Chiefs should not be appointed to assemblies – Yieley Chireh
The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Joseph Yieley Chireh, has rejected calls by some individuals in the country that chiefs should be appointed to the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), as assembly members.
Mr Chireh said, there would be difficulties in nominating chiefs to the assembly, since some traditional areas in the country had unresolved chieftaincy conflicts, especially that of succession, and that, such a move would rekindle disputes if a particular chief in that area is appointed to the assembly.
Mr Yieley Chireh made these remarks at the opening of the second annual parliamentary workshop on Local Government Reform and Decentralizations for members of the parliamentary select committees at Takoradi, at the weekend.
The theme for the two-day workshop was, “The decentralized policy and the revised national decentralization action plan: implications for legislation”.
Mr Chireh said although it was good to integrate the traditional system into the decentralized system of government, traditional authorities should be neutral and play a watchdog role on the assemblies.
“If chiefs are appointed to the assembly then they would be subjected to the same scrutiny as the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs),” he said.
Mr Chireh added that, due to the rancor and bitterness, which characterized political campaigns in the country, it would not be convenient to allocate 30 percent of membership of assemblies to traditional rulers.
Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, called on the parliamentarians to consider the region when passing the Petroleum Revenue Management and the Local content bills, to ensure that, the Western Region gets its fair share of the oil revenue.
“I wish to appeal to you to ensure that, these legislations are put in place to ensure peace and harmony, as well as citizens’ satisfaction, which is at the centre stage of the industry”, he said.
Mr Aidoo said the region was lagging behind in term of infrastructure development, such as roads, schools, hospitals, drainage facilities, and appealed to the government to invest the chunk of the oil revenue into the region for accelerated development.
He called on the oil and gas companies to live up to their social responsibilities, by providing communities with development projects and also employ the youth in the region.
“To avoid what other neighboring countries are presently experiencing with respect to oil and gas, we are asking government to put in place measures to ensure that the oil and gas companies in the region get people involved in the sensitization, employment and other sectors of the industry”, he said.
Mr Aidoo indicated that, if appropriate measures are put in place, there would be peace and tranquility and everyone would do business in a harmonious atmosphere.