Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central, Hon Inusah Fuseini has admonished the need for government and security forces to use dialogue in resolving the Chereponi conflict.
The police have confirmed the death of one person following renewed clashes between Chokosis and Konkombas around Chereponi and Saboba in the North East Region.
The clash that was renewed on Friday, March 15 has left over 500 persons displaced with others fleeing the area to save their lives.
Speaking to Kwame Minkah on Power 97.9 FM’s Dwaboase, the legislator who is also a ranking member on the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament did not mince words saying, the executive authority of the state which is the president needs to visit the area and engage the feuding factions in dialogue to bring a lasting end to the conflict.
“We have chiefs, we have religious bodies and civil society organizations that are able to go underground and work to dialogue with feuding factions to build peace, and recommend to government on how to solve land issues in the three northern regions. I tell you, anywhere there is a chieftaincy conflict in the northern region it has to do with lands. So why can’t the executive authority of the state visit the area and dialogue with the people to bring peace?” he quizzed.
He added that the recent visit of the president to the area even sparked the renewed conflict.
Last weekend, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia who visited the area, appealed to the people of Chereponi to settle their differences and live in harmony with each other.
Speaking at the Paga Central Mosque on Saturday 25th May 2019, Dr. Bawumia decried the violence which he said was an affront to the development of the district.
He urged the feuding factions to look beyond parochial interests and work together to bring lasting peace to the area, saying “I would like to make an appeal to our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers in Chereponi...We are all one. We are really all one. Whether you are Konkomba, Mamprusi, Chokosi, we are one people. Our only enemy is poverty. Let us fight poverty and let us not fight each other; that is what I would like to tell our brothers and sisters.”
He also admonished the people to respect each other and work together to overcome poverty in their communities.
But Mr. Fuseini believes there is more to be done to end the conflict than mere advice to the people living in the communities.
“The president and his vice are rather aggravating the problem by telling the people to give peace a chance. How do you give peace a chance while the people are fighting over resources? Reduce the areas of conflict or else, we will continue to experience conflict in the area."
"No amount of security forces sent to the area could solve the problem; there is the need to mitigate poverty in the area, provide them with resources and dialogue with them, create opportunities for them,” he fumed.
Where is Akufo-Addo?
The Communications Officer for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Savannah Region, Malik Basintale has also descended heavily on President Akufo-Addo over the ongoing conflict.
The NDC spokesperson who claimed to have witnessed the clash that left over 500 persons displaced, said the president should have paid the residents of Chereponi District a visit and help resolve the conflict that has affected at least 20 communities.
Basintale said some unknown persons attacked mosques, killing some worshippers and also inflicted cutlass wounds on many last week yet the president has not spoken on the matter.
“People are being shot, others have been murdered in broad daylight and houses torched, but our president has not spoken about the bloody clash. In a serious country with a serious president, we would be seeing our national flags on half-mast by now to mourn these murdered persons in Chereponi. Our president has pretended not to hear the bad news from our neighbours in Chereponi,” Basintale said on Monday on Dawboase.
To him, president Akufo-Addo’s silence over the Chereponi conflict means he is pursuing his own interest and not that of the “suffering Ghanaians” who voted for him.
Meanwhile, Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul has led a high powered delegation of government and top security officials to the area to interact with opinion leaders from the two feuding factions in the conflict-ravaged town to bring peace to the area.
This brings to two the number of times he has visited there in a spate of a week. Many are accusing the minister of his complicity in the clash being a Kokomba and think he may be fuelling the conflict.
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