The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, says one of his priorities which he hopes to implement when voted for as flag bearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and subsequently, as President of the land, will be to change the Local Governance system.
The Nadowli/Kaleo legislator aims to include chiefs, religious and some opinion leaders into the local governance structure, believing that will make Ghana a better place than what the citizenry are experiencing now.
The chiefs, religious leaders and opinion leaders, he noted, have been in charge of the country’s local governance system prior to the colonial days but have been sidelined and therefore do not have a say in the way their communities should be developed anymore.
The situation, he emphasized, must change to make room for chiefs who are the main custodians of the land and the religious and opinion leaders to have a say in the way development should take place at the local level.
Addressing the Chiefs and elders of Nkwanta in the Volta Region last week Tuesday, August 14, 2018, Hon. Bagbin said the country has suffered a lot in terms of development following the neglect of chiefs and religious and opinion leaders in the local governance system of the land.
“We work together. The Chiefs are in charge of all us. There is a system we are practicing we need to change. Ghana needs to change in order to do better and NDC needs to change in order to win and continues to win elections. I will tell you why. We have a system they call Local Governance and that system is together with Rural Development. So, there is a Ministry – Local Government and Rural Development. But the people who are in charge of local governance are not playing active role in that local system of governance, true or false? What role does Chiefs play at the District Assembly? What role does Chief Imams play at the District Assembly? So, you see there is something wrong with that system.
To be able to get local governance doing well in Ghana the leaders of the people at the local level must play active role in that local governance system. You are the people that can lead to tell the government that this is what we want in Nkwanta. It is not for the politicians or a political leader who may be living in New York to be a DCE and then decide what the people of Nkwanta need”.
“One of the things I intend doing giving the opportunity as the President of this country is to change the local governance system and give a better role for the traditional leaders – the Chiefs, the Chief Imams and the rest to play an active role in the local governance of the country”, he noted.
The views expressed by the longest-serving Member of Parliament (MP) seems to be a concern of the country’s traditional leaders.
The Overlord of the Asante Kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, espoused similar sentiments when addressing a grand durbar at the 75th anniversary of the late Chief of Abuakwa State, Amantiremanmienu Nana Ofori Atta, at Abuakwa, on Thursday, August 23, 2018.
The Asantehene proposed a constitutional amendment to the 1992 Constitution to give the Chieftaincy Institution a more pronounced role in the political space of the country.
He said the Constitution of the land in its present form has more provisions that conform to European Standards compared to Ghana’s traditional norms.