|Most Rev. Philip Naameh|
The Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale, Most Reverend Philip Naameh, has appealed to the next government after the December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections, to as a matter of urgency, consider creating two more regions out of the Northern Region.
According to him, this was going to ensure the equitable distribution of resources towards addressing poverty, illiteracy and other developmental challenges that were contributing to prolong conflicts in the region.
The chairman of the Northern Regional Peace Council, who said these at the opening session of the 2016 Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference in Tamale, also urged whichever party would emerge victorious on December 7 to consider as a matter of urgency and make the region a peaceful place.
He indicated that, the region was noted for having the most violent conflicts saying, “Sustained violence and conflicts in Northern Region have resulted in the lost of human capital as well as the destruction of socio-economic infrastructure including schools and clinics, significantly halting and even reversing the development process in the area”.
Under theme: “Reconciliation With God, Humanity and Nature in The Year of Mercy”, the conference which started on Saturday October 8 and expected end on October 16, brought together all Bishops and Archbishops of the Roman Catholic in Ghana.
The Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference is a religious organisation having its legal foundation in the Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church, which applies to all Catholic Churches of the Roman Rite throughout the world. The Bishops' Conference, according to the Canon Law of the Catholic Church (Canon 447-459), is the central Body of the Church in Ghana. Its purpose is to deliberate on matters of concern to the Church in Ghana and to encourage activities in accordance with the needs of the times.
Thus, during the one week conference in Tamale, the Bishops would deliberate on issues related to the church in Ghana as well as other issues of national concern particularly the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections. They would also issue a communiqué at the end of the conference.
Most Rev. Naameh also bemoaned the response of government to conflicts in the region was very inadequate, and that it needed a more decisive intervention if it was to make Northern Region an area of peace.
|Bishops and Archbishops|
“Very often it is very limited to just fire-fire fighting. There is a conflict, government sends soldiers to go and scare people to run away and hide. But those value systems which make them (parties involve in conflict) feel not included, still continue to persist.
“Fundamentally, these conflicts are about a great pressure put on increasingly scarce resources. Whether it’s a question of land where we have a population explosion in that area, you have various ethnic groups having to compete for this very limited land which brings about conflict”, he observed.
Like people in all other parts of Ghana, the Archbishop of Tamale, said Dagombas, Gonjas and the people of the Northern Region were peace loving people.
The Regent of Dagbon Kampakuya-Naa Abdulai Andani in a statement read for him by Kasuli-Naa, indicated that the people of Dagbon needed peace and reconciliation more than anyone else. “I pray that God grants us the courage to seek reconciliation”, he added.
He appealed to the Bishops’ Conference to also pray for the entire nation of Ghana as it prepared for the December elections.
Kampakuya-Naa also commended the Roman Catholic Church for the enormous developmental projects it had provided the people of Ghana and more particularly the people of Yendi and Dagbon as a whole.
Meanwhile, the outgoing President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference and Bishop of Mampong Diocese, Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu, called on all citizens to ensure peace before, during and after the elections.
According to him, there was also the need for reconciliation among families and citizens in order to attain forgiveness from God.
He further cited the destruction of vegetation cover through deforestation, illegal mining, bushfires and water pollution among others as things that were bad, and urged citizens to seek reconciliation with nature by desisting from such acts.