Kuoru Richard Babini Kanton, the Paramount Chief of the Tumu Traditional Area, has said Ghana’s development must be culturally oriented to ensure its success.
“Ghana needs to plan its development to dovetail with its culture. That can be achieved if the chieftaincy institution is made to play a role in the development agenda,” he said.
He said culture and development were two sides of a coin and many nations had succeeded in their development efforts because they had fashioned it out alongside their culture.
The Tumu Kuoru was addressing this year’s Paari Gbielle Festival of the chiefs and people of Tumu Traditional Area on Friday. It was on the theme: “Projecting Culture and Development in the 21st Century – The Role of the Chieftaincy Institution”.
He said, hitherto, the chieftaincy institution was the most revered where chiefs wildered enormous power such that they could mobilise communities to undertake communal labour, pay tolls to government, settle disputes and serve as custodians of land.
However, the same could not be said today of the institution as the judicial functions of chiefs had been taken off by the courts.
Kuoru Kanton said he was, however, happy that government intended to redefine a new role for the revered chieftaincy institution at the local government level to make it more relevant in the 21st century as it appeared to be losing its image very fast.
He bemoaned the open defecation situation in the district as majority of the people still did not have access to decent household toilet facilities.
He commended government for introducing the new Ministry of Water and Sanitation to address the sanitation challenges of the country.
He urged people in the communities, especially family members, to take charge of their health by constructing their own household latrines.
“By next year, I expect 70 per cent of communities in the district to be declared open-defecation free and chiefs must lead this crusade,” he said.
Kuoru Kanton reminded the Government of the numerous appeals for the upgrading of the Sissala East District into a municipal status and said Tumu was the second largest capital to Wa, the Upper West Regional capital.
The creation of a municipality out of the district would bring many opportunities and ensure speedy development.
On security, Kuoru Kanton appealed to the police regional command to deal with the upsurge in armed robbery in the district which had caused many accidents and claimed many lives, especially traders in their bid to transact business.