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05.03.2006 General News

Bishop inaugurates peace committee for Dagbon

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Yendi, March. 5, GNA - A thirty member Yendi Peace Committee made up of members from the Andani and Abudu Gates has been inaugurated at the Yendi Community centre at Yendi.

In his inaugural address, the Catholic Bishop of Yendi, Most Rev. Vincent Sowah Boi-Nai appealed to all members of the peace committee to look beyond their differences and strive towards the peace in Dagbon. Bishop-Boi-Nai said they all realise the need to have peace in Dagbon and it is their responsibility to work together to bring about peace.

He said, this is one of the reasons why there is the need to have peace committee to help promote peaceful co-existence in Dagbon thereby creating an environment where people can freely interact with one another.

Bishop Boi-Nai said, lies, false accusations, distortions of facts and rumour mongering only serve to destroy community life at all levels. He therefore, urged the members of the Peace Committee to always seek the truth to defend it and to stand by it.

In an address, the Yendi District Coordinating Director Alhaji Mohammed Asibi Azonko commended the Bishop of Yendi for his personal involvement and conviction to help restore lasting peace in the area. Alhaji said the Yendi District Assembly, since the outbreak of the conflict in Yendi has spent at least 300 million cedis to date in respect of running and maintenance costs of vehicles for operations, official visits in respect of the conflicts as well as medical bills of peacekeepers.

Alhaji Azonko said this amount could have fetched a community at least a three classroom block. and a ten-seater KVIP toilet to improve upon the people's standard of living.

He said losses to the district in terms of labour turn-over and certain resources on hold when quantified are huge. The district coordinator reminded the people that Dagbon needs peace to restore its dignity as a people and move forward with socio-economic development.

He urged the committee members to see their role as complementary to that of Government, the Regional Security Council, Traditional Authorities, District Authorities, Security Agencies and other interested groups in the system.

Alhaji Azonko commended Action Aid International Ghana, FOSDA, BIRDS, Justice and Peace Commission for supporting the formation and inauguration of the peace committee.

In an address the Methodist Bishop of Tamale Rt. Rev. Joseph Atto Brown reminded the people of the area that, "the only joy we can have on earth is joy of fellowship for peace."

He said since the time of the conflict in Dagbon, all the religious bodies in the area have been praying for peace, and the inauguration of the peace committee in Yendi is going to confirm the total peace in Dagbon.

Rev. Atto was accompanied by a five- member delegation from the Northern Ecumenical Forum.