Denfense Minister has no hand in Chereponi Conflict – Salifu Saeed

Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed has dismissed calls by some residents of Chereponi on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo to remove the Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul from office on allegations that he was assisting his tribesmen to fight the Anufors (Chokosis) in the latest conflict between the Anufors and Konkombas.

Dominic Nitiwul, Minister for Defense and MP for Bimbila

Nearly a dozen people have been killed in the conflict with property running into millions of Ghana Cedis destroyed. Houses in several villages belonging to both feuding ethnic groups were also torched and residents displaced.

In the midst of the conflict, some residents of Chereponi in the Chereponi District of the Northern Region released a statement calling for the removal of Mr. Nitiwul.

They alleged: “We wish to draw your [media] attention of [to] the current happenings in the Konkombas attack on the Chokosis in the two Districts, and calling on His Excellency President Akufu Addo to remove the Defense Minister from Office in order to restore peace in the area. We the Chokosis have lost faith in him as he is using his position to support Konkombas fight the Chokosis with impunity.

We believe the Soldiers are being directed to block off the Chokosis whiles allowing the Konkombas the opportunity to burn down the settlements belonging to the Chokosis without any resistance. Some of the Konkomba fighters have access to military uniforms and they come to these settlements as soldiers and then start to burn these settlements. These uniforms are believed to be supplied by the Defence Minister and his Konkombas powerful politicians”.

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However, these allegations have been flatly dismissed by the Northern Regional Minister and Chairman of the Northern Regional Security Council, Salifu Saeed.

Speaking at a peace conference in Tamale on January 10, 2019 that brought together chiefs and youth leaders of Chokosis and Konkombas and the National Peace Council, Mr. Saeed said: The Denfense Minister has no hand in the Chereponi conflict.”

According to him, he had read on some news portals the demands by the Chokosis for the minister to be removed from office but based on available information to him as the head of security in the region, Mr. Nitiwul could not be faulted for the for any wrong doing.

He therefore, urged those making such calls to desist from same as he cautioned against unwarranted social media commentaries during conflicts which he identified as harmful practices to peace.

Meanwhile, the government, led by the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery in collaboration with the National Peace Council on Thursday January 10, 2019, held a peace conference in Tamale during which both sides resolved to allow government and its agencies to find lasting peace to the conflict.

Subsequently, Mr. Dery inaugurated a five-man fact-finding committee to look into both remote and immediate causes of the conflict. Chaired by a former Inspector General of Police, Patrick Acheampong, the committee has up to February 12, 2019 to submit its reports to the government.

The minister also announced that the government has directed the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to undertake a needs assessment in the affected communities in the Chereponi District for relief items to be districted to victims of the conflict.

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Mr. Dery also said efforts were being made to bring back to their communities, all the displaced persons who were now taking refuge in neighbouring Togo.

“Yes, the damage and destruction, NADMO has been directed to go immediately to the place to assess the damage. Government will do what it can to help in ameliorating the situation.” The minister said.|101.1MHZ|William Nlanjerbor JALULAH



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