From Ernest Best Anane, Afari-Ashanti .
Nana Akua Afriyie, Queenmother of Atwima Fankyenebrah in the Ashanti Region has expressed worry over what she describes as the crippling effects of democracy on the chieftaincy institution.
The Queenmother noted that the practice of democracy had rendered chieftaincy toothless, because the authorities that make it a strong institution have been ineffective, in that the powers entrusted in the hands of chiefs to ensure development and equity amongst their people in the communities, have been relegated to the ground.
Speaking at the Annual Accountability Forum organised by the Ghana Anti- Corruption Coalition at Afari in the Atwima Nwabiagya Municipality, she lamented that chiefs are sidelined when it comes to initiating developmental projects in their communities, and that politicians embark on development projects without consulting nananom (chiefs).
According to her, politicians are focusing on elections, and to them it is the electorate that vote them to power and that they must deal with them directly, hence the emergence of the situation where community members always relax and wait for the politicians who promise them of development to come and fulfill their promises.
This development, she observed, had also killed the spirit of communal labour, resulting in disregard for the call by chiefs to communal labour for self-help projects
Nana Akua Afriyie, therefore, called on politicians to see chiefs as development partners to ensure the proper allocations of projects to facility proper development, noting that sidelining the traditional authorities in the delivery of developmental projects would promote shoddy work and adversely affect development.
The Queenmother noted that monitoring of projects by chiefs was effective, since politicians would not be effective in monitoring the projects.
Nana Akua Afriyie also noted that the involvement of chiefs in monitoring projects in their communities would avert corruption in their execution, and appealed to Metropolitan, Municipal and District chief executives (MMDCEs) and Members of Parliament to always collaborate with chiefs to enhance total development and value for money projects in their respective jurisdictions.
Mr. Peter Asuah, Municipal Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), also reminded the general public to report cases of abuse of their rights to life, dignity and liberty to the Commission.
He indicated that it was incumbent on every citizen to report any acts of corruption in society or the community and workplace to the Commission to help the fight against or eliminate all the corrupt practices to make the country a better place for everyone.
Mr. Twene K. Donkor, Municipal Planning Officer, stated that the assemblies prioritise the basic needs of the people in the communities, which, he said, is done in consultation with the people in the areas of education and health.
According to him, the assembly had embarked on a number of projects in the municipality, including six-unit classroom blocks at Amadu Adankwame, Nerebehe, Afari, Manhyia and Asakraka to help improve the standard of education in those communities.
Mr. Donkor disclosed that there was ongoing renovation of classrooms at Sepase and Nkawie Panin, supporting the School Feeding Programme, and tree planting in the municipality, while progress is ongoing on a Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compound with nurses quarters project at Asakraka, and maternity ward at Nkawie at the cost GH¢480,000, while Gh¢4,000 has been budgeted for HIV/AIDS programmes for the 2018 fiscal year.