False’ prophesies threatening peace, security at Yunyoo-Nasuan – stakeholders

Increasing ‘false’ prophesies by some religious leaders is significantly threatening the peace and security of the Yunyoo-Nasuan District in the North East Region, a situation stakeholders say must be addressed to prevent conflicts.

In recent times, some religious leaders of believers in Christianity, Islam, and traditional religion, in their prophesies, have associated some problems, especially youth unemployment in communities within the district, with witches holding their meetings on some economic trees, particularly mango trees.

The situation has led to rampant felling of those economic trees believed to be the cause of the misfortunes of the people in those communities, thereby, creating tension and threatening the peace and security of the area.

This was revealed at an engagement on early warning signs of conflict, organised for district level stakeholders at Yunyoo-Nasuan by the Good Governance, Justice and Peace Directorate of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Catholic Diocesan Development Organisation (NAB
OCADO), a faith-based organisation.

The engagement formed part of the Integrated Peacebuilding for Improved Food and Nutrition Support project, with funding support from the MISEREOR, aimed at contributing to building peace structures within the Diocese.

Dr Joseph Bangu, the Director, NABOCADO, explained that apart from the false prophesies leading to increasing witchcraft accusations, many vulnerable people were being subjected to discrimination and abuse.

He said the situation needed to be addressed to prevent an escalation.

‘There are a number of witchcraft accusations and the main people fueling this are the prophets because the prophets have attributed the unemployment issues in the communities to witches meeting on those economic trees,’ Dr Bongu said.

‘So, people will mobilise to go and cut down those trees to fulfill the prophesies and this brings conflict because if you go into an area that is already under contestation to cut down trees in the name of prophesies, there will be rebellion.’

He m
entioned issues such as increasing ethnic tensions, armed robbery, spread of the Bawku conflict to the area and competition for natural resources as emerging threats to peace in the area.

Those issues, he said, were early warning signs of conflict and employed the stakeholders to work together to address them.

Mr Konlan Bitian, the District Chief Executive for Yunyoo-Nasuan, said the District Security Council had held several meetings aimed at addressing the prophecy issues and called for support from all stakeholders.

He, however, identified chieftaincy disputes as major factors threatening the peace and stability of the district and called for intensified education to ensure all stakeholders involved in chieftaincy understood the need for peace for sustainable development.

Ms Cynthia Lamisi Ali, the Assembly member for Jimbale Electoral Area, commended NABOCADO and its partners for the intervention on peace building, which would contribute to preventing conflicts.

Reverend Father Yosef Giday, the Catho
lic Parish Priest for St. Simon Peter Parish, Nakpanduri, said peace was necessary for development and advocated more engagements to sensitise the people, especially the chiefs and youth, to embrace peaceful approaches to addressing their differences.

Source: Ghana News Agency