The former General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rev. Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, has proposed a strategic partnership between religious leaders and traditional rulers to promote peace, unity and progress of the country.
He stressed that such development partnership had become imperative in view of the influential role the two bodies wield in society.
He called for a review of the Constitution to empower traditional rulers to play a vital role in the governance of the nation.
Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong made the pronouncement at a breakfast meeting held by the West Akyem Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) for religious leaders and traditional rulers at Akyem Oda.
The participants were drawn from the Akyemansa, Birim South, Akyem Achiase, Asene-Manso-Akroso districts and Birim Central Municipality in the Eastern Region.
Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong urged the government to allocate a special development fund for traditional rulers to initiate projects in their areas of jurisdiction.
He enjoined traditional rulers to make their palaces centres of worship to pull the youth especially from crime.
Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong urged Ghanaians to come to terms with the leadership role played by traditional rulers to complement government’s efforts in nation building.
He expressed concern about the protracted chieftaincy dispute in the Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area, which had created factions among the people, with concerns that it had retarded the progress of the area.
Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong appealed to religious leaders in the area to team up with the relevant authorities to settle the dispute.
He enjoined traditional rulers in the area to release lands on liberal terms for the establishment of educational and health institutions, and for avenues of employment for the youth.
The Chief of Adumasa in the Asuogyaman District, Nana Ansah Kwao IV, admonished religious leaders and traditional rulers to eschew social vices, and to lead exemplary lifestyles to sustain the confidence of their members and subjects.
He also urged them to be fair, firm and transparent in the discharge of their duties.
The Chief Executive of the Birim Central Municipal Assembly, Victoria Adu, condemned the use of social media by a section of the youth to insult national and community leaders with impunity.
The MP for Oda, Alexander Akwasi Acquah, like Ms Adu, noted with concern the socio-economic problems the protracted Akyem Kotoku chieftaincy dispute had created, and called for collaboration from influential religious leaders and traditional rulers to settle the dispute.
The Krontihene of Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area, Obrempong Gyamfi Saforo Kyereh, expressed gratitude to the church for holding the forum, and appealed that it should be made a regular feature.
He condemned the pollution of water bodies and destruction of the environment by illegal miners, and urged the government to empower traditional rulers to check the social menace.