The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, has received his baptism of fire since he assumed office as President Akufo-Addo’s representative in the region.
What started as a meeting to welcome Mr Kojo Kum, Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Minister, and Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, Energy Minister, to the Regional House of Chiefs on Monday, turned into fireworks when one of the Paramount chiefs decided to put him on the spot.
The Paramount Chief of Nsein Traditional Area, Awulae Agyefi Kwame, noted for his forthrightness, was uncharitable when he looked into the face of Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah and told him, without mincing words, that he was unhappy with his conduct as Regional Minister, and that he had also performed abysmally as the government’s representative for the region in the discharge of his duties.
The Nsein Omanhene’s reason was that the Regional Minister sat down unconcerned at the time that litigation had engulfed the House of Chiefs, wondering how the Minister could properly function when they, as chiefs, could not even convene a meeting.
Awulae Agyefi Kwame further pointed out that in October 2020, an election of the President of the House ended in court, where an aggrieved party succeeded in putting an injunction on the president and the House.
The development restrained the chiefs from holding any meetings, but regrettably, he said, the Regional Minister had not made any attempt to mediate in the impasse, with the view of resolving it.
A worried Awulae Agyefi Kwame reminded the Regional Minister how his counterpart, a former Regional Minister, T.K. Addo, in 2012 extended an invitation to the House, when he assumed office.
The said meeting, according to the Nsein Omanhene, led to the resolution of a similar legal battle over the election of the then President of the House, Osagyefo Kwamena Ennimil, because the Minister spoke wisdom to them.
Awulae Gyefi Kwame said this laudable step was what he was expecting the current Regional Minister to follow, but he woefully failed them.
The outspoken Chief, however, expressed the hope that with the arrival of the Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs and Energy Ministers, Kwabena Okeyer Darko-Mensah would see wisdom in doing the needful.
He reiterated that there was no way the Minister could perform satisfactorily when the House of Chiefs was in disarray.
He also made it clear that the national constitution had designated a role for chiefs and that if the House was not in order, it would be very difficult for the chiefs to play their constitutional role.
Earlier, the Regional Minister had extended an invitation to the House to get involved in the fight against illegal mining, saying chieftaincy played a major role in the fight.