The Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Kofi Dzamesi, has assured the National House of Chiefs of the government’s plans to pay all gazetted Chiefs in the country allowances before the end of the first term of the Nana Akufo-Addo led administration.
Speaking at the general meeting of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs in Koforidua, Mr Kofi Dzamesi pleaded with the Chiefs to give the government time as to address their challenges.
“I must say that the enormous role that chiefs and Queen Mothers’ play in the society can never be undermined or go unnoticed by the NPP government. You are role models and agents of change and you also contribute to the socio-economic development of this nation and for that the government recognizes all your efforts.”
“This year we have managed to increase allowances for Paramount Chiefs and Queen Mothers’. It is the vision of His Excellency the President that as we move forward by the end of the first 4 years in office every single gazetted Chief will be paid some allowance to help in discharging their duties but this is tied to conflict resolution,” he said.
Kofi Dzamesi also promised to change the vehicles of all the 10 Regional Presidents of the House of Chiefs and their deputies.
“with the issue of your vehicles I have personally written a letter to the Chief of staff on behalf of the National House of Chiefs to get a number of 4 wheel drives as operational vehicles for the Chiefs and with this you will use it for your work and when you no longer occupy that position you leave it behind for your successors to take charge and I pray and am hopeful that you will soon get them.”
“With the issue of stool lands, I hope you will take up that issue because I personally believe that stool lands should be under the outfit of Ministry of Chieftaincy so that the ministry of lands will give us technical support”
He, however, called for a collaborative effort with central government to end the galamsey menace in the country.
“I want to draw the attention of the house to two critical issues which are very dear to the heart of the President and they are the galamsey menace and litigation. These two issues are deeply affecting every facet of the state and the effects are devastating and it will take a huge chunk of state resources to resolve but you are well placed to put an end to them. You control the land and you are equally involved in solving matters that bothers on chieftaincy issues so I plead with you to join the efforts of Operation Vanguard, support them and let us win the fight against illegal mining in the country to protect the environment and our water bodies,” he said.
He then hinted on an upcoming program to involve the Queen Mothers in the galamsey fight.
“Very soon a new program is going to be rolled out which will involve our Queen Mother’s because we have realized that women also play an integral role in galamsey being that they are those who cook and send food to the galamsey operators in the bush, some women even go the extent to fetch water for the use of washing the sand from the gold so we will engage them to talk to those women”
On his part, the President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs Okyehene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panyin II asked for traditional leaders participation in governance.
“We want to be included in governance to share ideas so our areas will be developed. We want to really compliment central government because development can only happen when it is in the hands of the local people, local people should own their development and it should not be something that should be brought to us from Accra that is why we want to actively participate in governance”