The recent flare up of violence in Kpantiga where a life was deliberately snuffed out and properties in the thousands of cedis destroyed, once again is a sad and painful reminder of how impervious we northerners are to wise counsel and sound advice.
Let us be cleared-eye here; oh yes, let us not mince words or be diplomatic about it; tribal and communal violence is part and parcel of life in the northern region, and that is putting it mildly; in fact, violence dictates whatever we northerners do.
There have been many occasions in the past when northerners were sternly admonished to jettison violence and forge a united front. But that piece of valuable advice dispensed by politicians of all colors, foreign and domestic NGOs, traditional and religious leaders and Civil Society Organizations seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
Kpantinga proves that, and what is more, earlier bloody skirmishes between the Chokosis and Konkonbas and other tribal conflicts elsewhere in the northern region confirmed what many have already concluded about us; northerners are incorrigible; they are synonymous with violence.
It is a stigma we cannot easily shed or run away from no matter how much we try because there will always be a few knuckleheads among us who enjoy the violence, the mayhem, the bloodshed, the loss of life and the wanton destruction of hard earned properties.
We are identified with violence because we turn every trivial dispute into something profoundly grave and serious. Couldn’t the folks at Kpantiga have resolved whatever was troubling them without resorting to burning and killing?
We just can’t seem to live in harmony with our own kinsmen for reasons that border on the insane. We have slaughtered each other and laid waste to the properties of our neighbors on issues such as chieftaincy, land and religious affiliations.
There seems to be no end to the insanity and Kpantiga demonstrates that we northerners still have a long way to go in burying our assorted list of differences. What on earth is fundamentally amiss with we northerners? That should be the lingering question on the minds of all of us who claim we have the northern region at heart.
When are we going to realize the bittersweet truth which is that violence does not pay; on the flip side, violence destroys societies, violence retards progress, violence keeps investors and public servants away and violence perpetuates poverty? In sum, violence is a systemic violation of fundamental human rights.
Can we northerners for once learn from other societies that embraced violence and are now paying a hefty price? Shouldn’t the endemic poverty and absence of economic and infrastructure development in our midst be shining examples of how not to embrace violence as a means of solving intractable problems?
Our reputation now lies in tatters; was it not just last year that peace was finally restored to Dagbon after decades of sporadic and unrelenting violence? Didn’t we all pledge, after that great unifying ceremony in Yendi, the enskinment of the current Ya Na, to eschew violence and plow ahead for the common good of the entire region?
Yet, within a span of just one year, we are already at each other’s throats, killing one another and destroying properties. Oh, my good gracious, somebody help me, this is so depressing.
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