Dear Editor, CHIEFS are the custodians of the people in the chiefdoms. The chiefs preside over the affairs of their subjects by ensuring that things go well with the people they rule. Villages comprise people belonging to different political parties and there is nothing sinister about this.
The right thing for chiefs to do is not to be partisan by not aligning with any political party whether the ruling political party or the opposition political party. Furthermore, chiefs should not side with any politician regardless of the political party he or she belongs to. It is very unfortunate that some chiefs are partisan by supporting either the ruling party or the opposition political parties. Endorsement of the political parties by the chiefs become common during election time.
In a nutshell, endorsement of the political leaders is tantamount to partisan politics by the chiefs. This is not supposed to be the case. Chiefs should be above board were politics is concerned and by virtue of the roles they play. However, the question begging for an answer is; why should chiefs be involved in politics? If anything, the politicians should engage the chiefs in developmental issues.
What we should bear in mind is that the political leaders come and go but chiefs remain on the throne as long as the latter lives. Hence, the need for chiefs to remain nonpartisan by embracing any politician whether from the ruling party or from the opposition political party.
There has been a trend where chiefs from a particular region endorse certain political leaders based on ethnic grouping for instance. This does not augur well as a matter of fact. Chiefs as custodians of their chiefdoms play a very important role in ensuring that the affairs of their subjects are well looked after. Chiefs must be nonpartisan.