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Chiefs urged to uphold dignity of traditional authority amid debate on greeting protocol

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Chiefs across the country are being urged to jealously guard their dignity and the dignity of the skins or stools on which they serve. If chiefs live dignified lives, they command respect and as such, cannot be impugned.

“If you are a chief and you stand so low with government officials, making demands [there could be problems]. When we are citing Nayiri, Otumfuor, Okyehene, Yaa Naa, these are chiefs who, resource-wise, they are okay. When you go there, you seek the council of the community before you get there, but in other areas, we the chiefs have sidelined those things.”

“When you make yourself so open, making certain demands [like], ‘Look at my palace, or I don’t have means [of transportation],’ the moment you make yourself a begging person, you would not be treated properly. As traditional authority, you should have the power to protect the skins or stools that you are sitting on so that it would be an enviable one.”

The Chief of Kontibtaabig under the Sakote Traditional Area, Naab Biilhesong Naab Bileehsong Lagwonht, made this statement when he spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show today, May 2, 2024.

His comments come on the back of the raging debate within the country about what should be considered proper interaction between a head of state and a chief at a public function.

Naab Lagwonht explained that while the conversation continues around whether a chief should rise to greet the president or not, there should not come a time where “it would look like some chiefs should be given certain respect while other chiefs cannot be given that respect. This boils down to poverty among some of the chiefs.”

It would be recalled that the Chieftaincy Ministry, in a statement signed by Stephen Asamoah Boateng, explained that the demand for chiefs to rise was just in furtherance of tradition.

“In response to recent discussions regarding our traditional norm of showing respect by standing up to greet our President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs issues this statement to provide clarity on the matter. The tradition of showing respect for authority, deeply ingrained in Ghanaian culture, holds significant importance in fostering unity, order, and mutual respect within communities. As a symbol of this tradition, it is customary for individuals to stand when greeting elders, leaders, or persons of authority as a gesture of deference and reverence. This request for Chiefs to observe this tradition, especially at public events, stems from our commitment to upholding and preserving Ghanaian cultural values, including the principles of respect and hierarchy. It is important to note that the President’s position on this tradition is intended as a reaffirmation of cultural norms that underpin Ghanaian society,” portions of the statement read.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Bolgatanga

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