Catholic Bishop blames conflicts in the north on colonialistsBy GNA
5/6/2012 4:00:46 PM -
Tamale, May 6, GNA - The Most Reverend Philip Naameh, Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Tamale, has observed that most of the conflicts that had bedeviled the north for decades were the results of interference in traditional issues by the colonial masters.
He said in their quest to implement indirect rule and have control over the northern territories, the colonial masters aligned some minority ethnic groups and their properties under the dominant ones leading to the subduing of their resources.
During the 1980's the minority ethnic groups tried to re-possess their properties including lands which resulted in conflicts, he said.
Archbishop Naameh was delivering the Marshall-Murea-Murat Memorial Public Lecture in Tamale at the weekend as part of activities marking the 40th anniversary of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall of the Catholic Church in the Northern Region.
It is on the theme: 'Good governance, democracy, justice and peace in Northern Ghana in the context of the 2012 elections.' It brought together renowned personalities of the Catholic Church to suggest possible ways of maintaining peace as the nation moves towards the Election 2012.
Archbishop Naameh said about 23 conflicts were registered in the Northern parts of the country out of which 17 were recorded in the Northern Region alone.
He also said the creation of chiefs in accephalous societies was another factor causing most of the conflicts in the north and the need for arbitration to contribute to the peace and development of the area.
Archbishop Naameh called on the public to eschew conflicts and embrace peace to facilitate the democratic process through which Ghana would become a beacon of hope.
Mr Hippolyt A. S. Pul, Coordinator, Peacebuilding in Africa of the Catholic Relief Services, who delivered a lecture on 'good governance, democracy, justice and peace in Northern Ghana', said good governance and democracy were intricately linked.
He expressed misgivings about the deliberate marginalisation of the north in development because of its perceived lack of natural resources for exploitation but kept as a reservoir of cheap labour for servicing the mining and the cocoa industries.
This, he said was responsible for the persistent poverty and unequal development in the area.
He suggested the need for Ghanaians to transcend their parochial ethnic, religious and political cleavages to champion an agenda that truly makes peace and justice the fruits of the system of democratic governance.
Mr Pul called for a new media that could enlighten the people to make informed choices, citizens that would be responsible and vigilance and the passage of the freedom to information bill to make Ghana a better place.
Brother Malex Alebikiya, Grand Knight said entrenched positions and opinions, colonial history, illiteracy, exploitation of traditional governance system and religious interests huddled democratic governance.