Togbe Afede XIV has rejected an offer by the NDC to spearhead the party’s affairs which is part of strategies to retain power in 2016.
The President of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede XIV has declined an invitation by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to serve on its Economic Committee.
He explained that he had to reject the offer because the Constitution and the Code of Ethics of the National House of Chiefs do not allow chiefs to be deeply involved in partisan politics.
The NDC constituted five working committees and invited Togbe Afede to serve on the Economic Committee. Read more Togbe Afede XIV appointed to head NDC's committee
The team is expected to strategize and oversee the financial activities of the governing party as the 2016 elections approaches.
Article 276 (1) of the constitution states that “A chief shall not take part in active party politics; and any chief wishing to do so and seeking election to Parliament shall abdicate his stool or skin.”
Togbe Afede in an interview with Citi FM said, “As you know the constitution bans chiefs from partcipating in politics and indeed the National House of Chiefs has adopted a code of conduct which excludes chiefs from participating in active politics.
Someone tried to find out from me about my availability and I did point out this fact that chiefs are excluded from participating in partisan politics,” Togbe Afede explained.
Meanwhile, the National Organizer of the NDC Kofi Adams has debunked assertions that Togbe Afede XIV has violated a section of the Constitution which bars chiefs from partisan politics after agreeing to serve on the party’s economic committee.
According to him, since that role is not a key party position such as general secretary, chairman or national organiser there is no way the president of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs has breached the supreme document of Ghana.
“I don’t think that there is any erring in tapping into the knowledge of persons because we don’t see it as taking a partisan position.”
Article 27.6 Clause 1 states: “A chief shall not take part in active partisan politics and any chief wishing to do so and seeking election to Parliament shall abdicate his stool or skin.”
Clause 2 adds: “Notwithstanding clause 1 of this Article, and paragraph C of Clause 3 of Article 94 of this constitution, a chief may be appointed to a public office for which he is otherwise qualified.”
He, however, said, “Who told you that political parties are private entities? They are not…so it’s also a public office and we are not putting them in direct partisan positions… our constitution allows us to bring people we feel have the expertise to help the party in executing the agenda it has for this country.”