His Royal Majesty, the King of Ashanti, Otumfuor Osei Tutu ll, has admonished Ghana’s royalty, especially, chiefs of the Ashanti Kingdom, to refrain from active partisan politics, calling it a canker that takes away shine from the venerated Chieftaincy institution.
Otumfuor, who has been nicknamed, ‘King Solomon’ gave the admonishment during a meeting of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs.
“The chieftaincy institution is a very important one in this country, thus, its existence. It existed before Western democracy came to our shores but, I think, sometimes, we forget that we are chiefs and jump into the political fray and meddle with the politicians,” he said.
He added, “it will be problematic for chiefs to become like the politicians instead of being the institution the former rather should be running to in times of trouble for us to advise them and also serve as arbiters. As chiefs, each of us has a preferred political party but just don’t show your political colours.”
The admonishment is coming in the wake of open partisan campaign for President Akufo-Addo by the Okyenhene, Osagyefuor Amoatia Ofori-Panin.
Being the President’s hometown chief, the Okyenhene just last week hosted the President and declared that Akufo-Addo had the support of the whole of Okyeman to govern for another four years.
“Nana, Okyeman says continue!” the Okyenhene said at one function.
Many have said the open partisan campaigns by the Okyenehene for the sitting President, does not augur well for the sanctity of the Chieftaincy institution. Otumfuor Osei Tutu ll, the Overlord of Ashanti, points out that open partisan politicking by chiefs is against the law.
“Chiefs have the right to vote but the Constitution bars us from taking part in active politics or supporting one party against the other. This is because, as chiefs, we have subjects who belong to either side of the political divide in their jurisdictions. You are a chief for all of them and, so, you have to be neutral but when you get to the voting booth on election day, you are free to vote for whichever party you support”, Otumfuo said.
He added: “As chiefs, we work with the party in power for development and, so, we must all be cautious and guard against meddling in partisan politics so as to maintain the honour and dignity of the chieftaincy institution”.
This is not the first time Otumfour is speaking out against incest between politics and chieftaincy. A month ago, he admonished chiefs to stop running to the government for favors, saying such attitudes puts chieftaincy in disrepute.