The Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State in the Volta Region, Togbe Afede XIV, was yesterday elected as the President of the National House of Chiefs.
For the position of Vice-President of the house, Dasebre Kwebu Ewusi VII of Abeadze in the Central Region carried the day when he obtained 28 votes, as against eight by Okatakyi (Dr) Amenfi VII of Asebu and 13 by Naa Puowele Karbo III of Lawra.
The elections were supervised by the Electoral Commission (EC).
In his victory speech, Togbe Afede XIV said his election was a victory for all, as it was an indication of a collective desire for change, “a desire for progress and a desire to make a difference in the lives of our people”.
He said chiefs would have to work to be relevant in the lives of the people by taking active roles in the governance of the country.
He promised to work towards restoring relevance to and reverence for the noble chieftaincy institution.
He said for chiefs to be relevant in the lives of the people, “we have to bring development to the people because development is their most important aspiration”.
As part of his plans for the National House of Chiefs, he said: “I intend to prosecute an agenda that will see a total transformation of the institution and, hopefully with your support, our institution will not be the same again.”
He pledged to remain committed to the chieftaincy institution, the best interest of the people and that of the country and pledged that by the end of his first term, “there will be significant changes in the chieftaincy institution”.
Togbe Afede XIV and Dasebre Kwebu Ewusi VII, President and Vice-President of the National House of Chiefs, respectively, exchanging greetings with some chiefs after the election
On the December 7 elections, Togbe Afede asked chiefs to play a leadership role in their communities by remaining neutral and open to all political parties.
He said chiefs would always remain with the people, while politicians would come and go and the problems created by politicians would become the burden of chiefs.
He said politics in Ghana could be described as the “madness of many for the benefit of few” and urged traditional rulers to impress on their people not allowed themselves to be used by politicians to foment trouble.
The outgone President of the house, Naa Prof. John S, Nabilla, commended the chiefs for the peaceful nature of the elections and expressed the hope that the same conduct would be exhibited in the forthcoming general election.
He said he was grateful to the house for the support extended to him during his tenure and prayed that the same assistance would be extended to the new administration.
From left Togbe Afede XIV, Nana Kobina Nketsia, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin and Awulae Attibrukusu III
For his part, the Minister of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, Dr Henry Seidu Daanaa, expressed his appreciation to the chiefs for their show of maturity.
In spite of the perception some people had about the institution, he said, “we are on and we will succeed” and appealed to the members of the house to lend their support to the new administration to discharge its responsibilities, adding: “Their success is our success.”