Pathetic: Konkomphobia and the Politics of Hate– A Policy Analyst’s View

Pathetic: Konkomphobia and the Politics of Hate– A Policy Analyst’s View

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Views: 551 George A Badak Jun 1, 2019 Speculations and rumor mongering has been part of human existence since time immemorial. The duo often thrive wh...

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George A Badak

Writer: George A Badak

George A Badak

Jun 1, 2019

Speculations and rumor mongering has been part of human existence since time immemorial. The duo often thrive when access to credible information is limited or non-existent, and the propagators seize opportunity offered by the demand gap to feed the information hungry public with hoax.

Personally, with the little education I have acquired and through experience, I find it impossible to act on rumor, and in addition, on account of the following:

  1. My personal principles and Christian values; and
  2. Documented historical facts about incidences of rumor that led to bloody wars among ethnic

groups across the world and their consequences afterwards.

So far as history is concerned, perhaps the chief rumor monger the world has produced is/was Goebbels. Goebbels craft of lying against the Jews “minority” ethnic group in Germany some centuries ago, resulted in the massacre of over six million Jews by the Nazis under the express hand of Adolf Hitler- the Nazis ruler at the time. The second that quickly comes to mind is the 1994 Rwandan genocide that claimed the lives of millions of both Tutsis and Hutus. Let me state however, that, these two events stated above are classical incidences that occurred as a results of rumour and speculations that reared their ugly heads at the macro level, and the macro level analyses is the kind, of much interest to me.

I know the concept of “objectivity” is a big matter in recent times and those who dare to route that path must be ready for criticisms. But be it as it may, I will do my analysis and you can criticize me if you deemed that portions of my work worth same. I believe that the time has come that we speak the hard TRUTH to influence policy (provided my/our ideas are of use to them), regardless the consequences.

Keen followers of the Ghanaian media, some of whom, I want to believe are my followers on social media know that Chabob (Saboba) and Cherikpeni (Cheriponi) has been in the news since June 2018, for bad reasons. The major inhabitants in these two towns are predominantly Konkombas, with a handful of Chokosis sandwiched in the districts margins or have individual homes among Konkombas. Now the bad reasons for which they have been in the news is that, these two ethnic groups who previously lived as brothers and sisters, are now at the throat of each other over a so reported 2 hectare parcel of farm land. The outcome of the initial skirmishes as reportted, resulted in the loss of lives of two young men from the Konkomba side. The young men were buried, docket on the incident shelved by the Police, and the perpetrators freed to enjoy their normal lives.

Theoretically, when people commit heinous crimes and are not punished, many, if not all, will return to commit even worse than the previous. This is universally applicable. In conjunction with that, those who I want to believe murdered the first 2 Konkomba young men, returned to perform gymnastics at their graves amidst incantations. That resulted in the provocation of the deceased families that led to the second leg of the conflict between the two groups.

Following the heat that the second leg brought to bear on the two feuding factions, the state quickly deployed a combined Military and Police troop to the epicenter of the confusion and imposed a 4pm – 6am curfew on the two towns, which was subsequently reviewed on account of possible health implications.

There were allegations and counter allegations from both factions on claims that the combined taskforce were aiding the either side to fight the other. I personally placed calls to friends who live closer to nearby communities within the conflict domain and was really overwhelmed about what I heard with regards to the activities of the Taskforce.

Even though I believed my friends, but just because I was not there in person, I was mindful of saying anything. I was mindful because unlike the Cheriponi DCE (Mr Abdul-Razak Tahiru), I didn’t want to conclude and  rant from Accra or Kumasi just based on “they say.”

Politics is really cheap, no wonder every “idiot” wants to get into it. Under substantive/ proper functioning democracies where public office holders are held responsible, people like him should have been relieved of his post long before. Obviously, his irresponsibility, reckless and illogical utterances is the prime reason Cheriponi may not see peace any moment soon.

He has placed his political self aggrandizement above any other considerations, and apparently using the tax payer’s money through his district’s share of the DACF to procure weapons and ammunitions for his Chokosi side to fight.

In an interview with City FM’s Umaru Sanda last week, Mr Razak could not answer a question with respect to the population of his district, but was quick to tell the world the number of electoral areas in his district and their distributions. A DCE who does not know the population of his district (for obvious reasons), is that one too a DCE?

I had earlier shared on this same platform that we really need to do more than just sending security forces to address ethnic conflicts or conflict of any other kind in this country, and I still stand by that. I am saying that as a fact and only for the knowledge of those who may not know.

For conflict theorists, my assertion is not a subject of debate at all. There is something fundamentally wrong with respect to the Konkomba and her Northern neighbours, which we all claim not to know, but God is watching.

Now, like the Acheampong regime which overlooked the danger of taking an action that will eventually make some ethnic groups subjects to the others and result in years of pandemonium and hostile relationship among them, so are some members of security taskforce sent to Cheriponi to help in the peace process.

The Acheampong regime in 1978 altered the principles of land administration in the Northern region using the recommendations of a non-statutory Alhassan committee’s recommendations.  It is important to note that Article 257 of the 1992 constitution is the brain child of Alhassan’s committee recommendations.

Prior to 1978 including much of the British colonial era, there has not been any significant record of Konkombas encounter with any other ethnic group be it in Northern Ghana or wherever. So why, from 1981 through to 94 to now, we have become the chief monster in Ghana?

Is it not strange that the Alhassan’s committee of 1978 had a total membership of 12 individuals, 10 members out of the 12 were drawn from the tribes of Gonja, Mamprusi, Nanumba and Dagomba, who devised very diabolical means to partition the Northern territory among themselves on the basis of paramountcy  granted each by the evil government at the time?

How comes that after broad consultations with the various Konkomba clans, all of which  agreed that the chief of Saboba be recognized as the Paramount  chief of Konkombas, KoYA’s petition to the authorities to recogize same as such and grant the Konkombas a paramountcy has not been heeded to even by all subsequent governments up to date?  How about that?

It does appear that evil tiny neighbouring ethnic group to Konkombas in the Northern region of Ghana seems to undermine them.  Following the appointment of Hon John Benam as the deputy Northern regional minister designate, early this year by H.E Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo, one Basiru  Bejejugu shared on his facebook wall as follows ‘THE ONLY CABINET SLOT FOR THE PRESENT NORTHERN REGION WENT TO NITIWUL A KONKOMBAMAN. EVEN WHEN WE WERE  WITH GONJAS AND MAMPRUSIS SO WHY APPOINT JOHN BENAM ANOTHER KONKOMBA AS A DEPUTY TO HON SALIFU SAEED AS THE DEPUTY NORTHERN REGIONAL MINISTER WHAT AT ALL HAVE WE DONE TO DERSERVE THIS AS DAGOMBAS I CALL ON ALL DAGOMBAS TO HELP US PEACEFULLY REJECT THE CONTINUE DOMINATION AND RULING OF OUR REGION BY MINORITY TRIBES. DAGOMBAS GAVE NPP (6) SEATS DURING THE LAST ELECTION THE HIGHEST IN THE REGION THAN ANY OTHER TRIBE SO WE REFUSE TO BE SPECTATORS AT THIS STAGE ENOUGH IS ENOUG. IT IS NOT DAGOMBAS WHO SACKED BUGRI NAABU BUT NPP DELEGATES INCLUDING HIS OWN KONKOMBA PEOPLE SO WHY GIVE ALL OUR CHANCES TO HIS PEOPLE.”

So for people like Basiru Bejejugu, Konkombas do not deserve a cabinet slot because in his opinion (and indeed it is the opinion of some of our Northern neighbours), Konkomba is a minority group. Indeed, I do not understand his definition of a minority tribe in his context, but I would not be surprise if his view is in respect of the fact that Konkombas do not have a nationally recognized Overlord, and that even lacks a universal literary applicability.

However, if his definition of Konkombas as a minority tribe is in respect of numbers, then I really feel pity for him as he is living in the mirage of population figures. Now, I dare Bejejugu to list the seats they (Dagombas) delivered to the NPP in the Northern region in the last election.

In the January episode, a friend of mine forwarded to me on whatssap, a picture of a lifeless young man lying in the pool of blood alleged to have been murdered by the military cum police taskforce. What intrigued me was the fact that the young man does not appear to have been dressed for war. In fact, an eye witness confirmed that the team that carried out that dastardly act were in a white pick-up cabin rather than the regular military and police branded vehicles.

It bits my imagination as to how and why some of the military and police sent to restore peace in Cherikpeni will prefer to use white branded pick-ups with civil number plates as against their regular operation vehicles? Was it/is it the case that the taskforce was logistically constraint or for that particle operation intelligence gathered from their sources require that they use white pick-ups?

For easy identification and knowledge about who and who have the legitimacy to do what at what time, distinct groups of a particular profession universally, dress and use accoutrements and or equipments of a distinct brand. It is on the basis of this that the Ghana Immigration Service has a different attire from that of the Ghana Fire Service, and so also is with the other services.

I am compelled to share these literary information because of series of allegations from the Konkomba side who have maintained that people dressed in military fatigue in white pick-up cabins come often to shoot at them and when they flee their communities, Anufors then come under the backing of others in similar military uniforms to burn them.  This same allegation was made in the January episode, and perhaps some people thought it was merely a rumour.

In fact as I type on my laptop now, I have in my custody a video footage by a Police Officer on the conflict ground. This Officer, from indication, is fully ready to give an account of what he and his other colleagues actually saw at Cherikpeni, as he boldly showed his face in the footage.

In the footage, the house of one of the Konkomba communities was on fire. One could hear them lamenting “hmm…, ahh …may be the time we come all they were burning the houses …..that is why the konkombas are always saying we are supporting because they use police and soldiers to do all these things…..thank God they are using the opportunity of some working President within the district…..hmm…charle, police and soldiers, we will suffer ooo…”.

Putting it plainly, issues of some 2 hectare land seem to have been the cause of this conflict, but trust me it has more to do with politics (traditional and state). The Anufors, who can be found in minute hamlets almost everywhere in Nkpakpaando have just betrayed our trust. Cherikpeni, the only place in Ghana where the Anufors are densely populated, are even second to Konkombas in terms of population.

Readers should note that Cherikpeni was originally part of Saboba district until 2004 or so when it gained its autonomy. However, the devious action of some state elements led to the sitting of administrative offices in the Anufors communities leaving the Konkombas there with non, even when the population figures of the district put konkombas far above the Anufors. Can you believe that in a district with 64 electoral areas, the Konkombas who are the majority, have only 16 out of the 64? Isn’t that quite strange? This unjustified arrangement has resulted in gradual mistrust and competition for available resources.

I have always maintained that, the reasons for the struggle between Konkombas and some of their Northern region neighbours is multi-dimensional and that the State is at the center of all that. Some statutes with particular reference to the Chieftaincy Act of Ghana, Act 2008, Act 759 and Article 257 of the 1992 constitution should be thoroughly reviewed to get rid of the improprieties therein.

Those legislations are partly frivolous and suspicious, and my call for a thorough review should be treated with the urgency it requires. Now to the hungry media personnel who expect us to bribe them like some other individuals and people do for a good story to be told about them, you will and shall never receive a pesewa from us. Bribery, as well as Fighting is not part of Konkombas blood.

If you care to know, all we do over the years to those who made us their prime enemy, and so will never give us rest is to defend and launch reprisals. I challenge you to give me concrete evidence of Konkombas haven started any war.  With special mention of Malik Dabu of Joy FM, please with immediate effect, desist from referring to us as “Kpakpaamba.” We are not Kpakpaamba, we are Konkombas/ Bekpakpaamb.

Your baseless and illogical analysis about Cherikpeni and its ethnic demography on Super morning show this morning (May 29, 2019) has really exposed your values for obvious reasons. It is in your own interest to stop those things not because any Konkomba person will confront you, but for saving your personal integrity.

Notwithstanding all the above, I remain curious as to why Konkombas and Anufors who have lived as brothers and sisters for so long should be at each others’ throat just when Cherikpeni is now part of North East region?

I recall in the heat of events leading to the new regional creation, a group calling itself “Youth of Dagbon” were in the news calling for the exclusion of Cherikpeni in the current Northern region. I recalled very well, among other things that their argument was that  Cherikpeni chieftaincy system will be injurious to Dagbon. Was there something that the Dagbon Youth knows that the rest of Ghana is not privy too? What was the secret, and why are we not hearing anything from the Dagbon Youth again? The Holy God of Christians, is watching.

In conclusion, I write for the betterment of our beloved Ghana without any ill motives. Often, people like my good self are often described as “controversial”, but I shall not renege in proffering solutions to our social problems because I was trained academically to do that.

For me, my education is useless if God gives me the eye to identify solutions and relay same to policy makers to take action, and I chose to keep mute for the fear of criticism or whatever.

I do that with pleasure knowing that, I have spoken the TRUTH because any time I speak my mind, I feel a sigh of relief and my conscience are clean and free. I have to really commend the current administration for about to implement the electoral principle for MMDAS/MMDCES come September 2019.

This system will serve as an automatic mechanism to rid our MMDAS/MMDCES off square pegs and irrelevant materials. It is a very move by the government and so I urge subsequent administration to maintain same. As I round up, let me end with a quote by the legendry Martin Luther king who once said “if peace means keeping my mouth shut in the midst of injustice and evil. I don’t want it. If peace means a willing to be exploited economically, dominated politically, humiliated and segregated, I don’t want peace.” That speaks volume. Those who have ears should hear.

#peaceweallwant

#butjusticemustprecedefirst

#letsrespecteachother

#mayGodgiveuspeae

 

 

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