POLITICS: "Amend The Constitution If You Decide To Allow Chiefs Into Politics" - John Jinapor
The Former Deputy Minister of Energy in the erstwhile John Mahama Administration, John Jinapor has stated that it would become necessary to amend the country's constitution if the nation decides to allow chiefs to participate in active partisan politics.
Mr. Jinapor reiterated that Ghana's constitution frowns on chiefs engaging in active partisan politics.
Speaking on an Accra-based radio station, he said "It is not an issue of NDC or NPP's position, it is the constitution. If we think that chiefs should be actively involved in partisan politics, let's amend that portion of the constitution because it is the supreme law"
The MP for Yapei Kusawgu added that the highly esteemed position of chiefs within the cultural and customary set up of the country places on them a moral authority that can influence the decisions of their subjects.
"Chiefs are revered, they are seen as final arbiters, and they are seen as people with moral authority. You would recall the role some of our eminent chiefs have played. The constitution is clear in article 276 and it is the supreme law which the people of Ghana have adopted. If the constitution bars chiefs from actively engaging in partisan politics then they ought to respect this" he added.
John Jinapor says he is however not against chiefs making comments on issues of national concern, but spoke against chiefs identifying themselves with particular parties in view of the acrimonious nature of Ghanaian politics.
"I think we should all advocate that our chiefs stay off active partisan politics. They can make statements, they can talk about the politics of this country, but when they take sides, especially looking at the heated nature of our political spectrum, it becomes a very big problem for all of us" he stressed.
"When the chiefs descend into the arena where we the politicians throw jabs at each other, then they are within the boxing ring and the wrestling ring ,there is the tendency that you will be caught up with a blow or a knock" he emphasized.
The legislator's remarks come after a wave of endorsements of presidential candidates by chiefs across the country in the run up to the December elections.
The former Minister is the latest to condemn the involvement of chiefs in partisan politics.
The Asantehene ,Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has had occasion to condemn the practice in recent times.
Story by Rodney Tsenuokpor.