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Organize a Dagbon dialogue, Dr. Ibn Chambas suggests to the Dagbon State

Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas has suggested to the Dagbon State to consider organizing a dialogue involving all stakeholders of Dagbon to broaden the discussion on the need for lasting peace.

“The Dagbon State may wish to organize a Dagbon dialogue involving youth, women groups, opinion leaders, that is involving the entire Dagbon Civil Society to broaden the constituency for peace. And here I’m sure some of the groups that are already there such as the Dagbon Forum, etc will have a role to play here,” Dr. Chambas said.

The approach, Dr.  Chambas said can create a road map for overcoming Chieftancy related conflicts and ensuring community unity and reconciliation could become the best practice for other communities in Northern Ghana and across the country.

Dr. Ibn Chambas stated this while delivering a keynote lecture at the first edition of an annual Damba Anniversary lectures in Tamale on the theme: “A new Dagbon, Peace and Unity for Development”.

He made a heartfelt request to the King of Dagbon, Ya-Na Abubakari Mahama II to consider setting up a Dagbon Peace Committee to work closely with the Dagbon Forum and other key stakeholders to closely mirror the works of the District Peace Committee together with that of the Northern Region Peace Advisory Council chaired by the Regional minister.

He continued: “The membership of the Peace Committee should be carefully thought through to ensure full inclusion of all segments, especially women and youth in both rural and urban communities. In this way, we can begin a forward looking approach to analyzing, anticipating and responding to risk of conflicts among your people before they degenerate into actual conflict or violence.”

To ensure non recurrence of events and violence of the past, he advised that there is the need for all to begin the writing of a new history and a new chapter in the Dagbon State.

The principle of non recurrence he said can become normalize through timely action wherever peace, safety, stability and security are threatened in any part the region.

Dr. Ibn Chambas also appealed to other communities in the Northern region and in Ghana as whole which are now impacted by violence conflicts because of Chieftancy succession see Dagbon as a module to follow.

He however expressed joy and happiness for being selected to deliver the first ever Damba Anniversary Lecture and described the occasion as an intent to rejuvenate the People of Dagbon. “I am glad to be with you today in the celebration of what is to all intents and purposes, the rejuvenation of the Dagbon people. I am happy to be part of this solemn occasion because it marks a new beginning of unity, vision and reinvigoration of our people after decades of an unfortunate needless fratricidal standoff, ” he said.

He added being able to come together as one people to celebrate this year’s Damba festival is a great sign that will terminate an obnoxious era of misunderstanding, of disputes and of bitterness that has rolled back progress and development in Dagbon.

“I am glad to be here also because of the very fact that all sections of the Dagbon community are meeting here as one people, as sons and daughters of Dagbon to celebrate this year’s Damba without the past threat of imposition of ban on drumming.

“It is to me an indication that we have triumphed and won a great victory. It is a victory over forces which might have sort to perpetuate division,, ” he added.

The Damba Festival is celebrated annually under the lunar calendar by the people of Dagbon, Mamprugu, Gonja, and Nanumba, in the Northern, Savannah and the North Regions.

It is celebrated in the Dagomba lunar month of Damba, corresponding to the third month of the Islamic calendar, Rabia al-Awwal.

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