President John Mahama has bemoaned the spate of chieftaincy disputes that have bedeviled the country.

He said such disputes have resulted in many unnecessary strife which has negatively affected the social stata and deepened political intolerance.

The president made the remark at the opening of the 2014 National Festival of Arts and Culture at the Jubilee Park in Sunyani, Saturday.

The Festival saw a grand durbar of chiefs and people across the country, and an exhibition of Ghana’s rich cultural heritage.

The president commended the National House of Chiefs for initiating a thorough and codified chieftaincy installation process across the country in order to reduce the prevalence of chieftaincy related disputes.

“I wish therefore to commend the National House of Chiefs for the timely effort in writing a code of succession and to provide a framework for the regulation and codifying the lines of succession and inheritance in all traditional areas across the country.

“I am informed this work has progressed steadily and when it is completed i have no doubt it will lead to peaceful transfer of royal authority from one chief to a successor and it will help to build peaceful and stable communities in our country,” he stated.

The president reminded the chiefs and all Ghanaians to revel in the ethnic diversity  of the country rather than using it to foment trouble.

“Ghana is ethnically diverse and its always wonderful when you are able to build our inter-ethnic relations to promote oneness, unity and inclusiveness in our cultural diversity.

“Sadly however, sometimes ethnicity is subtly misrepresented in our socio-political environment  to create disaffection, divisiveness,  and rivalry amongst us. This does not have to be so. It is wrong. It diminishes our rich cultural heritage, the president stated.

Like the different strands of kente cloth woven beautifully  to make a pattern, the president said the ethnic differences must be seen as different strands for a beautiful pattern called Ghana.

He said no ethnic group is bigger than other, and assured of government’s continued support for all ethnic groups in the country.