PAD 95.1 news, Damongo 13-04-2020
The youth of Gonja and Dagbon have called on security services to deal with individuals who engage in deviant acts in the Wasipe community in the Gonja traditional area as criminals and in accordance with the law.
The youth said some individuals engag in spreading rumours and making statements that create and inflame tensions between Gonjas and Dagimbas in the Wasipe paramountcy and wants it to stop.
Executives of the Gonjaland Youth Association, the Dagbang Forum and DAMAZ made these statements at a joint press conference in Tamale on Sunday April 12, 2020.
There have been growing tensions between Wasipe in Gonjaland and Tolon in Dagbon over activities at the Wasipe area forcing some residents and farmers to flee the area in recent times but the 3 youth groups say those tensions have been caused by unfounded rumors and called on those engaged in such acts to desist from same henceforth.
Leadership of the groups at the press conference entreated the settlers and farmers who fled the Wasipe area “to go back to their various settlements and farmlands where they used to be, and continue with their lives and farming activities without hindrance.”
They say the days when people used weapons to resolve conflicts and settle their differences are long gone and called on their people to always dialogue when they in such situations.
Below is the full statement they read at the conference:
JOINT PRESS STATEMENT BY THE YOUTH OF GONJALAND AND DAGBANG IN RESPECT OF THE RECENT THREAT TO SECURITY IN THE WASIPE AND TOLON TRADITIONAL AREAS
1. We the youth of Gonjaland and Dagbang noticed with grave concern that there was some misunderstanding between the people of Wasipe and Tolon, leading to the movement of some settlers and farmers from the Wasipe community back to the Tolon community.
2. This was based on information spread about alleged imminent attacks which potentially threatened the security of the communities and the cordial relationship between Gonjas and Dagombas.
3. The leaderships of the Gonjaland Youth Association (GLYA), Dagbang Forum and DAMAZ therefore held an emergency meeting on Saturday, 11th April, 2020 at Tamale to find immediate and lasting solutions to the situation.
4. As a result of the meeting, we visited His Royal Highness the Tolon Naa, Alhaji Major (Rtd) Sulemana Abubakar and His Royal Highness the Wasipewura, Yakubu Mumuni AnyaniKabasagiyiya at their palaces at Tolon and Daboya yesterday, and held very useful and fruitful discussions with them, in the presence of some Chiefs and Elders.
5. We were highly delighted by the two Chiefs’ recounting of long-standing cordial relationships and intertwining family ties between Gonjas and Dagombas, most particularly between the people of Wasipe and Tolon and the occupants of the skins.
6. Our visit was to complement the combined efforts by the Regional Security Councils of the Savannah and Northern Regions, and the Gonja and Dagbang Traditional Councils in this regard.
7. As youth, we are fully aware and conscious of the fact that the days when people used weapons such as guns, cutlasses and bows and arrows to resolve conflicts and settle their differences are long gone.
8. We know that in these days of civilization, people resort to dialogue and constant engagements on the basis of mutual respect, consensus building and rule of law as the only viable for conflict resolution and peaceful co-existence in diversity.
9. Unfortunately, we have realised that some individuals allegedly engaged in spreading rumours and makingstatements that created and inflamed tension between thepeople and communities.
10. It also came to our notice that some individuals have taken advantage of the situation and are tampering with the properties of those settlers and farmers without any justification.
11. We therefore wish to dissociate ourselves completely from such individuals and their acts, and state clearly that such behaviours amount to criminal acts and cannot be countenanced.
12. In the light of the above, and on the basis of our confidence in the strong assurances of His Royal Highness the Tolon Naa and His Royal Highness the Wasipewura, we wish to:
a) entreat the settlers and farmers to go back to their various settlements and farmlands where they used to be, and continue with their lives and farming activities without hindrance;
b) call on all members of the communities to desist from war and rumour mongering, and spreading of information that have the tendency of creating and inflaming tension in the communities;
c) encourage the members of the communities to report individuals who engage in unlawful acts to the security services for the appropriate action;
d) call on the security services to deal with individuals who engage in deviant acts in accordance with the law; and
e) call on the community members to desist from acts that only serve their individual parochial and selfish interests, and rather work towards our collective interests and the sustainable development of the communities; andf) entreat our Chiefs and community members to follow due process and use the appropriate legal means for resolving conflicts and disagreements.
13. We, the youth of Gonjaland and Dagbang hereby resolve to continue working together for the lasting peace and sustainable development of our communities.
14. In this regard, we have agreed to visit the Overloads of ourKingdoms, the Yagbonwura and Yaanaa respectively, to move the agenda for peaceful co-existence and sustainable development forward.
15. We wish to thank His Royal Highness the Tolon Naa and His Royal Highness the Wasipewura for their warm reception and fatherly guidance, and particularly for their disposition to resolve this issue amicably and through due process.
16. We also wish to thank our Honourable Regional Minsters for the Savannah and Northern Regions, as well as the security services for their prompt intervention and continues effortstowards maintaining peace and order in the communities.
17. We thank all of you.
MOHAMMED AMIN OSMAN, ESQ.
DR. SULEMANA ABUDULAI
PRESIDENT, DAGBANG FORUM
ALHAJI JAGBO BAAKO
By Richard Forgor