A traditional ruler in the Upper West Region has expressed concern about the active involvement of District Assemblies in partisan politics in recent times.
“District assemblies in Ghana have now transformed themselves into political zones for which every concerned Ghanaian must be worried about”, Kuoro Baarecheh Nlowie Baninye II, Acting President of the Zini Buwa Traditional Council observed.
He said if Ghana was to develop, there was the need for assembly members to remain neutral and avoid becoming active political players.
Kuoro Baninye who is also the Niator Kuoro made the observation at Zini on the occasion of the “Kelwie” festival of the chiefs and people of the Zini Buwa Traditional Area in the Sissala West District at the weekend.
“I vehemently protest against assembly members who use the assemblies as political training fields”, he stressed.
He said with the active participation of assembly members in partisan politics, the assemblies had now become grounds for tension, conflict, hostility, divisiveness and fear, thereby undermining any meaningful development in the communities.
Kuoro Baninye explained that the primary role of the assembly members under the local government system was for them to work as a team to ensure good governance and rapid development of the their communities.
He noted ,however, that the District Chief Executives, Members of Parliament, Presiding Members, District Coordinating Directors and assembly members, as well as councilors and unit committee members, were working in contravention of their various mandates and thus retarding development.
He said the assemblies had also refused to recognised traditional authorities and the general public as powerful social partners in development outside the local governanment system, a situation that was disturbing peace in the communities.
Kuoro Baninye called for individual and collective efforts by all stakeholders in the local governance system to promote peace and unity among themselves and members of the communities to ensure rapid development.
He appealed to leaders of political parties to advise their supporters, particularly the youth, to be mindful of their language and actions because Ghanaians needed peace now more than before in this election year.
He announced that the Buwa Traditional Council had reviewed the customary laws pertaining to the granting or acquisition and use of land in the area and called on all to respect those laws to help sustain the prevailing peace to enhance agricultural production during this year’s farming season.
Kuoro Baninye said the Council was faced with financial challenges that was causing the delay in the disposal of cases which, he noted, were a security threat in the area, and appealed to government and other benevolent organisations for assistance.
The traditional ruler appealed to government to establish an Agricultural /Technical Training Institution, a police station, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centre in the area while efforts were made to connect the local communities to the national electricity grid.
Out of the 36 communities in the area, only three were benefiting from electricity, Kuoro Baninye said, and urged government to rehabilitate roads and provide potable water for the people.
The festival was on the theme: “Sustaining a culture of peace and unity –foundation of a proud and progressive Ghana”. It was characterized by drumming and dancing and praise singing among other activities.