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Gonjaland Citizens Want Separate Region

2006-05-01 13:56:18
This article has been read 691 times.

The leadership of Gonjaland have made a passionate appeal to Government to consider creating a new region for Gonjas out of the existing Northern Region. Their contention is that Gonjaland, which according to their leaders forms the nucleus of the region, is not getting its fair share of the national cake; the formation of a new region would address this ‘imbalance’.

The national president of the Gonjaland Youth Association, Alhaji Ahmed Ewura, made the appeal at the association’s 30th annual congress held at Buipe in the Central Gonja District.

According to him, the present size of the Northern Region makes it unwieldy for smooth administration; splitting the area into two would help reduce some of the numerous challenges facing the people of the region including poverty, disease and conflicts that have retarded the progress of its development.

He emphasised that the quest for a new administrative region for Gonjaland, which makes up more than one-third of the Northern Region, is based purely on development considerations devoid of any political, religious, or tribal undertones and, urged all and sundry to give it the needed push and support. “The region is a vast one; traveling from Bumkurugu to Bamboi is like traveling from Tamale to Accra. Its vastness makes it difficult for political leaders and for that matter government to get in to closer contact with the inhabitants to sell out policies of the government,” he said

Alhaji Ewura noted that, good government policies – including the National Health Insurance Scheme, the Capitation Grant, the school feeding programme and plans to reduce youth unemployment – have not been as successful as they might have been because initiators and policy makers lack close interaction with the people. Some government policies have therefore been dormant, he said. Commenting on the theme of the congress, “Emerging of chieftaincy disputes in the Gonjaland – the role of the youth,” Alhaji Ewura outlined several key factors the association has identified which lead to disputes and continued unrest in the area.

These included non-compliance with laid down guiding principles and procedures in the selection or enskinment of chiefs; over-reliance on oral literature in the decision making process; abuse of and sometimes wrong use of veto power; and non-involvement or consultation with the Kingmakers and Queenmothers in the selection or decision making process.

Alhaji Ewura urged chiefs in the region, especially the Gonja Traditional Council, to adhere to the laid down traditions and norms that govern the selection and enskinment of chiefs to make the process transparent and free of strife. He called on the Council to constitute a standing committee representing all the five divisional areas in Gonjaland to properly research into disputes cases and advice the king appropriately.

He entreated the youth to accept the challenge of sustaining the current peace in the land in order to ensure the continued and accelerated development of Gonjaland.

He commended all the stakeholders in the Dagbon issue for the mature manner in which they saw to the peaceful burial of the late king, and hoped that the maturity and understanding demonstrated by the people of Dagbon would guide them in the arduous task of bringing lasting peace to Dagbon and the Northern Region as a whole.


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