Chieftancy conflicts, disputes: Govt tackles 505 cases nationwide… 139 are burden on national security finances

It has emerged that 505 chieftaincy disputes and conflicts are scattered across the country.

The Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, who disclosed this, said the disputes were as a result of land litigation, contest for traditional power and in some cases, political interferences.

Speaking to the Ghanaian Times in an interview in Accra on Wednesday, he noted that about 139 of those disputes had become an albatross on the country’s security finances.

Expressing concern about the growing menace, he said currently 70 per cent of all issues being handled by the Ministry of National Security were all chieftaincy disputes and conflicts.

He explained that the disputes and conflicts were a threat to the country’s burgeoning democracy, peace and stability.

Mr Asamoah-Boateng noted that as part of efforts to tackle the menace, the Ministry has identified about 60 of the disputes which could be immediately resolved, adding that the others had been categorised under the long-term plan and activities.

“We have identified about 60 disputes which we believe can be resolved by the first quarter of next year. We are taking the necessary measures to ensure that the issues at those areas are amicably resolved for peace and prosperity to prevail,” he stated.

To resolve all the disputes and tackle emerging ones, he said the Ministry was currently undertaking the codification of all stools and skins and developing succession plans.

He noted that the codification would involve the documentation of all identified successors, lineages and claimants of a particular stool or skin so that the right succession plan could be developed.

The Minister said the exercise was being done through extensive consultation with the relevant families and community leaders with the support of research conducted by the Ministry.

“The codification will identify who succeeds who and the lineages that will inherit a particular stool or skin. The codification document will be updated regularly to ensure the register is effective in what it does.

“The Ministry will investigate the claims and conduct its own research to enable the development of a proper succession plan. We will verify and ensure the right person is captured in the plan,” Mr Asamoah-Boateng added.

He said the Ministry was confident that such a process and plan would help in sanitising the chieftaincy space and ensuring people who have no rights to occupy a stool or skin do not deceitfully assume the position.

So far, the Minister indicated that six traditional councils have completed their codification exercise, adding that the Ministry was expecting about 40 councils to complete theirs by the first quarter of next year.

Mr Asamoah-Boateng called on paramount chiefs to commit to quick resolution of disputes by constantly spelling out and applying customs and traditions required in the enstoolment or enskinment of persons in the adjudication of such issues.

He said the Ministry was committed to resourcing the various Houses of Chiefs and building the capacity of Judicial Committees to expedite dispute resolution.

“I’m pleading with the chiefs to allow the laws to work.  The Judicial Committees play a critical role in resolving disputes and we must resource them to withstand these threats,” he stated.

The Minister further revealed that his outfit would by the end of the first quarter of next year unveil a roadmap towards the resolution of the Bawku conflict.

“The Ministry is actively working with all stakeholders to resolve the Bawku conflict. I’ve met all the opposing factions together with some chiefs in the national house of chiefs.

We have set timelines and I’m confident that we will unveil the roadmap to peace in Bawku first quarter of next year,” Mr Asamoah-Boateng noted.


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