The Member of Parliament for Hohoe in the Volta Region, Dr. Bernice Adiku Heloo has appealed for urgent action to restore permanent peace between Nkonya and Alanyo in the Volta Region to ensure lasting.
Presenting a joint statement by her and Kwadwo Nyanpong Aboagye, the Member of Parliament for Biakoye on the floor of Parliament, Dr. Bernice Heloo, noted that, “the Alavanyo-Nkonya conflict which started violently somewhere in 1923 has grown and expanded dangerously above the survival of the people of Alavanyo and Nkonya”.
She said, the conflict which has claimed many lives on both sides has lasted for too long and continues to have a toll on both government revenue and development in the area.
Madam Heloo, concluded by recommending that the area be acquired by government and turned into an industrial complex.
Supporting the statement, the Minister for Defence and MP for Bimbila, Dominic Nitiwul hinted that the military was ready to acquire the disputed area and turn it into a training facility.
Below is the full statement
JOINT STATEMENT BY HON. DR. BERNICE ADIKU HELOO (MP FOR HOHOE) AND HON. KWADWO NYANPON ABOAGYE (MP FOR BIAKOYE) CALLING FOR PEACE IN THE PROTRACTED ALAVANYO-NKONYA CONFLICT
Thank you Mr. Speaker for the opportunity to make this joint statement by myself and Hon. Kwadwo Nyanpon Aboagye, MP for Biakoye on the protracted conflict between the people of Alavanyo and Nkonya.
Mr. Speaker, the Alavanyo-Nkonya conflict which started violently somewhere in 1923 has grown and expanded dangerously above the survival of the people of Alavanyo and Nkonya. The conflict threatens our national security, development and pride. We therefore call on the whole nation to unite above tribe, political party and language to support the people of Alavanyo and Nkonya for a sustainable peace and development.
Mr. Speaker, The Alavanyo-Nkonya conflict which has claimed many lives on both sides has lasted for so long and continues to have a toll on both government revenue and development in the area.
Mr. Speaker, the cost of maintaining relative peace in the area by keeping both military and police presence is rather high. These resources could be channeled into development projects in the area.
Mr. Speaker, as we mourn the deaths of those killed like:
• The young man killed in Alavanyo on 21st January 2017,
• The two men killed on 19th April 2017 in Nkonya-Ahenkro,
• The little girl killed in Nkonya-Tayi on 21st April 2017
• The little boy killed in Alavanyo-Deme on 11th May, 2017 and
• The woman killed in Alavanyo Kpeme on 20th May, 2017.
Mr. Speaker, we deeply share in the pain and extend our condolences to the affected families and friends of the victims. We urge the Chiefs, Queen mothers and elders to continue tirelessly in their efforts in keeping the peace in their communities.
We also sympathize to all those who have been maimed but survived and hope that they will be well soon. We wish to use this opportunity to call on the parties to this conflict to give peace a chance.
Mr. Speaker, while we work together to finding a lasting peace in the area, we humbly call on all those planning retaliation in rival communities to think of the devastating effects their acts might cause to the future generations and have a change of heart and choose the path of peace.
M. Speaker, the people of Alavanyo-Nkonya have suffered for so long under the century old conflict. The conflict has affected their economic and social life.
Formal education and health-care have suffered considerably. Pregnant women and children have to travel miles before accessing healthcare. Schools have been closed down and the Senior High Schools continue to record low enrollment.
Mr. Speaker, coupled with the above negative effects of the conflict, there is a sharp rise in migration, number of orphans, illiteracy and unemployment. We urge people standing in the way of peace to place the general interest of the people and Ghana above their parochial interest and give way for a lasting peace.
Mr. Speaker, there have been several attempts in the past to ensure lasting peace is brought to the area such as the imposition of curfew which continues to exist, keeping military and police in the area, getting the paramount Chiefs to visit each other in their palaces and football matches between the two parties.
Mr. Speaker, we would like to also recommend that in addition to the above efforts, the disputed area should be turned into an industrial complex as soon as possible to avert further clashes.
As we wish the people of Alavanyo and Nkonya a lasting peace, we cannot forget to remind them that the two parties are fundamental in ensuring that peace prevails in the area.
Thank you Mr. Speaker for the opportunity.
Francis Edzorna Mensah