Togbe Afede and tribal politics
Festivals play a very important role in the socio-economic development of the nation. It is the main rallying point for members of the various traditional areas. The Asogli Traditional Area in the Volta Region celebrated its yam festival at Ho at the week-end. The Chronicle salutes the chiefs and people for sustaining the Yam festival all this long.
In his welcome address, Togbe Afede XIV, Paramount Chief of the Asolgi Traditional Area, touched on a point that should interest most of the people of this country. In the view of Togbe Afede, the level of poverty and disputes in Africa could be blamed on bad leadership.
He was quoted by state-run Ghanaian Times as saying that African leaders have helped to play up the tribal and other differences among their people, rather than uniting them for developement, which is a valid observation.
He asked traditional leaders to be selfless and contribute to national development, and was unhappy with the sale of community lands by chiefs who employ the resources of the various traditional areas for their personal use.
Togbe Afede was not happy with the situation where the youth of the country “believe that the surest way to acquire wealth is through politics.”
The Chronicle cannot agree with Togbe the more. Politics has been made to look so lucrative by succeeding administrations in this country that most of our youth, who should help in the development of the economy, are congregating around politics. There are good professionals from medicine, science and the humanities all entering politics instead of practicing their various professions.
The political arena, where boys and girls, some whom have never worked before, but are showing signs of ostentatious living the moment they are appointed to political office, is enticing the few professionals away from their callings.
Togbe’s pronouncement on politicians fanning tribal sentiments is also spot-on. Since the advent of the Fourth Republic with the National Democratic Congress-New Patriotic Party dichotomy, the tribal card has not ceased to be part of our national political discourse.
Unfortunately, our chiefs have played no mean roles in dividing the nation along tribal and political lines. The Chronicle recalls with a tinge of sadness the statement attributed to Togbe Afede himself, on the advent of the NDC regime of Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, that he and his subjects were made to look like orphans during the NPP regime of former President John Agyekum Kufuor. Incidentally, Togbe Afede was a Board Member at the Bank of Ghana at the time.
Officials of the Kufuor regime were also busily aiding Togbe Afede to implement his Asogli Power Project.
Since the coming to power of the NDC, Togbe Afede and his traditional authority have offered all assistance to the NDC, even when the ruling party was performing abysmally. Quite recently, members of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs were falling over themselves to try and unite the NDC.
There is no record of Togbe Afede or any member of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs extending such courtesies to the NPP. Sad to state that the notion out there is that Togbe and his traditional chiefs in the Volta Region are pro-NDC, when the official version is that chiefs are not supposed to dabble in politics. Togbe and his chiefs have a role to stop the blatant tribal politics gaining root in Ghana.
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