The Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale, Most Reverend Philip Naameh, has called for the creation of two more regions out of the Northern Region, considering the vast nature of the region.
He argued that, splitting the Northern Region could help resolve the chieftaincy, land and other related conflicts recorded in the area.
“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 lamented.
He was addressing the opening session of this year’s Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference held in Tamale, which brought together all Bishops and Archbishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Ghana.
This year’s Catholic Bishops Conference was under the theme, “Reconciliation with God, humanity and nature in the year of mercy.”
Topmost on the agenda of the week-long event, is the need to ensure a peaceful presidential and parliamentary elections on December 7.
Most Reverend Philip Naameh explained his standpoint on the need to split the Northern Region into three.
“This is going to ensure the equitable distribution of resources towards addressing poverty, illiteracy and other developmental challenges that are contributing to prolonged conflicts in the region.”
As the Chairman of the Northern Regional Peace Council, he said the endless conflicts have ruined the region’s development agenda.
“Sustained violence and conflicts in the 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”.
Most Reverend Philip Naameh downplayed successive government’s commitment to resolving such conflicts and called for a paradigm shift.
“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, the parties involved feel excluded and still the conflict persists.”
The Regent of Dagbon, Kampakuya-Naa Abdulai Andani, in a speech read on his behalf urged Dagombas to intensify their peaceful co-existence.
“Dagbon needs peace and reconciliation more than anyone else, and I pray that God grants us the courage to seek reconciliation.”
He urged the Clergy to pray for peaceful elections on December 7, and further commended the Roman Catholic Church for the enormous developmental projects executed across the country particularly in Yendi.
The outgoing President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, who doubles as the Bishop of the Mampong Diocese, Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu, admonished Ghanaians to remain law abiding citizens before, during and after the December 7 polls.
He condemned practices such as deforestation, illegal mining, bush-fires and water pollution that contribute to the destruction of the country’s vegetative cover.
The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference is an integral part of the Catholic faith enshrined in the Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church, which applies to all Catholic Churches of the Roman Rite throughout the world.
According to the Canon Law of the Catholic Church (Canon 447-459), the Catholic Bishops’ Conference is the central decision making body of the Catholic Church in Ghana.
It creates a platform for Bishops and Archbishops of the Catholic Church in Ghana to offer practicable solutions to issues of national concern.
By: Abdul Karim Naatogmah/citifmonline.com/Ghana