Prof Raymond Atuguba Says Chieftaincy Ministry's Defence Of Akufo-Addo Unfortunate: "Earn Respect"

Prof Raymond Atuguba Says Chieftaincy Ministry's Defence Of Akufo-Addo Unfortunate: "Earn Respect"

  • Professor Raymond Atuguba, the Dean of the University of Ghana School of Law, has described the Chieftaincy Ministy's defence of Akufo-Addo as unfortunate
  • According to him, the Chieftaincy Ministy had failed to give a satisfactory answer to the President's request to chiefs to stand when greeting him
  • He said the mode of greeting should be decided upon the particular setting in which the president and chiefs find themselves in

The Dean of the University of Ghana School of Law, Professor Raymond Atuguba, has described the Chieftaincy Ministry’s defence of a recent request by President Akufo-Addo requiring chiefs to stand up when greeting him as unfortunate.

According to him, respect should not demanded, commanded, or commandeered.

Prof Raymond Atuguba Says Chieftaincy Ministry's Defence Of Akufo-Addo Unfortunate: "Earn Respect"
Akufo-Addo in recent videos has been seen asking chiefs to stand up when greeting him
Source: Getty Images

He said public officials, including the president, must earn the respect of chiefs and the general public as a whole rather than compel people to show respect.

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His comment follows a press statement from the Chieftaincy Ministry addressing recent incidents in which Akufo-Addo has requested that chiefs stand up to greet him.

In one incident, the President and his bodyguard are seen in a video taken at a funeral in the Oti region orderng a traditional ruler to stand and greet him.

Defending the President’s action which had drawn the ire of many Ghanaians on social media, the Chieftaincy Minister, Stephen Asamoah Boateng, said the President according to Article 57(2) of the Constitution takes precedence over all other people in Ghana.

He stated that as such it was necessary for all and sundry to show respect to the president.

He added that the request to for chiefs to stand and greet the president is to demonstrate mutual respect and brotherly love and must not be interpreted as a breach of cultural codes.

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However, Prof Atuguba, believes the Chieftaincy minister erred in focusing on only that Article of the constitution.

In an interview on JoyNews, Prof Raymond Atuguba explained that there are two competing constitutional provisions related to the issue and the ministry ought to have used both to bring an amicable end to the solution.

According to him, Article 271 of the constitution also guarantees the institution of chieftaincy, together with its traditional counsels as established by customary laws and usage.

He explained that the usages and customs of chieftaincy also pertains the mode of greeting where chiefs sitting in state must remain seated when greeted.

He said the Chieftaincy Ministry should have clarified the specific circumstances under which each mode of greeting was applicable.

According to the professor, during state or formal functions, the President must take precedence, however under a traditional setting, the president becomes a subject of the stool, skin or staff and must pay homage to the traditional ruler.

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Mahama expresses concern about Akufo-Addo’s request reported that the 2024 presidential candidate of the NDC, John Dramani Mahama, has expressed concern about Akufo-Addo's recent insistence that chiefs stand to greet him.

According to him, the behaviour should be a matter of great worry to political watchers, particularly now that the December 7 polls are fast approaching.

He also reiterated his rebuke of the president's statement that he would not want to hand over to a candidate he had defeated in the previous election.

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