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Regional News of Monday, 18 February 2008

Source: Sandow Seidu Kpebu

Gbantambu Development Association Challenges Nanumbas.

The Gbantambu Development Association (GDA), is a body formed to promote the development of Nanumba District, provide an avenue for unity, consensus building and to attract investors and tourists to the culturally and historically rich district located in the North-eastern corner of Ghana.

At its recent meeting held at the Survey School near the 37 Military hospital, the Association called for a development agenda for the traditional area. This they reckon must take precedent over any sectional and group interest. The association believes that the current situation in the district is not attractive to investors and tourists.

The Chairman of the Association Salifu Bawa urged Nanumbas to be proud of their land and to protect it against unauthorised encroachment. According to him, lack of central traditional authority does not prevent the people of Nanun from taking up the challenge to assist in the development of the district.

This cannot be done without Nanumbas taking the challenge to harness both human and material resources available to them to provide a platform for a sustained development. As it is, the district looks chaotic without a central authority, development goal, and above all an absolute apathy on the part of the educated and well informed Nanumbas.

On his part, Zakari Mustapha is of the view that any group of people intending to settle in Nanun should first and foremost tell the Nanumbas what their objectives are, which must be document to guide against future disputes and litigation. The general secretary of the association, Hamidu Zakari (Iron) suggests the establishment of a development fund to provide infrastructure for Information, Communications, and Technology (ICT), health facilities and to create educational opportunities for the people of the area.

Nantogma Alhassan reiterated his earlier call for irrigation project for the area. He believes that since the people are mostly farmers, this will help them farm all year round and also create jobs for the youth in order to cut down the rural urban migration.

GDA is of the view that, the district has become a target for land encroachers who use false pretexts to claim allodia ownership of part of the land through religion. GDA therefore advises settlers and intended settlers to abide by the rules and regulations governing them. It has also called on the Nanumbas to seek technical assistance to come up with an identifiable and the exact landmass and the demography of Nanumba traditional area. This will help with policies regarding the development of the district.

In the opinion of the association, the intellectuals of the district should pull their acts together for the unity, peace and development of the traditional area. The area is endowed with fertile agricultural land, tourists’ sites and a great deal of cultural heritage. However, the association concedes that without unity and peace the district will continue to lack behind in development. As a result it intends to team up with the Nanumba Youth Association and other stakeholders to foster unity and peace, which will be a catalyst and a panacea to job creation, education, and development for the district.

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