The Executive Director of the West Africa Network for Peace Building, Mr Emmanuel Bombande, has dismissed suggestions that former Upper East Regional Minister Cletus Avoka is unfit for a ministerial appointment.
Mr Bombande who was reacting to a protest by a Tamale-based youth group to revoke the nomination of Mr Avoka said the nomination of the former regional minister for the interior ministry rather presents a key to unravelling the main causes of the problem in the region.
Mr Avoka, a Mamprusi and the National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament for Bawku West, has been accused of exhibiting bad qualities in relation to his role in the Bawku conflict between the Kusasis and the Mamprusis.
But Mr Bombande said it would be unfortunate for a side in the conflict to be refused a ministerial appointment for reasons of ethnic affiliation.
“Rather than look at it from the way it has been presented, because of his insider knowledge, of the conflict in Bawku, because he understands at first hand the need for co-existence, peacefully, we can expect between Kusasis and Mamprusis he would need very little persuasion to put on his efforts in the capacity as Minister for Interior in promoting dialogue,” Mr Bombande added.
He advised both sides to pursue peace and shun tendencies of violence as any negative development in the region will effect a negative backlash on the area.
Bawku and Mr Avoka
Bawku has constantly come under the spotlight but most of the time for the wrong reasons. Reports have it that security in the Upper Eastern regional town remains volatile and has the potential of even degenerating into fully fledged conflict.
Mr Avoka also a former Minister of Environment Science and Technology in the Rawlings-led government was appointed regional minister for the region between 1995 and 1997.
Described by the Concerned Youth of Bawku as an ethnic activist, the apprehension is he could use his ministerial position to launch his parochial ethnic interest in the region.
He is said to be a pioneering member of the Kusasi Youth Association which according to the group was formed primarily to fight the Mamprusis in Bawku.
Meanwhile Mr Avoka, who describes himself as a peace-lover, has dismissed the allegations against him stressing his role in public office would be to restore peace in the area.