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Regional News of Monday, 4 September 2017

Source: ultimatefmonline.com

Create new district for us – Konkombas to government


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After more than a decade of sporadic hostilities with no end in sight in the Bimoaba controlled Bunkprugu-Yunyoo district, Konkombas living in the area have decided to break away and are demanding for a new district.

Similar protests in the past contributed enormously to the splitting of the constituency.

The ethnic group is demanding a split after continued violence in the district capital between two Bimoaba clans has slackened economic progress and rattled government treasury.

Bunpkurugu descended into chaos in 2006 after internal mediators failed to find an early resolution to a misunderstanding between the Jamong and Jafouk clans over the legitimacy of the current chief, Naa Abuba Naasimong.

More than 12 people have been killed and many houses torched leaving dozens in despondency since the fighting broke out. The violence has ruined education, health, agriculture and hounded several residents including Konkombas who are not involved in the fight, to neighbouring Togo.

Political administrations and local politicians have used the conflict as the main reason to deny residents their share of the national cake. Hundreds of thousands have been wasted in conflict resolution making the district one of the poorest without basic amenities like health centre and source of good drinking water.

Both Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organizations still struggle to smoothly extend interventions compelling the Konkombas living in the area for generations to raise worries and demand separation of the district.

Bunpkurugu-Yunyoo is one of the 26 districts in the Northern Region with a very controversial heterogeneous social structure. It shares boundaries in the North with the Garu Tempane, to the East with Togo, West with East Mamprusi and to the South with Gushegu and Chereponi Districts and Occupies an area of 1,257.1 square kilometres. Other major towns in the district are Nakpanduri, Nasuan, Kpemale, Najong No.1, Najong No.2, Bende, Yunyoo and Bimbagu.

Villages in the district are made up of three tribal divisions; Mamprusi, Bimoaba and Konkomba, with Konkombas being the largest covering nearly 85% of the more than 122,591 residents, though the Mamprusis are owners of the traditional areas and therefore land ownership and acquisition require the exclusive permission of the overload of the Mamprugu Traditional Area at Nalerigu.

The administrative capital, Bunpkurugu and Yunyoo are dominated by Bimoabas and Mamprusis respectively with about 44 polling stations out of 56 inhabited by Konkombas.

President of the Konkomba Students Union Emmanuel Gulari spoke to Ultimate News at Teema, a community near Yunyoo where over 61 Konkomba chiefs gathered to agree on which community to site the new district capital.

The gathering, facilitated by the Konkomba Youth Association (KOYA) was to educate chiefs and stakeholders on the need to stand united and fight for a common agenda, to defuse tensions and rally chiefs to accept a common ground as the district capital.

It also highlights the urgency with which the chiefs attached to the concern and not relenting on the quest to pull out from a district where widowhood inheritance, exchange marriage as well as ethnic, land and chieftaincy disputes continue to militate against development.

Mr Gulari said the partition calls had no other motives than development and socio-economic emancipation for the Konkombas in the district who have suffered many years of deprivation and hardship due to a ceaseless kingship violence involving neighbouring tribes.

He believes the separation will rapidly accelerate development and bring together into identifiable unit the majority acephalous Konkomba societies in the district where minority Mamprusis and Bimoabas remain governments’ favourites in political and other appointments.

“We have about 80% of the populace in the constituency being Konkombas for that matter Konkombas have about exactly 44 polling stations, Bimobas have 5, and Mamprusis have 4, there are three polling stations mixed with Bimoabas and Konkombas together we have 55 polling stations…And we think that apart from Saboba we don’t have a district, so we are crying for government to hear our voice that it is time we also benefitted. Let the district capital be sited in a Konkomba community”, He argued.

The President revealed that Konkombas are stepping up the call for the division after escalated signals that President Nana Addo’s administration was about to implement a campaign promise of curving out a new district from the Bunpkurugu- Yunyoo.

He, however, declared that Konkombas would jealously resist plans by government to site the district capital in Yunyoo or other village dominated by either two tribes accept a Konkomba community.

“We don’t have any Konkomba community (name) attached to the district/constituency so if everything being equal they may say that Yunyoo but this time around we are saying that let us also get ourselves in your governance. Let the Konkomba community be headquarters or the capital of the yet to be created district. We have findings, we have facts that Yunyoo is likely to be captured as the district capital. We are rejecting it right now and we are rejecting anywhere, anytime. How can 44 people be under 4 people? We will protest. We are not going to fight but we will reject it. Konkombas are outrightly going to reject…let this message get to the President and the Vice”, Emmanuel announced.

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