The Regent of Tolon in the Northern Region, Rtd Major Abubakari Sulemana has warned of a looming conflict between his people and Gonjas in Daboya if the government fails to intervene in the ongoing territorial standoff between the two traditional areas.
A disagreement over land since 2012 triggered by the creation of the North Gonja district has strained relationships between Dagombas and Gonjas in two neighboring districts.
The North Gonja district was carved out of the West Gonja Municipal but the chiefs and people of Tolon traditional area claimed part of communities under its jurisdiction were wrongly demarcated.
The two indigenous tribe are laying claim to communities East of the White Volta River, known locally as Daboya river. The Regent of Tolon challenged that Gonjas do not own a single plot of land around East of the river and must back down from the rival claims.
Major Sulemana accused the Wasipewura and some settled Gonjas of the indiscriminate sale of lands at Galinzhagu, Diduriyili and Sisina communities and warned he would neutralize any threat to the territorial integrity of his traditional area.
The chief claimed specifically that more than 800 plots of the disputed territory were under a lease agreement between the chief of Daboya to some private investors without his consent.
Major Sulemana disclosed he is infuriated by this single act of trespassing by the Wasipewura and his people and inviting government to intervene immediately.
According to him, he was running out of patience and may be forced to take aggressive measures including taking up arms to protect and preserve all traditional assets entrusted under his care.
“Since it happened, I have been trying to alert the government to the problem that they have created in trying to create the Gonja North District. And I know, No Gonja has land in East of the Daboya river, so the settlers have taken it that once the govt has given them the district, the lands are for them and unfortunately they can’t claim those lands. They are settled farmers and they know it”, he explains.
Major Sulemana disclosed he has reported this latest development about the dispute to government and warned that further feet dragging will force him to war. He said government ministries in charge of Local Government and Rural Development and Regional Reorganization respectively have not responded to notices he served them months ago.
“So I have taken the pains to alert the govt so that they can carry out the necessary corrections. And I suggested to the ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Minister of Regional Reintegration; if they can come down and we sought it out peacefully, fine! if they don’t do that and we are forced to fight we will fight because no Gonja has land on this side of the river. And all the Gonjas know how their grandfather came to settle there. I intend to follow it peaceful but if no reaction from the government we have to war”, the chief declared.
The Regent issued the chilling threat last week at a town hall meeting in Tolon, which Information minister, Mustapha Hamid was the expected special guest.
The Regent of Tolon came to the gathering to issue the warnings directly to government through the Information Minister and the Regional Minister. Unfortunately, both Ministers did not turn up for the event.
The District Chief Executive of Kumbung, Abdul Fatawu Salaam who spoke on behalf of the regional minister promised to convey the message to the Regional Coordinating Council for the necessary action.
Source: Abubakar Abdul Kadir/northstarfmonline.com