President of the National House of Chiefs, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II, has lamented the abysmal resources given the House to run its affairs, particularly in dealing with chieftaincy issues.
According to him, challenges when it comes to chieftaincy stems from the inability of the House to aptly address them when they crop up. He revealed that chieftaincy issues in many instances, have been relegated to the background, although it is a critical area in governance.
“If you want local governance properly, it’s all about the chiefs – every village, a chief is there. But one may ask why we do have so many chieftaincy problems.
“The National House of chiefs and others are not well-resourced to handle chieftaincy issues. Chieftaincy is treated as if we are secondary school teachers, so when they want to send money, it’s per head. Before they organize meetings, they know that we are 80 at the national House of chiefs, so they send money according to our number.”Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II
Furthermore, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II equally bemoaned the woeful allowances given to chiefs during their meetings. He indicated that the monies do not generally cover the expenses of each chief.
“I tell you as President of the national House of chiefs my sitting allowance is GHC300, my hotel accommodation is GHC300 – so ask about the other members what amount they are given. And you give me GHC300 when a chief doesn’t also travel alone – I have a driver and maybe a servant. So, I have to look for a hotel for them and feed them. The other one is that we need funds to handle the judicial cases… We have about five judicial committees, and they are prepared to work throughout the year, but the vote is so small…”Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II
Fighting illegal mining
Another challenge the President of the national House of Chiefs touched on was the lack of councils in some regions in the country. He noted that this is important because councils must be recruited by government and posted to the various regional houses of chiefs to oversee matters of concern.
“My own region – Western North, we don’t have one, Bono East and others don’t have one. The national House of chiefs is an appealing body, where all cases go on appeal – we have only one lawyer and we have made several requests, to the extent that at a certain point when I took over, I even requested that we are given laptops so that some of meeting, because our sitting allowances is GHC300, why don’t we sit in the comfort of our palaces and have the discussion… I started this thing more than four years ago, it hasn’t worked.”Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II
To address the issue, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II emphasized that although there are a number of chieftaincy issues, if the House has the requisite funding and resources, it’ll be able to dispose of them in no time.
Meanwhile, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II expressed his resolve to address the menace of illegal mining in his area. He noted that despite the brazen disregard of measures by illegal miners to curb the menace, he remains adamant in dealing with them.
“Illegal miners are causing trouble – they are there, and I will continue to fight them. Somewhere two years ago, in my area, I even bragged that we don’t have galamseyers there. Unfortunately, they’ve started, I don’t know whether elections are close by, but I’ve been fighting them. Just this week, I sent a team there, they have come back with a report, and I have a copy, so we are going to deal with them.”Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II
Citing reasons for the rife nature of illegal mining in the country, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II stated that unemployment, is the fundamental reason why the youth go into galamsey. However, he stated that some “big persons” and in some cases, “Nananom” are also involved.
“Nananom are not part of the regulatory regime, so all that we can do is to draw the attention of the police. Sometimes, when you draw their attention, they also tell you they don’t have logistics… I have several chiefs under me and sometimes I tell them if this thing goes on in your area, I will hold you responsible…”Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II