Minister-designate offers solution to 300 unresolved chieftaincy disputes
The Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs has a total of 300 unsettled chieftaincy disagreements.
Chieftaincy disputes normally arise when the process of making a chief is not followed giving a cause for people to challenge the legitimacy of rulers.
Some of the disputes in the past have resulted in the loss of lives and destruction of property, notable was the death of Yaa-Naa Yakubu II in 2002.
Taking his turn at the Appointments Committee in Parliament, Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Minister-Designate Ebenezer Kojo Kum was hopeful of dealing with the issues, with digitisation as one solution.
He said his predecessor inherited 325 chieftaincy disputes and resolved 270.
However, “Currently, there are 300 chieftaincy disputes that are pending”.
Creation of DNA database
The nominee is confident of introducing a DNA genealogy database that will help in tracing legitimate successors to the thrones of various traditional authorities.
The National House of Chiefs has begun the processing of documentation and this is meant to modernise and enhance the records.
“I intend to collaborate with them on another level to, if possible, introduce a DNA genealogy database that will complement what is already being used,” he said on Friday, February 26, 2021.
“Currently, you have to trace your family tree to find who has a legitimate right to occupy a stool or skin. With this kind of collaboration, there can be some certainty as to which individuals are eligible to contest some of these stools and skins as and when they become vacant”.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has hinted at plans to increase the number of judicial committees and regional house sittings to expedite the resolution of such disputes.
Chieftaincy in Ghana
Ghana has over 100 ethnic groups and most areas have a hierarchy of chiefs ranging from the local chief and the district paramount chief to monarchs such as the Asantehene Osei Tutu II or the Overlord of Dagbon Ya Na Abukari Mahama II.
Paramount chiefs, who are top of the hierarchy are estimated to be about 200.
The National House of Chiefs has been created to unite all traditional rulers in Ghana.
It has about 50 members representing various traditional areas across the 16 regions of the country.
According to a West Africa report of 24-30 June 1991, Ghana composed of some 32,000 chiefs as of 1991.
This figure is likely to have tripled as many areas have gained the status of paramountcies with new chiefs being elected to rule particular jurisdictions and new settlements.