Source:savannanews24/Hamza Lansah Lolly:
Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for West Africa and the Sahel, and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) has commended His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his sterling efforts in bringing peace to the people of Dagbon.
According to him, President Akufo Addo have personally invested in the efforts at bringing the protracted conflict in the Dagbon Kingdom to an end.
The three decade protracted chieftaincy conflict between the Abudu and Andani royal families was resolved under the able leadership of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Dr. Ibn Chambas speaking at the lecture to mark this year’s Damba Festival on the theme: “A New Dagbon: Peace and Unity for Development”, also commended former President J.A Kufour and John Dramani Mahama for their roles in the eventual success of the mediation efforts to address the Dagbon crisis.
Again, the Committee of Eminent Chiefs under the dynamic Chieftainship of Otumfuo, the Asantehene, Nana Osei Tutu II, who over the years painstakingly sustained the dialogue and the mediation which have finally come to fruition, also deserve enormous thanks and appreciation.
The lecture was organised by the Dagbon Traditional Council and the Dagbon Youth Forum as part of activities to mark the annual Damba Festival, which will take place in the second week of next month.
The Damba Festival is an annual festival celebrated by the people of North Ghana especially the descendants of Yaa Gbewaa.
Dr. Ibn Chambas noted that, what has transpired in Dagbↄŋ can be and should be replicated in other traditional areas still burdened by division and conflict. “And here let me quickly add that we shall need the courage wisdom and spirit of compromise and reconciliation to spread across the region to bring an end to similar chieftaincy disputes”.
He said, the dispute and violence, mistrust and tensions of the past decades have been worrisome, retrogressive, needless, and wasteful. Nonetheless, they are neither unique nor exceptional to Dagbↄŋ.
“Now that we have peace in Dagbon, it is important that we turn our attention to sustaining the peace and deepening reconciliation that led to the resolution of the conflict so that the peace becomes durable. It is now time to embrace the truth that we are the same people, and that out of many we are one, that no section will succeed without the other; that either we swim together or we drown together”.
The UNOWAS Secretary-General proposes for a dialogue in order to sustained the cohesive and unity among the people of Dagbon, adding that, respect of authority, honouring agreed rules, customs and practices, inclusivity and participation will give every segment of the community the sense of ownership, and the feeling and belief that the traditional state belongs to all and will protect them all.
“There is the fundamental need of building a stable society by repairing and transforming relationships which are often severely damaged during conflict. We need to work seriously and continuously to transform the relationships between and among all people of Dagbon wherever they may be, both here or outside”. He stated
He said, reconciliation can also be accelerated in the Dagbon traditional state through a shared community vision of the future of the Dagbon state and how all its parts complement each other and live peaceably in a shared space. “This joint community vision can be realized through a Dagbon state inter-group and inter community dialogue, where all community members come together over a day or two and engage one another in structured discussion on the future of the Dagbon state, including through cultural…and sporting activities to unite villages”.
“Your Majesty has undertaken to work for all, for the benefit of the Dagbon state and its peoples, and to foster peaceful inter-community relationships with other communities. Building on this assurance, the key for all of us is to ensure non-recurrence of the events and violence of the past. Let us begin today the writing of a new history and a new chapter in Dagbon state and that has in fact already began. Let other communities in the region and in Ghana which are now impacted by violent conflict because of chieftaincy succession see Dagbon as a model to follow”.
Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas said, the ability of the Dagbↄŋ Kingdom to sustain peace and achieve the envisaged development depends on strong collaboration with stakeholders including government and civil society, academia and development agencies. “It will require combatting the ills of social decay, corruption, poor governance, nepotism, unemployment and gender-based exclusion, among others. It will equally depend on the ability to sustain unity and prevent conflict as well as the iron will to break free from underdevelopment”.
The Chairman of the National Peace Council, Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, Council, who was at the event expressed belief that the new era of peace in Dagbon would continue to grow and Dagbon would be accorded its rightful place in society.
The Northern Regional Minister, Hon Salifu Saeed congratulated the then Kampakuya Naa (now Yoo Naa) and the Bolin Lana (now Mion Lana) for their respective roles they played towards the peace process of Dagbon.