Students of the University for Development Studies (UDS), who hail from the Upper East Region, have joined hands to campaign against the chieftaincy and land conflicts in parts of their home region to ensure peace and unity for development of the area.
The students under the banner, Upper East Students Union (UPESU), said the conflicts were needless calling on factions to the various conflicts in the region particularly the Bawku conflict, the Kandiga-Doba conflict, and the Bolgatanga chieftaincy disputes to, for the sake of humanity and future generations, lay down their arms for peace to prevail in the area.
They said “Enough is enough. We have lost enough and should not continue to lose. We say we want development but development needs unity and peace as its foundation. We cannot truly develop without unity and peace as our building blocks.”
They were speaking during UPESU Annual Week Celebration at the Tamale Campus of UDS on the theme: “Conflict Resolution: The Role of Students’ Voices to create Peace, Unity and Development in the Region”.
The three-day event was for the students to bond as well as discuss issues of interest concerning their academic welfare and developments in their home region.
Miss Dorcas Yinqura Zoogah, President of UPESU, UDS Nyankpala Campus, in a statement said “We have heard reports of health workers, teachers and other essential service providers refusing postings to the region.”
She added that “Even indigenous essential service providers such as medical doctors, nurses and others do not want to stay in the region to work. Many teachers have left the conflicting zones and the standards of education are declining.”
She said due to the conflicts, some of them could not go home during vacations, some could not pay their schools because the situation did not make it possible for their parents to work and get money for them adding they also faced some form of stereotypes on the campus.
She appealed to the traditional leaders, government, the security agencies, religious bodies, the youth and all well-meaning citizens of the Upper East Region “To ensure that peace is created, and we are united for a common purpose.”
Augustine Mort, President of UPESU, UDS Tamale Campus, decried the situation in the region saying “Of what use is land without people to inhabit it? How can one become a chief without people to rule over? Do you suggest one can rule without people as followers? If yes, who then is the leader ruling?
He said “In these conflicts, there could never be a true winner in the sense that we the conflicting parties and the entire nation become losers every time we fight. We lose lives, properties. We injure one another to various degrees.”
He said “Let us all in one accord say that enough is enough. Let us ceasefire. We need peace. Only then can we have good wealth, only then can our younger ones access quality education, only then can we develop.”
Akugri Pius Awinbe, Secretary, UPESU, UDS Nyankpala Campus said “We have heard from the National Investigations Bureau and National Security of the looming threats of terrorist insurgency. Let us not allow them to take our current situation to their advantage.”
He appealed to all citizens of the region to make a deliberate effort to create a conducive environment for the younger ones and those to come after them to achieve more than they had achieved.
Father Thaddeus Kuusah, Executive Secretary of the Northern Regional Peace Council advised the students to mobilise the youth in the region to work at changing the situation.