Chereponi man ‘sacrifices’ son for peace

Towns and villages in Chereponi have been deserted as a result of the conflict[/caption] The father of the Assembly member for Naaja Electoral Area in the Chereponi District of the North East Region says he has nothing to do about the arrest of his son. “If holding my son in police custody will restore peace in Chereponi then so be it; I will be glad knowing that my son made the sacrifice for peace,” John Blanyani, father of Ujun Blanyani, said. “Education is the only legacy we can give our children yet our schools have been closed because of this conflict, the children can’t go to school and I say again that if keeping my son will see the schools opened, I will be happy knowing he made a sacrifice for education.” This resolved stance was made known to the bi-partisan delegation led by the Defense Minister Dominic Nitiwul that visited the Konkomba community in Naaja in Chereponi Friday May 24. Ujun Blanyani was arrested by a joint military team at his house in Naaja Friday while, “he was helping put things together for the visit of the delegation under the directive of the North-East Regional Minister Solomon Boar,” his father John Blanyani, who is caretaker Chief of Naaja, revealed. These claims were confirmed during a debriefing by the joint military and police team who arrested him. “We arrested the assemblyman of Naaja this morning. He has been on our wanted list for a while now because we saw him during one of our patrols distributing guns to some people. “Again, on a second visit to his house, we saw guns in his room so today we picked him when we went on patrol this morning,” the leader of the security team told the Defense Minister Dominic Nitiwul and the delegation. However, some Konkomba chiefs who were among the royal delegation in Naaja insisted the arrest of Ujun Blanyani was unfair, appealing for his release. “One of our sons was arrested this morning, please look into his arrest because he was preparing for your visit and was arrested; we thought you were coming with him only for you to come without him,” one of the Chiefs pleaded. Ngisah Bawah, 54, and Nakwa Yaw Koria, 60, both residents of Naaja, were arrested alongside Ujun Blanyani at about 09:30am Friday May 24. The Minister in his response revealed, “We will not interfere in the work of the security”. Meanwhile, the leadership of the Anufor Youth Movement in Chereponi has revealed embracing peace in their current state of despair is “difficult”. Secretary of the Movement Sulemana Sadiq Frinje, in an interview with on the sidelines of the visit by the bi-partisan delegation, revealed, “We don’t know the whereabouts of the two innocent Anufor travelers who went missing at Garinkuka. This is leaving Anufors with a heavy heart to embrace dialogue for peace”. “You may agree with me that our traditions forbids performing funerals of those boys or any other funeral in their family until their fate of death or alive is confirmed, and repercussion of violating these traditional believes.” Yahaya Mumuni, a farmer, and Yaw Kwame, a 2nd year electrical engineering student of the Tamale Technical University, went missing on May 16 after they were ordered to come down from a GPRTU bus, which was traveling from Tamale to Chereponi. The two are reported to be among some other passengers who were equally ordered to come down by gun-wielding men that fateful day. “They isolated all Anufors/Chokosis from all other tribes and men from women. All women and other tribes were made to get back on board the vehicle as they asked the driver to return to Yendi with them. They took all their mobile phones and started brutalizing the Anufor men including those boys as the vehicle left the scene. Some mobile phones seized were later presented to the police in Chereponi through the assembly member of the area. These two boys have since never been seen or heard of,” Sulemana Frinje revealed. He added the loud silence on the fate of the two leaves the youth in a worried state. “Police has also never made any arrests even though people from the Garinkuka community returned some of the seized phones whom we feel could know those who perpetrated the act even if they themselves did not take part,” he added. Fifteen communities of both Anufors and Konkombas have been torched in the renewed clash since May 18. Sixteen suspects have been arrested over the one-week period with three more arrested on Friday, May 24. Two of the suspects have been jailed five years each by a Tamale Circuit Court.

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By Zubaida Ismail||Ghana]]>