The fact that peace is a sine qua non for development can never be contested and all over the world, development has been more rapid in areas that enjoy peace than conflict-prone communities.
For example, the Global Peace Index estimated the cost of conflict to the global economy in 2014 to be 9.21 trillion pounds or $13.7 trillion because of increased military spending by states and more people forced to abandon their jobs as a result of insecurity.
Most often, the classes of people that are affected in the event of any conflict have been the aged, people with disabilities, children and women. It can thus be deduced that more people suffer in times of conflict than the few who benefit, mainly in their selfish interests.
Ghana may not have experienced the bloody conflicts on the scales that other countries have. But we cannot also deny that some of the conflicts that some areas of the country have experienced over the years are so volatile in intensity in terms of brutalities. One needs to listen to eyewitness accounts of the Konkomba-Nanumba conflict in the 1990s that claimed many lives and led to destruction of properties.
Currently, Ghana is rated as a lower middle-income country, a ranking that is determined largely by the Gross Domestic Product of the country. It means that our status as a country was determined by the total value of goods produced and services provided in the country, including conflict areas that produced below their capacity because the prevailing conditions did not allow people in such areas to contribute their quota fully to national development.
Ghana News Headlines
For latest news in Ghana, visit Graphic Online news headlines page Ghana news page
In effect, the country could have moved higher than its current status but for the conflicts. The Daily Graphic recalls that by October 2002, the government had spent more than six billion cedis on the Dagbon crisis that erupted in March that year. This was announced by the then acting Northern Regional Minister, Mr Ernest Debrah. That was cost that had been incurred within eight months of the eruption of the conflict.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in relation to how much the nation has lost aside from human lives. It is an indication of the huge negative effect of conflicts on the country’s development. For this reason, therefore, every development-oriented patriotic citizen wishes that there will be absence of conflict so as to safeguard our progress as a nation.
The call by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to leaders of the Konkombas and the Chokosis at Chereponi in the Northern Region to soften their stance and speedily settle the recurring ethnic disputes should therefore be taken seriously by the parties in order to ensure the accelerated development of the area and Ghana in general.
As we focus on the Chokosi-Konkomba conflict, we remind ourselves not to lose sight of a chieftaincy conflict between the Jafouk and the Jamoak clans in Bunkprugu in the North East Region. There is also the conflict between the Nanjong 1 and 2 on one side, and the Kombatiak communities near Nakpanduri also in the North East Region on the other side over land which has existed for about eight years. We consider the advice as timely, as this conflict is mostly ignited during the farming season.
We, therefore, ask the authorities to put conflict resolution measures in place to deal with these intractable disputes to protect life and property, the peace of the country and for the people to take advantage of the numerous opportunities to accelerate the development of their communities.