Editorial: Conflicts in the north are driving away investors

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, according to citinewsroom.com report has called on all factions involved in the Bawku conflict to join forces with the government and other key stakeholders in resolving the disputes that have plagued the area. He emphasised that without peace, Bawku would not experience the much-needed development it deserves.

Speaking before the Chiefs and Queenmothers of the Upper East Region, Dr. Bawumia expressed his deep concern over the recurring attacks and compromised security situation in Bawku.

“As a son of the soil, my heart breaks about what is happening in Bawku. The conflict in Bawku is very unfortunate because we are really one people and we must be together and not fight. So I hope that the initiative that the government has taken through the House of Chiefs and the Otumfuo will help us bring lasting peace to the area.

“For us, on the part of the government, we understand that to prevent conflict and to enhance peace, we need to make sure that development in Ghana is inclusive. Everybody must feel a part of the development that we feel in the country. When people are excluded they are more susceptible to extremist ideologies,” Dr Bawumia was quoted as saying.

Myjoyonline.com also reported yesterday that at least seven people have reportedly been killed and several others injured in an ongoing clash between members of the Gonja and Mamprusi tribes at Lukula, in the North Gonja district.

The victims include the 70-year-old Mamprusi chief of the Kuwerigu Community, Naa Salifu Nachinaa, who was shot dead at his house by gunmen.The violence erupted at dawn, following two days of tension in the community, over attempts to stop the arrival of a rival chief from Daboya.

Since the regions in the north are considered to be the food basket for this country, whatever happens there must be of great concern to every Ghanaian. The country should not sit idle for the place to catch fire before efforts are made to extinguish it.

This is the reason why we are happy the Vice President Bawumia, who is also from the area, visited Bawku to express concern about the incessant attacks going on in the area.

The Bawku conflict, as we all know, predates the birth of Ghana, however the dimension it has taken in recent years leave much to be desired. Brothers and sisters are killing themselves with careless abandon, just because they come from different ethnic backgrounds. Despite all the efforts made by the succeeding governments, much has not been achieved in terms of peace among the warring factions.

As a matter of fact, as the situation stands now, no investor – foreign or domestic – will risk investing in Bawku and its surrounding areas. The concomitant effect of this is high unemployment because there are no jobs there to absorb the youth. This is also fueling the conflict because it is easy for influential people behind the conflict to woo these unemployed youth to join the fight.

With regard to the North Gonja conflict reported by myjoyonline.com, the genesis is that people do not want to belong to the Savanah Region, even though they are staying in Gonja land. This is a delicate issue, but it does not call for killing of brothers and sisters. It is only through dialogue that the issue can be resolved.

As we have earlier indicated, some of these conflicts drive away investors and that is why those who hail from these conflict areas must start talking to their people to use dialogue to resolve issues, instead of resorting to violence.

More people from the north are now drifting to the south for jobs and this could be reversed if they give peace a chance for investors to also invest in the regions.

As Veep Bawumia indicated, the government is doing her best to develop all parts of the country, but if we accept that the private sector is the engine for growth in every economy, then we cannot expect the north to grow alongside the south, if investors are shying away from the former because of conflict.

It is, therefore, the hope of The Chronicle that the opinion leaders from the north will take it upon themselves to campaign for peace in the area.

This is the only way, we dare say, to bring an end to the protracted conflicts and boost economic activities that would benefit the indigenes. We cannot expect development in the midst of senseless killings of our brothers and sisters, instead of resorting to dialogue to address our differences.


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