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Chiefs have been asked to accord respect to the President, by standing up to greet him at public events, Chieftaincy Minister Defends

In response to recent discussions regarding our traditional norm of showing respect of standing up to greet our President, Nana Addo Dankwa AkufoAddo, the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs issues this statement to provide clarity on the matter.

The tradition of showing respect for authority, deeply ingrained in Ghanaian culture, holds significant importance in fostering unity, order and mutual respect within communities. As a symbol of this tradition, it is customary for individuals to stand when greeting elders, leaders or persons of authority as a gesture of deference and reverence.

This request for Chiefs to observe this tradition, especially at public events, stems from our commitment to upholding and preserving Ghanaian cultural values, including the principles of respect and hierarchy. It is important to note that the President’s position on this tradition is.

_intended as a

reaffirmation of cultural norms that underpin Ghanaian society.

The call for Chiefs to stand when greeting him at public events is not intended to undermine the dignity or autonomy of traditional leaders. Rather, it is a recognition of their esteemed role in Ghanaian society by embracing the Head of State thereby showing brotherly love, and mutual respect.

It is also to be remembered at all times that the Constitution, as set out in article 57 (2), states that “the President shall take precedence over all other persons in Ghana”. Indeed, the President is the Head of State, Head of Government and Commander-in Chief of the Armed Forces of Ghana, and is regarded as the foremost representative of the nation both domestically and internationally.

Chiefs have been asked to accord respect to the President, by standing up to greet him, at public events. Indeed, on no occasion has the request for chiefs to stand up to greet him been made within the confines of their palaces, because he recognizes the sanctity of their ancestral spaces.

Instead, the protocol where at public events, Chiefs rise to greet him as indeed is stated in the Constitution, is meant to give credence to this unique

national provision. This dynamic illustrates a harmonious blend of modern governance with the rich tapestry of Ghana’s cultural heritage.

For the avoidance of doubt, it is important to reiterate that at no point during the President’s visit to Damongo on Saturday, 27th April 2024, was the Yagbonwura asked to stand up and greet the President. As Minister, I was with the President at the event, and, as seen clearly on videos, the President, beaming with smiles, walked over and paid homage to the Yagbonwura, who was the host of the event in Damongo. The general public is urged to avoid this deliberate and misleading piece of propaganda which is being distributed by mischief makers.

In conclusion, the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs reaffirms President Akufo-Addo’s commitment to upholding Ghanaian cultural values and fostering harmonious relations within the nation. The tradition of showing respect for authority, including the request for Chiefs to stand when greeting the President at public events, serves as a testament to Ghana’s rich heritage and traditions.


Stephen Asamoah Boateng

Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs

Press release by minister


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