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Bishops urge Dagbon factions to listen to eminent chiefs

2009-11-16 22:45:03
This article has been read 808 times.

Catholic Bishops have appealed to both sides of the Dagbon family to listen to the advice and follow the direction of the Committee of the Three Eminent Chiefs appointed to help resolve amicably the current state of impasse in the peace process.

"We plead with both sides to realize that it is the fate of the great Kingdom of Dagbon which is at stake and with it the peace of Ghana," the Catholic Bishops said in a communiqué issued at the end of their weeklong annual plenary assembly at Yendi in the Northern Region.

The Conference was on the theme: "Church in Ghana at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace."

The Bishops said meeting in the capital of the Dagbon Kingdom gave them the opportunity to interact with various groups and opinion leaders in the area.

"We are happy to have been assured by this cross-section of the populace - traditional, religious and political leaders - that violence is now a thing of the past in Yendi.

"In spite of the assurance, however, we are of the opinion that there are still a few hurdles to clear in the peace process to achieve lasting peace."

The communiqué said one such significant problem was the unemployment of the many young people for the seven months of the year described as "the fallow period".

"In this regard, we urge the Government to speed up the implementation of the programmes of the Savannah Accelerated
Development Authority.

"Job creation in agriculture through these programmes will help solve the problem of the idle youth who are easily manipulated by the unscrupulous to fan the flame of violence in the area."

The Bishops said they were adding their voices to that of the cross-section of the people of Dagbon that they interacted with to acknowledge the pivotal role of Bishop Vincent Sowah Boi-Nai, the Catholic Bishop of Yendi in the area adding "we encourage and assure him of our continued support".

The Bishops also commended the National Peace Council and the Inter-Ethnic Committee for their "indefatigable effort" to help achieve peace in Bawku.

The noted that desire for peace amongst Ghanaians in general and in Dagbon in particular, as evidenced in their encounters with the people of Yendi should spur all Ghanaians on to work seriously for this peace.

They therefore urged all Ghanaians, especially the people of Bawku and of Dagbon, not to "let your love be a pretence but sincerely prefer good to evil. Love one another as much as brothers do, and have a profound respect for one another. Do not give up if trails come, and keep on praying."

The Bishops said they also visited a "witches’ village" which is intended, in the first place, to offer protection to those accused of witchcraft, but found that the conditions we found in the Gnani witch village need improvement.

The Bishops therefore urged the Department of Social Welfare, benevolent non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations and the Catholic Faithful to support the Catholic Diocese of Yendi in its pastoral care of these villages to bring relief to the residents of the witch villages.

"As we appeal for help for these we exhort the people and the traditional leaders of the area to examine the treatment meted to those accused of witchcraft and to make it impossible for people to easily victimise others by accusing them," the communiqué said.


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