Re: Chereponi Residents Demand ‘Neutral’ Arbiter, Want Defense Minister Sacked
Our attention has been drawn to the numerous unjustifiable calls born out of hatred for the removal of the Defense Minister, Hon. Dominic A. B. Nitiwul from office in connection with the Chereponi armed conflict. We wish to state that these calls are uncalled for and are not the panacea to conflict resolution. We wish to make the following clear; that:
1. The Konkombas and the Chokosis have never fought. It is a fact that there was a fight between two groups of people who happened to be Chokosis on one side and the Konkombas on the other side on a parcel of land. These two groups could have been both Chokosis or both Konkombas. To buttress the fact that Konkombas and Chokosis are not fighting, some examples are given here. In Chamba in the Nanumba North municipality, Chokosis and Konkombas are mixed up in the settlements (though the Konkombas are more than the Chokosis in numbers) but they stay peacefully without any fight amongst them. There are several other towns that Chokosis and Konkombas are mixed up and are not fighting. The challenge is that, most media houses are and have reported that, “Chokosis and Konkombas are fighting”. Per the statement above, (“Chokosis and Konkombas are fighting”), it suggests that any Chokosi anywhere in the world is at war with any Konkomba anywhere in the world; which is not the case.
2. The Defense Minister is not in charge of security in the Chereponi district neither is he in charge of security in the northern region. He is also neither the MP for Chereponi nor Saboba so how is the conflict in the area the fault of the defense Minister?
3. There has been conflicts in Bawku, Bimbilla, Bole, Alavanyo and other areas. Is it the Defense Minister who fueled and fanned these conflicts? Some of the conflicts have been there for ages before Hon. Nitiwul became a Member of Parliament.
4. The allegation that the Defense Minister’s tribe (Konkombas) has fought all tribes in the northern region has nothing to do with the Hon. Defense Minister. What we have to do as supporting agents for peace is finding the root cause of the conflicts which is not the duty of the Defense Minister but that of National Security, the various local government representatives which are definitely the DCEs, the regional minister etc. It is the duty of Ghana Government through the Peace Council, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and other bodies to educate the Ghanaian people on peace and coexistence. Since June, 2018 when the conflict erupted, tempers were calmed and nothing was done. No one visited the affected families to commiserate with them for their lost kinsmen. The whole issue went into sleep and the government thought that was all. The root causes were not identified and addressed.
5. Friends of Dominic (FoD) is charging the regional Minister (Hon. Salifu Saeed) to come out and clear the issue that Northern Youth Association president (Mr. Moses Atintande) has raised. He, “accused the Defence Minister of “disabling” the security apparatus to make room for further attacks by the Konkonbas”. Friends of Dominic (FoD) believe that it is only the northern regional minister who is in charge of REGSEC that can tell whether this assertion is true. It must be investigated and the perpetuators brought to book because this statement is a threat to security in that area.
6. We (Friends of Dominic - FoD) wish to state that the appointment of Ministers in Ghana has nothing to do with tribe. Therefore, it is uncalled for, for the Chokosis, Abudu family of Dagbon and the Northern Youth Association to demand the removal of the Defense Minister. In any case, will any subsequent Defense Minister be a Chinese or Japanese and not from a tribe in Ghana?
We (Friends of Dominic - FoD) wish to state and plead that all stakeholders responsible for the Chereponi security situation should join efforts in finding a lasting solution to peace in the area and stop the blame-game which may satisfy one party and anger the other. It is on records that the minister entered the political scene as the youngest member of Parliament then and has since lived to the admiration of his constituents who have continuously paid him back by renewing his political mandate to represent them. He served in many capacities for Ghana and the Parliament of Ghana by becoming the deputy minority speaker of Parliament, a member of Ghana's representation at Pan-African Parliament just to mention a few. This humble servant's name has never been mentioned for any wrong doing in his line of duties as far as his political life is concerned and for a select few to sit somewhere and drag his hard-won reputation into the mud, we, (Friends of Dominic) will not sit aloof and allow that to happen. The president of the good people of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo saw in him wisdom, humility, zeal and competence which he can utilize to help him deliver to the good people of Ghana, hence his appointment to this prestigious position. What we are simply seeking is this call on the president to "remove Hon. Dominic from office as the defense minister" should cease henceforth and let's all contribute in our own ways to ensure that there's lasting peace in the area for business to thrive as usual. We are not enemies we are one people with a common destiny. If there is anything to fight in our part of the country, it's certainly poverty and not fellow human beings who are key stakeholders in this agenda.
Convener: Joshua Upoalkpajor
Secretary: Benjamin Bitrim
Member: Abdulai Muntawakilu
Member: Oscar Poalab
Member: Daniel Nnebini N.
Member: Osman Yakubu Mandeya
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