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Opinions of Thursday, 11 February 2016

Columnist: Sankofa, Asante

Zongo betrayal at Tafo

By Asante Sankofa

What just happened at Tafo, in the Asante Region, can happen anywhere in Ghana. The sort of irresponsible behaviour shown by the so-called Muslim Youth (as the hooligans call themselves, and are being described in the Media) happens intermittently in the original abode of these hooligans.

What the hooligans did is a slap in the face of the people of Tafo and all decent people, including some in the Mossi, Dagomba, etc., communities in Tafo. They have been welcomed by the Chief and people of Tafo. They have lived in Tafo, for decades, some of them, perhaps, for centuries. Some of them have married Asante spouses and vice versa. And now they turn against their hosts, wantonly destroy property, and creating mayhem.

These hooligans must not assume that they are the only ones who can cause such troubles. The people of Tafo can rise and totally inflict equal punishment, if not totally destroy the Zongo.

But, as my grandmother used to tell us: Asantefuo fought for so long to build a Kingdom; build institutions; and create VALUES which made them successful. It is wisdom from these values that restrain the Tafo people and Asantefuo generally (Agogo, for example), from acting like other hooligans do. The CIVILITY of the people of Tafo must NEVER be taken for weakness.

In the northern regions, groups that have lived for centuries in some of those parts are routinely denied ownership of the land they have settled on for centuries.
I believe the Kokomba ‘guinea fowl wars’ come to mind.

The various northern ethnic groups have their Chiefs in the Zongo who are also members of the Tafo Traditional Council. If these people wanted to build a wall around the cemetery, (the land was given to them freely by Nana Tafohene), they should have acted in a most civil manner by telling their Chiefs to petition the Tafohene on that matter.

Such irresponsible behavior is becoming routine. The youth of Tafo must be commended for their restraint. The Zongo youth must be condemned running amok with axes; cutlasses; destroying Church buildings; banks; properties, etc., etc.

They must be told in no uncertain language that Tafo is NOT Tamale or Bawku, where such behaviour seem to be daily occurrence. These hooligans must be reminded that the bath house got wet long before the rainfall. Where do the innocent people whose cars; businesses; and properties destroyed by these hooligans get restitution?

Like the people of Agogo, the people of Tafo are not cowards. Just that the value system upon which their lives and institutions are built cause them to refrain from such hooligan acts. They can act, in the manner of the people of Dumso near Kintampo, where the Fulani met their match in reciprocal destruction. Those of you who may have some influence in the Zongo must begin to advise, seriously, these hooligans to refrain from such dastardly acts.

In a speech at a festival at Bawku last year, President John Mahama advised the people to refrain from such wanton behavior and destruction of property. That sort of behavior, he advised, affirmed other people’s view of “Northerners,” as being prone to wanton behavior, and being averse to understanding goodwill. Perhaps it is time to amplify such advice.