Private legal practitioner, Maurice Ampaw, has asked all chiefs who have endorsed political parties, especially the two major political parties; New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to immediately desist from the act.
Their actions, he said was a gross disrespect for the Asantehene, Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II as he forewarned them from engaging in such acts to prevent them from being swayed away by these political parties.
Mr Ampaw added that these traditional rulers are trampling upon their power by endorsing political parties.
“The advice from Otumfuo that chiefs should ensure that they stay away from politicians and should not allow politicians to influence them is not being heeded to so to me, you may think that you are not engaging in active politics as the constitution prescribed but indirectly, you are sabotaging and undermining your own authority if you end up endorsing political parties,” the private legal practitioner in an interview with GhanaWeb stated that
He indicated that engaging in politics creates acrimony and it is the role of traditional rulers to unify them hence, the need for them to ‘part’ ways with political parties in the country.
“The constitution is very clear that chiefs should not engage in politics…if you are looking at the proper interpretation, I think that the constitution does not want chiefs to engage in any endorsements because although endorsements do not mean you are actively engaging in partisan politics but you are creating a situation whereby you are defeating the purpose of the constitution…stay away from politics because politics divides, politics creates acrimony, politics does not bring unity, politics is normally ensured that one party benefits and the other party lose”.
He also averred that the moment chiefs openly declare support for a political party, they tend to lose respect from other political parties as they may think the chiefs have been ‘bribed’ to be on their side.
“Politics of Ghana is winner takes all and so when a chief, the moment you decide to endorse one party, you’ll lose the respect of the other political party and you end up losing your own constituency or chieftaincy jurisdiction because people who are on the other political side will never love to have anything to do with you and will disrespect your decisions and others because they’ll think you are motivated by political decisions”.