The President or Prime Minister of any democratic or autocratic country in the world wields more power and has the final say in almost everything, the laws of the land permitting. Simply put, they are the number one gentlemen or ladies of the country to whom all respect is due and power belongs, although their national constitution may state that power belongs to the ensemble of the population or the entirety of the people.
By law, they are more powerful than any traditional chief in the country whose status is just a ceremonial head with comparatively limited functions which are not meant to rival the duties and powers of the President or the Prime minister. This becomes the reverse in total monarchies as are in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States where the chiefs or monarchs wield absolute power, as autocrats as they often are.
Therefore, a President or a Prime Minister in a democratic nation must not be seen to be overly subservient to a chief or queen to undermine their own powers and authority as are bestowed on them by their country’s constitution.
However, in Ghana, our elected Presidents by the way they prostrate to some chiefs, principally among whom is Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, makes them appear weaker, thereby casting doubt on their number one position and authority in the country. No wonder that Asantehene claims to be more powerful than the laws of Ghana with no court or anybody in the country able to reverse any decision he takes, regardless of how illegal or preposterous such decision may turn out to be.
From the way the current NPP leaders, especially the Vice President, Dr Alhaji Mahammudu Bawumia, hurry to kneel before him in public all of the time, or consult with him on trivial issues, makes me doubt if Dr Bawumia could be his own man if he were elected the President of Ghana.
Yes, we have to respect our elders. We have to pay obeisance to our traditional overlords by the demands of our culture. However, it should not be at the expense or erosion of, the powers bestowed on our Presidents by the constitution.
The demonstration of their weakness before Asantehene, makes a mockery of the status of Ghana as a republic hence the confusion in the country where some chiefs have come to believe they can do whatever they want as and when they like, with impunity.
Many a time have we heard about a traditional chief intervening to set a criminal or someone who has breached the law, caught by the police and put before the courts for trial, free. This is an indisputable fact. Therefore, for Dr Bawumia to overly treat Asantehene with reverence, a person who claims to be above the laws of the land, having disregard for the laws despite Ghana being a republic but not a monarchy, I am afraid, he will be Asantehene’s poodle if he ever becomes the President of Ghana.
Dr Bawumia should bear in mind that it is not by the influence of any traditional leader or overlord in Ghana that their subjects vote massively for one political party or the other. It depends on the individuals themselves and how they relate to the party and or, the parliamentary or presidential contestant.
Unlike in the olden days, during the time of the United Party (UP) of Ghana and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) when a chief could direct his subjects to vote a particular direction during elections, the current traditional leaders do not have the same authority to request or instruct their subjects to vote for this or that party.
Again, it is not by the influence or the respect for the Asantehene that Ashantis vote massively for NPP. Therefore, Dr Bawumia must get his political strategies right. He should not give bad impressions about him as likely being some traditional overlord’s puppet, doing his bidding like a lapdog.
Ghana needs a strong leader; a man of his own to take bold decisions to catapult the country into the sphere of prosperity, but not a weak leader who will succumb to the whims and caprices of our mostly corrupt traditional overlords.
He who does not know that most of the problems Ghana is beset with come from our traditional leaders, may very likely be a stranger in Ghana.
I am only helping to point Dr Bawumia to the right political strategy or path to facilitate his chances of winning election 2024. Nevertheless, I cannot compel him to do anything as in the proverb, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”. This proverb is explained thus, “you can provide someone with a nice opportunity, but you can’t make them take it if they don’t want to”.
As said in my previous publication and will be repeated in a few more to come, I shall not be in the position to campaign effectively for any political party or candidate in the near future so the few strategies I may come out with in the meantime, must be scrutinized by whoever they are concerned or whoever wants.
I hope I’m done.