The Northern Development Forum (NDF) has issued a fervent plea to influential individuals from Northern Ghana, urging them to dedicate their efforts towards achieving peace in the region. In a statement signed by Major Albert Don Chebe (Rtd.), the Chairman of the Northern Development Forum, the group emphasized the destructive consequences of pursuing misguided ethnic hegemony and called for a united effort to prevent conflict, destruction, and loss of life.
The NDF expressed deep sadness and sorrow upon learning about the recent ethnic clashes in the North Gonja District of the Savannah Region. Against a backdrop of severe poverty, dire living conditions, and crumbling infrastructure, the clashes between groups who share a common history of neglect and impoverishment are disheartening. The NDF firmly believes that resorting to acts of destruction and despoliation in the pursuit of ethnic dominance is counterproductive and exacerbates the already challenging circumstances faced by Northern Ghana.
The forum emphasized that such clashes not only perpetuate the damaging narrative of an inhospitable region but also provide ammunition for detractors and unfriendly interests to hinder development in Northern Ghana. The NDF called upon the youth of Northern Ghana to reflect on the far-reaching consequences of these conflicts and urged them to work towards a future defined by unity, development, and prosperity.
In their statement, the NDF appealed to the Northern Traditional Authorities, Ethnic Associations, and Development Organizations to intensify initiatives that minimize minor linguistic differences among the people of Northern Ghana. Instead, they encouraged focusing on the major similarities that can serve as unifying factors for Ghanaians with a common destiny.
The NDF stressed that the clashes in North Gonja must not define the future relations between neighboring communities that have historically shared amicable ties. Poverty remains the common enemy for the people of Northern Ghana, and it requires a collective effort to overcome. The NDF called for a concerted approach, combining all available resources, efforts, and energies to combat this shared adversary and pave the way for a peaceful, prosperous future.
“We should use our influence in the various traditional councils for peace, unity, and equitable development in the district and municipal assemblies to preach peace and advocate for dialogue in the event of boundary disagreements and land disputes,” the statement said.
Portions of the statement read: “News about ethnic clashes in the North Gonja District of the Savannah Region that have resulted in the destruction of lives, property, and livelihoods have been received with sadness and sorrow by the Northern Development Forum (NDF).
The Northern Development Forum’s appeal to influential citizens is a timely reminder of the critical role that individuals in positions of power and influence can play in shaping the destiny of their communities. It highlights the importance of promoting peace, unity, and equitable development, and serves as a call to action for all stakeholders to work together towards a brighter future for Northern Ghana.