Former and current government appointees have come together in seeking complete peace between Konkombas and Anufors in the Chereponi and Saboba districts of the Northern and North-East regions respectively.
The appointees – those under the erstwhile Mills/Mahama administration, of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and those under the Akufo-Addo administration, of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) –formed a delegation which first visited Chereponi District as part of efforts to ensure absolute peace is restored to the area.
The delegation led by Minister of Defence Dominic Nitiwul visited Naaja, a Konkomba community, in Chereponi.
They made a first stop at the palace of the regent of Chereponi, Jaminja Ndakar, to pay a courtesy call on him and his elders ahead of a dialogue session at the town center.
At the town center, the regent assured the delegation that his people, the Chokosis, will not attack any Konkomba.
That comment sent a relieving signal to the previously tensed atmosphere as many among the delegation doubted the cooperation of the chief, his elders, and the youth.
The Defence Minister, in his address in Chereponi, appealed to the feuding factions to lay down arms to ensure peace.
A Konkomba by tribe, he wondered why both factions are not taking advantage of sons like himself and others in government to seek development for the area.
“Today, we have both Konkombas and Chokosis in government, why don’t you want to benefit from our presence in government?”
At Naaja, the Minister reiterated his pleas and challenged the Konkombas never to raise arms against the Chokosis.
“Let today be the last day that anyone of you will raise a gun and shoot somebody, we’re brothers.”
He also made a promise on behalf of the delegation that “all the leaders you see here, both Konkombas and Chokosis are promising you that we will talk to our people so that nobody will shoot, even if anybody is shot from both sides, we don’t shoot back but should report to the police”.
Notable among the delegation were Member of Parliament for Bunkpurugu and North-East Region Minister, Solomon Boar, Northern Region Minister Salifu Saeed, a former Ambassador and former Northern Region Minister Moses Mabengba, Deputy Northern Region Minister John Banam, Deputy Savanna Region Minister Samuel Tika and the former Northern Region Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Daniel Bugri Naabu.
Also among the delegation were Member of Parliament for Saboba Charles Bintim, Member of Parliament for Chereponi Samuel Jabanyiti, Member of Parliament for Kpandai Mathew Nyindam, Member of Parliament for Wulensi Thomas Ogajah Donkor, Former District Chief Executive for Chereponi and a member of the the Anufor Progressive Youth Hajia Mary Nakobo, and Member of Parliament for Gushiegu Thomas Naasa.
Also part of the delegation was a former Deputy Chief of Staff, Kenneth Wujangi, who is also a former President of Konkomba Youth Association (KOYA).
The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Supply Chain Company Limited, Abraham Jawol, who is a native of Ugando, the National President of KOYA, Charles Nyobah, General Secretary of KOYA Joseph Kotin, also made time to be part of the visit though it was not their first visit to the area since the conflict broke out in June, 2018.
But for the first time, the chiefs of the Konkomba and Chokosi communities in the Greater Accra Region and Tema and Ashaiman, Chief Djambaga Issah Fuseini and Chief Zakari Watara, joined the peace visit.
For these delegates, “we can’t stay in Accra and Kumasi knowing that our region is burning”, a teary Chief Djambaja Issah Fuseini said.
The delegation also had a security team led by the Commanding General Officer of the Ghana Armed Forces Northern Command, General Francis Ofori.
The Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, revealed that putting together of the delegation was to avert the conflict from spreading to other parts of Ghana.
“Konkombas and Chokosis in our various districts could decide to also pick arms to kill each other but we decided not to. So, please those of you in Saboba and Chereponi, we beg you lay down your arms,” he reiterated.
Mr Bugri Naabu, also a Konkomba, appealed to the people of Naaja to end attacks.
“I am on my knees begging you to stop fighting.”
Renewed clashes ensued between Konkombas and Chokosis on Saturday, May 18, at about 05:300pm at Nambiri Zongo.
Fifteen communities belonging to both tribes were torched.
Sixteen suspects were arrested.
Two of the suspects who were arraigned before a Tamale Circuit Court, presided by Richard Kogyapwa, on Thursday May 23, were sentenced to five years imprisonment after pleading guilty of the charge of possessing arms without authority.