Chiefs of the 16 ethnic groups at Old Fadama in Accra have been urged to maintain the peace and foster unity in the community, as well as support peace in the Dagbon State in the Northern Region.
This is because activities by the residents of Old Fadama, popularly known as ‘Sodom and Gomorrah,’ who are predominantly from the three regions of the north, usually affect some communities in the area.
The Accra Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Mr Patrick Adusei Sarpong, gave the advice when he interacted with the 16 chiefs of the ethnic groups at Old Fadama yesterday.
The groups include the Moshi, Buzanga, Dagomba, Gonja, Konkomba, Grushie, Mamprusi, Nanumba and Wala.
The rest are Kusasi, Basari, Frafra, Kotokoli, Asante, Ewe and Krobo.
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Also at the meeting was the leadership of the Agbogbloshie branch of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU).
Addressing the leaders, Mr Sarpong stated that peace was an essential commodity for development and that the peace restored in Dagbon following the enskinment of a new Yaa Naa should serve as an example to the residents of Old Fadama.
He commended them for collaborating with the police in the establishment of a community neighbourhood watch, membership of which, he said, comprised all the 16 ethnic groups in the area.
“It will help create the security needed in the area and enhance trade and commerce,” he said.
Mr Sarpong urged them to use dialogue to resolve their differences and also report suspected criminal elements who would want to take advantage of the amorphous nature of the densely populated area to perpetuate crime in other parts of the city.
The Police Administration set up a police station at Agbogbloshie to maintain a local presence in the area to ensure law and order.
“Residents must make effective use of the police station. They must not take the law into their own hands. The police is always available to assist you,” he advised.
The chiefs were led by the Kotokoli Chief, Salifu Mumuni, who is the chairman of the chiefs of the 16 ethnic groups.
On behalf of the group, the Secretary of the Old Fadama Chiefs, Mr Frederick Opoku, commended the Accra Regional Police Command for the initiative and the consistent patrols it was carrying out in the community.
He said the police also responded to emergency situations swiftly in the area which was perceived as a crime hotspot.
The chiefs, Mr Opoku said, represented the 150,000 residents of Old Fadama, adding that they were directly in touch with the people and continued to promote peaceful co-existence and harmony among the different ethnic groups.
He appealed to the Regional Police Command to hold its intended peace durbar every quarter to enable the residents to share information which would assist the police in their fight against crime in the community.
Mr Opoku said reprisal attacks and political rivalry were a challenge in the area and appealed to the Accra Regional Police Command to step up education there to ensure peace and harmony there.
“Whenever there is a change in government, residents who support the two main political parties in the country, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), struggle over residential accommodation and public facilities such as toilets and bath houses.
“The supporters of the party that wins an election immediately seize the property of those they consider as their political opponents, chase them out and occupy their places of abode, he added.
“People hide behind politics and chieftaincy to engage in crime,” Mr Opoku stressed.