Tindongo and Namoalogo residents regret violent action …as they seek true reconciliation
Signs of regret are now clear on the faces of residents of Tindongo and Namoalogo a little over one week after they engaged in a communal conflict, leading to the deaths of four people, with seven others sustaining varied degrees of injuries.
June 5, 2012 has since gone into the history books of the two farming communities as the bloodiest day, after four people were killed in different horrifying fashions, and seven others sustained gunshot and machete wounds, when men of the two communities clashed over a parcel of land.
Some twenty-seven people were subsequently arrested during a dawn swoop by the police in connection with the disturbances, and are still on remand.
During the swoop, scores of men fled the area, leaving only women and children. However, checks on Tuesday June 12, revealed that while the men from Namoalogo had not returned, those of Tindongo were back home, and busily working on their farms.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Talensi, Mr. John Tia Akologo, was in the two communities on Tuesday to comfort the bereaved families, and also to call for the need for them to embrace peace. He urged them to see development as the best option for their good, rather than destruction.
His first point of call was on the Namoalogo Chief, Naba Maayaliga. There, only a handful of men were around. The MP appealed for calm before proceeding to Tindongo, where he met with the Tindana (land owner) and elders of the community.
After their interaction with the PM, the two sides regretted their actions and showed signs of remorse. They proposed that he bodies of those who lost their lives should be released as soon as possible for them to organise a joint burial ceremony, as a sign of their readiness to smoke the peace pipe.
Speaking to reporters after interacting with the two sides, Mr. Akologo said, “From the interaction, I can see that they have regretted their action, and they want to come back together.”
Mr. Akologo reminded the residents that since this was the farming season, they must give the police the necessary cooperation to find a lasting resolution to problem, so they could continue with their farming activities.
Meanwhile, there were rumours that some unscrupulous persons were taking advantage of the conflict situation to steal castle belonging to members of the two communities. The MP said if it was true, then it was condemnable and should be stopped.
He was accompanied by the Upper East Regional Police Commander, DCOP Bright Oduro, and the DCE for Talensi-Nabdam, Mrs. Vivian Anafo.
DCOP Oduro appealed to opinion leaders of both sides and the Assembly Member for the Tindongo-Namoalogo Electoral Area to assist the police in getting the culprits, so that the law would take its course.
In a related development, members of Tindongo and Namoalogo resident in Bolgatanga have held a joint news conference to condemn the incident that led to the loss of lives.
They stated that the sister communities had lived together in peace and unity for several years, inter-marry, celebrate a common festival, share a health facility and market, and as well organise communal labour, and moreover, are culturally bound together due to their common beliefs and values.
Mr. Bugre Samuel Sapak, an opinion leader of the Tindongo community, who addressed the news conference on behalf of the two communities, appealed to the Regional Security Council, the Talensi-Nabdam District Security Council, Tindaanas, and opinion leaders to join hands in facilitating early release of the deceased, and also help in restoring lasting peace.
Mr. Robert Yeli-Oni, an opinion leader from Namoalogo, was also a signatory to the press statement.
Mr. Akologo Tia spoke to the media after the news conference. He lauded the initiative by the two sides, and pledged his support and commitment towards the total restoration of peace in the area.
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