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24.06.2005 Regional News

Co-exist peacefully in Dagbon -Bishop

GNA

Yendi, (N/R) June 24, GNA - The Bishop of the Diocese of Yendi, Rt. Rev. Vincent Sowah Boi-Nai has reminded the people of Dagon that if their quest for peace is anything to go by, they need to address basic issues of forgiveness, reconciliation as well as promote the spirit of solidarity among the people of Dagbon.

Bishop Boi-Nai gave the reminder when he delivered a keynote address at a workshop on: Towards Peaceful Co-existence in Dagbon, organised by Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Yendi for the members of the Andani and Abudu Gates and the security agents at Yendi. He said if they need peace in Dagbon, they need to oppose all forms of violence and focus on forgiveness and reconciliation. He said very often, people say that the government should hurry up and solve the Dagbon crises, adding, "I believe that all have the responsibility to play in bringing peace to Dagbon," he said.

Bishop Boi-Nai stressed on the need for the people of Dagbon to keep Dagbon free of weapons and violence to ensure peace and development. He said the current workshop is a follow-up on previous workshops the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Yendi last year organised for elders, women groups, and the youth groups and the Imams in Yendi township.

Bishop Boi-Nai said the lessons learnt from the workshops is that everybody in Dagbon wants peace. He noted that in recent times whenever there is a situation of violence in Yendi, people go on rampage looting, destroying property, and burning houses. He urged the people to find a way of stopping this culture of burning, looting and destruction of property, adding that instead all criminal cases be reported to Police.

In an address, the Yendi District Chief Executive, Alhaji Mohamed Habib Tijani said as a people of the same descent with common destiny, it is appropriate that they forgive one another for whatever happened that has torn the Dagbon state apart and as much as possible try to reconcile with one another.

Alhaji Tijani said any human setting where the people are filled with bitterness, accusations and counter accusations and a pent-up atmosphere could not witness any development. He said the net effect of this scenario is that people who should invest in the area would withdraw, public and civil servants would not accept postings and transfers to the area and the human resource base needed to turn the wheel of development around would be completely absent.

Alhaji Tijani said in this state they will continue to remain in their under development stage characterised by ignorance, illiteracy, poverty, diseases and above all insecurity.

In his welcoming address, the co-ordinator of Justice and Peace Commission, Mr Peter Atia urged the Yendi District Security Committee to encourage the youth of Andani and Abudu Gates to form joint peace committees to educate the people to live in peace with each other. He called on the participants to educate the people to live in peace with each other and educate their people to resolve to be disciples of peace to create the atmosphere for development. During contributions and question time, the Yendi Police Divisional Commander, Superintendent A. Awuni appealed to the people of Dagbon to come together so that the resources used for peace keeping could be channelled for the development of the area.

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