The Dagbon Center for Leadership and Development (DCLD) on the 13th of November led thousands of Dagbon youth in the Tamale Metropolis to peacefully register their displeasure and also express their disgust towards the way the government of the Nana Akufo – Addo is handling the issue of the creation of new regions particularly in relation to the inclusion of Chereponi District into the proposed North East Region of Ghana.
It will be recalled that the paramount chief of the Mamprugu Traditional Area who is championing the establishment of the NER presented a proposal to the Dagbon Traditional Council (DTC) requesting the council to cede Chereponi district which is an integral part of the Dagbon State for them to add to the proposed North East Region (NER).
In response to the request by the Mamprugu chief, the DTC held an emergency meeting at Yendi the capital of the Dagbon State and it was generally agreed by all members of the Council to decline the appeal. The decline of the Mamprugu Chief’s request by the DTC infuriated the government whose Vice President is a native from Mamprugu an ethnic group of with a population of about 220,000 in Ghana.
the DCLD accused the government under the influence of the Local Government Minister Hon. Alima Mahama and the Vice President Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia of ignoring the position of the DTC and clandestinely proceeding to engaged the people of Chereponi district who are mostly chekosis, moshies, konkombas, Hausa to ignored the DTC and join the new proposed NER. This scheming by the top politicians in the Government according to the DCLD created the picture that with or without the consent of the DTC Chereponi district would be included into the new region to be called NER. The consequent effect of this particular move by the “influencers” of this agenda could lead to a deadly ethnic conflict which will be extremely difficult to manage considering the history of the Dagomba Konkombas ethnic conflict in 1994 that led to several losses of lives and properties.
The DCLD after several attempts to engage the key stakeholder to address this potential source of ethnic conflict proved unsuccessfully. According to Tudu News source, the DCLD even at some point accepted a proposal from the Northern Regional Police Command to arrange a crisis meeting with the President of Ghana to quietly find an amicable solution to this worrying trend but in the end the Police Command indicated to the DCLD their inability to schedule with the President even though the President was scheduled to attend the University for Development Studies congregation in Tamale.
Tudu news interaction with the Co-Founder of the DCLD Mr Osman Mubarik Abu, revealed that, the Commission of inquiries, were seriously on the grounds in Chereponi influencing the people to mount pressure on the DTC to accept the Mamprugu Chief’s proposal so that they could achieve their objectives of getting their own region regardless of the consequent effect on the people. According to the Co-founder, the DCLD initiated a broad consultation with the entire chiefs in Dagbon as well as engage the vibrant youth and women to consider to this development as a threat to undermining the core survival of the Dagban State. Mr. Mubarik indicated that in the cause of the Community engagements exercise, the sentiment by the people of Dagbon showed that a massive demonstration to petition the President of Ghana was the way to go.
He said the petition was to remind the government of its commitment to be impartial when it comes to dealing with all ethnic groups especially the Dagbon State which is the second single largest ethnic group in Ghana with a population of more than one million. Mr, Mubarik expressed the DCLD’s gratitude to the demonstrators for making the event memorable and very peaceful even though the distance for the match was 6 kilometers. He also thanked the Northern Regional Police Command particularly those officers and men who policed the entire demonstration which lasted for close to four hours. He boasted that for over two decades the Dagbon people have not held a well-attended and peaceful program of this nature apart from political events.
The DCLD with the demonstrators submitted the petition to the President of Ghana through the Northern Regional Minister at the Northern Regional Coordinating Council. The petition was received by the Regional Minister Hon. Salifu Saeed on behalf of the President. He assured the DCLD and the demonstrator that the petition would be forwarded to the President as a matter of urgency and also thanked the DCLD and the demonstrators for being peaceful during the entire demonstration. The DCLD also served copies of the petition to the United State Embassy, British High Commission, the UNDP representative in Ghana, National peace council, Registrar Dagbon Traditional Council and the National House of Chiefs