The Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin has bemoaned bribery allegations against chiefs by politicians.According to the Okyenhene, such attacks are offensive to the chieftaincy institution.
“All we hear in the papers is Nananom have been bribed, I don’t know how some of you take it, but it is offensive to some of us,” the Paramount chief said after he was reelected as president of the Eastern regional house of chiefs.
The comment comes on the back of consistent claims by the opposition New Patriotic Party that President John Mahama is bribing chiefs with money and vehicles to secure their endorsement ahead of the December polls.
The party’s Eastern region Youth Organiser Jerry Osei Poku told the Media in Koforidua Thursday that the President is corrupting the chieftaincy institution.
“Our President has made it a policy to ostensibly bribe our chiefs and take our Chieftaincy Institution for granted. This so called endorsement by the Chiefs especially those in the Eastern region are stage managed. Why are we saying so, there are a number of Chiefs in this region that the President has appointed onto boards and state corporations, there some of the Chiefs that have received largesse (cash) from the President, some have received V8 vehicles that they cannot even fuel, some have taken pick-Ups, Land Cruisers among others, so if a chief in this category makes a statement supporting the President or praising the President, first and for most what clicks your mind is that it is out of inducement that that chief is making such claims,” he said.
However, the Okyenhene said the vehicles that were given the chiefs was a promise the government made to the various regional house of chiefs.
” In 2012, President Mahama gave to the National House, as has been the case , every four years, Presidents of every house is given a brand new vehicle, President Mahama came to the house to announce that the Vehicles were ready so 13 or 14 Land Cruisers were brought to the National House in Kumasi for the various Presidents and the National House President and his Vice, all we hear in the Papers is Nananom had been bribed; i don’t know how some of you take it, but it is offensive to some of us. The vehicles are official cars of the President of the Eastern regional House of Chief, it is not for my personal use”.
He advised Chiefs in the region to refrain from making political comments that would open up attacks on the Chieftaincy institutions in other to protect the sanctity and integrity of the institution.
The Eastern regional House of Chiefs election supervised by the Electoral Commission saw Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin re-elected unopposed as President, Nana Osei Nyarko III , Paramount Chief of Boso-Gua went unopposed and re-elected as Vice President, four other members were elected to represent the Regional House of Chiefs at the National House of Chiefs.