The President of the National House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede XIV, has said it is worrying for Chiefs to endorse presidential candidates who visit their towns on a campaign tour.
According to Togbe Afede XIV, he always reminds the Chiefs of the constitutional injunction to not participate in partisan politics.
Speaking to an Accra-based TV station on Monday, Togbe Afede XIV, the Agbogbomefia of the Traditional Asogli State, said “As chiefs, we are just like any other citizen affected by what goes on and so we have the right to comment on issues…so we can do that without necessarily taking a partisan position. Even though when you comment on issues it seems to favour a particular party’s stand which makes it seem like you are supporting the other.”
Togbe Afede XIV said that in his capacity as a Chief and current President of the National House of Chiefs, he has not been happy about the development.
He further warned that the various political parties should advocate for the neutrality of traditional rulers and not rejoice when a Chief endorses them but complain when another Chief endorses other political parties.
Togbe Afede XIV further indicated that the attitude of some of his colleague Chiefs undermines the chieftaincy institution.
He explained that when Chiefs speak they are seen to be focusing on the truth, but once there is a partisan approach to it, “anything you say can be looked at through political lenses” and it defeats the relevance of the speech.
“Going forward, the National House of Chiefs must be very proactive in promoting this part of the Constitution. If need be, we can publicly sanction Chiefs who go foul of the [Constitutional] provision because you are effectively bringing the whole chieftaincy institution into disrepute,” Togbe Afede XIV said.
Some Chiefs have openly declared support for presidential candidates of some political parties ahead of the December 7 elections.
The culprits include Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II, the Paramount Chief of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area who endorsed President Akufo-Addo; and Nana Owusu Kontoh II, Omanhene of Mehame Traditional Area who also endorsed John Mahama.
The Omanhene of Dormaa Traditional Area in the Bono Region, also very recently endorsed the return of John Mahama as President of the Republic of Ghana.