bukari maintained that at an earlier meeting of kingmakers on December 4 last year, Kuntulo Naa Issah Seidu was elected as the new Wa Naa to succeed Naa Seidu Yakubu Seidu Soale II.
However, he said, the administrative authorities in the region refused to accept the validity of that election because the Nakpaaha, which is the fourth gate to the throne and the Tendaana, refused to attend the meeting because they knew they would be supported to impose their will on the people of the area.
After the death of Naa Soale II in September last year, the kingmakers fixed December 4 for the election of a new chief but at the last minute, the police refused to grant them a permit and cordoned off the Nayiri, which is the chief's section of the town, with armed military and police personnel.
The Nakpaaha and the Tendaana refused an invitation to attend the meeting but the other five kingmakers met indoors and went ahead to elect Kuntulo Naa Issah Seidu as the new Wa Naa
He was to have been inaugurated on January 27.
Land and chieftaincy disputes threaten security in UWR Mr. George Anko-Bil, Upper West Regional Police Commander has stated that land and chieftaincy disputes posed serious security threats to major towns and villages in the region.
He said apart from the Wa, Charia, Funsi, Nadowli, Wellembelle, Lawra and Nandom chieftaincy problems that the police were grappling with, land cases in Wa, Charia, Piisi/Konfabiala and Bulenga/Kporlegoh were also time bombs that could explode with the least provocation.
Speaking at the annual end of year WASSA of the Regional Police Command, Mr. Anko-Bil appealed to the Regional Security Council to urgently employ workable measures to prevent such precarious situations from getting out of hand in the region.
He said although such disputes had not developed into fatal casualties yet, the inherent politicisation of chieftaincy and land issues had rendered the place ungovernable because law enforcement agencies were finding it difficult to implement laid down rules for peace and progress.
Mr. Anko-Bil also appealed to politicians and the elite in the region to preach peace and progress to the people instead of resorting to divisive tendencies that retarded progress and development.
The Regional Commander said although the region had adequate staff, there were not enough residential accommodation for them and called on various District Assemblies to consider supporting them to discharge their duties efficiently.
He appealed to the government to help the regional command acquire land to construct a training depot and a regional police quarters. He also called for adequate resources for the two divisional headquarters at Lawra and Tumu.
Mr. Ambrose Dery, Upper West Regional Minister, pledged government’s continued support to the Police Service to strengthen its fight against crime and general disorder in the region.
He said as Ghana celebrates its 50th Independence anniversary, the Police is expected to exhibit a high level of decorum in the discharge of their duties, while not compromising their stand on sensitive issues in the region.
"The Police in the region have over the years exhibited professionalism and I do believe that such professionalism will be replicated this year to help us move ahead in development," Mr. Dery said.