In recent times, the activities of youth groups, not only in the Greater Accra Region, but all over the country, have become an issue worthy of mention, when it comes to discussing national matters.
News about Ghanaian youth groups, either attacking their chiefs or vandalising properties at the various police stations, or attacking police personnel across the length and breadth of the country, have become a common occurrence.
Not only have they ended up destroying properties belonging to the people they demonstrate against, but also, people have died as a result of their violent conducts.
In March this year, some angry youth besieged the forecourt of the Abetifihene’s Palace on the Kwahu Ridge in the Eastern Region to protest against a number of their chiefs, who, they claim, have allowed some Fulani herdsmen to settle on their lands.
The event, according to various news reports, happened during a meeting between chiefs of the Kwahu Traditional Council and the presidential aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The protest went out of control, and it had to take the intervention of Nana Akufo-Addo to restore order before the police arrived to prevent further disturbances.
In February 2016, there were clashes between various Muslim groups and loyalists of the Tafo Traditional Council in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital. According to reports, the clashes were ignited by an order from the Tafo Chief that a fence erected by the Muslims in Kumasi to demarcate the local cemetery be demolished.
The Overlord of Tafo complained that not only was it inappropriate to divide the cemetery into religious factions, but that those who erected the fence showed total disregard to his authority by disregarding him and his Traditional Council, hence his directive to the youth of Tafo to pull down the fence wall, leading to fierce clashes between the settler Muslim community and the youth.
Following the initial clash, scores of young people in the area gathered in front of the Chief’s Palace the next day, in anticipation of possible reprisals from the Muslim youth.
Similarly, in March 2015, a livid a group of youth from Kpone, near Tema in the Greater Accra Region, hit the streets to demonstrate against the chiefs in the area, wanting to know the benefits people in the town were getting from the sale of their lands to the authorities of the Sunon-Asogli Power Plant.
The demonstration organised by the youth to press home their demands, turned violent, after the protesters tried to defy police instructions to stick to the designated route. The police had to fire rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd. Seven officers were reported injured, as the angry youths hurled stones at the police.
It is against this backdrop that The Chronicle is asking the youth of this country to take the caution by Dr. Henry Seidu Daanaa, Minister of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, seriously, and stop meddling in chieftaincy issues.
In a story published in the Tuesday, August 30, 2016 edition of The Chronicle, under the caption, “Minister Warns Ga Youth”, Dr. Daanaa warned the youth to stop meddling in chieftaincy and related administrative matters, and allow the appropriate authorities to handle them.
The Minister said such interferences posed dangers in the handling of sensitive issues involving the respectable institution.
The sector minister’s statement came in the wake of agitations by a group calling itself Coalition of Ga-Dangme Youth in Kpone, which is wading into the transfer of the Registrar of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs, Mr. Harry Anthony Attipoe.
According to him, private issues must be separated from transfers and postings in his sector ministry, and that he would not countenance the idea of people without authority forcing themselves into administrative matters. He cited the position of Accra as the seat of government, which demands that security must always be a topmost priority.
The Coalition of Ga-Dangme Youth had written to the Dodowa Divisional Police Command of its intention to demonstrate by picketing at the premises of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs at Dodowa.
It is the belief of The Chronicle that the youth must understand that the work of the chieftaincy institution is a technical matter that needs to be handled with competence and maturity.
What makes it rather confusing is the fact that members of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs have demonstrated their unflinching support for the Registrar, and are pushing that he remains at post.
They have, therefore, petitioned President John Dramani Mahama and the Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, to intervene by getting the Chieftaincy Minister to rescind his decision to transfer the Registrar.