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Harunna Iddrisu tells it like it is; old customs have no use in today’s world.


The Bimbilla crisis, the latest bout of bloodletting in that desperately poor corner of the northern region, has caused a lot of grief among many and left many others wondering when that town will ever know peace.

While the warring factions in Bimbilla are holding steadfast to their positions and still bent on physically eliminating each other, it was a welcome relief to see the Northern Regional House of Chiefs visit the grieving town and push for peace. Members of the House pleaded with the feuding groups to bury their differences for the sake of tribal unity and economic development.

It is worth noting that the Peace and the Regional Security Councils have also weighed in on the Bimbilla crisis and their efforts, hopefully, would contribute towards finding a lasting solution to the Namumba problem.

The hope here is that the messages delivered by the regional house of chiefs and the other regional institutions will resonate among the warring factions and help steer them towards the peace table. The good people of Bimbilla deserve better

We all know that chieftaincy in the northern region is a very delicate subject. People are therefore extremely careful when discussing it lest they step on toes. So, when a crisis of the kind that broke out in Bimbilla occurs, it is always imprudent to point fingers, and better still, keep your opinions close to the chest. It is always better to just wait and see where the current flows.

Which explains why I note with a great deal of satisfaction and admiration the honest efforts of Mr. Harunna Iddrisu, the minority leader and MP for Tamale South, to address the crisis in Bimbilla by calling a spade a spade.

In direct response to the crisis in Bimbilla, Mr. Iddrisu, in unusually strong terms called on traditional rulers in the region to let go of old, archaic customs and traditions that have practically no importance in today’s world and frankly, have stifled development in the northern region.

Some may be tempted to misconstrue Mr. Iddrisu’s stance as gross disrespect for customs and traditions, but truth be told, Mr. Iddrisu has ventured where many fear to tread; tell our elders that it is about time some traditions deemed obsolete be thrown overboard for the public good. In short,  he called their bluff for good reason.

The outbreak of violence a fortnight ago left ten innocent residents dead and has greatly impacted the town’s economy, primarily farming activities in Bimbilla and its surrounding areas. This should concern everyone, including the NPP government.

For all its perceived problems, Bimbilla still remains a key food basket in the country. Any fall off or slight reduction in food production by farmers in Bimbilla and its environs is bound to have severe consequences on the nation’s overall food output. This is not a luxury we can afford.

Bimbilla needs the concerted efforts of all, the call by Mr. Ambrose Dery, the defense minister at the outbreak of the crisis that the government was not going to interfere notwithstanding.

The onus now rests on the new northern regional minister, Mr. Salifu Saeed, to demonstrate leadership by calling on the warring groups in Bimbilla to cease and desist from acts that will provoke and stir up negative feelings and violence.



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