President John Dramani Mahama has admonished the feuding factions at Bunkprugu in the Northern region to put a permanent stoppage to the hostilities.
“Enough is enough,” he said at this year’s celebration of the Damba festival of the Mamprugu Traditional Area in the East Mamprusi District.
The President’s call came as the Ministry of the Interior announced on December 26, 2015, the renewal of the curfew in Bunkprugu from 8pm to 6am beginning December 29, 2015, following reported tension that was brewing in the town.
Two people lost their lives earlier this year during one of the clashes that have become synonymous with the community.
President Mahama said, “We cannot continue on this path because there are so many critical problems of development which require our attention.”
The Damba festival is celebrated by most of the tribal groups of Muslim origin in Northern Ghana.
It is celebrated to remember the birth and naming ceremony of the Holy Prophet, Mohammed.
This year’s celebration was on the theme, “Building Mamprugu together in peace and unity.”
At Nalerigu, the Nayiri, Naa Bohagu Mahami Abdulai Sheriga and his people exhibited the rich culture of the area.
It was the first time that a sitting President joined the chiefs and people in Nalerigu in the celebration.
Peace is priceless
President Mahama described peace as a priceless commodity, which people must seek to attain.
In that context, he expressed delight at the stabilisation of the situation in Nakpanduri also in the Mamprugu Traditional Area.
The President said Mamprugu had a strong history and was one of the traditional areas in Ghana that had witnessed stability in succession, no wonder the Nayiri was one of the most respected chiefs in the country.
Touching on development projects, the President said Mamprugu was getting its fair share.
He said he had asked the GET Fund to speed up infrastructure development of the Gambaga College of Education, which the government had absorbed into the public system.
The upgrading of the Walewale – Nalerigu road was also on course and he indicated that the remaining 17 km had been awarded on contract.
Besides, the Nalerigu water project was to be expanded to meet the growing population.
He also stated that the construction of three Community Day Senior High Schools in the Mamprugu area was aimed at improving access to secondary education in the area.
All over the country, he said, massive infrastructure development was evident.
“The government is well focused in changing the lives of the people and is working on an efficient implementation of our agenda for transformation,” he said adding that, “The massive injection is a necessary step towards building an economy where there will be equal opportunity for all.”
Protecting our culture
The issue of cultural change, which was also threatening the very existence of the country’s culture and traditions was also mentioned by the President, stressing the need for the people to uphold their rich culture and tradition which identified them as a people.
Nonetheless, he believed culture should not be static for which reason Ghanaians should, as and when necessary, seek to improve aspects of their cultures that were counter-productive.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Nayiri said without peace the area would not see the expected development.
He commended the security agencies for the good work they were doing in the conflict areas.
Naa Mahami said the traditional area was taking steps to galvanise the support of the people and other stakeholders to improve educational standards in the area.