Mr. Kwadzo Aboagye, Member of Parliament for Biakoye constituency in the Volta Region which includes the feuding Alavanyo and Nkonya people over a protracted land dispute has warned commentators not to make undue capital out of government plans to acquire the disputed land for military purposes.
Mr. Aboagye told XYZ News’ Joe Bright Nyarko, the move by government is just a proposal that is still going through broad based consultations for fine tuning and general acceptance.
Minister for the Interior Dominic Nitiwul had told parliament government would acquire the parcel of land that has caused the two neighbours to renew hostilities at the least opportunity as a apart of measures to mitigate the violence and killings. Mr. Nitiwul was responding to concerns raised by fellow MPs on the disturbance in that community.
“I think people are making too much capital out of that statement; the statement, if I understand it is that the government is considering. So considering; it doesn’t mean that they have acquired it” he said, adding that “at the appropriate time, they’ll consult the MPs and so on. You know sometimes you think wide before a solution comes and that is what the government has done…it is not that government has acquired it and that people were not consulted. Nobody has taken any land”, he explained.
Biakoye MP Kwadzo Aboagye said the military have been in the area for some time and have reduced attacks in the area. “But then if the government takes over that place then from what I know then they’ll establish a camp there like they have the jungle warfare at Akyiase; and it is military land and nobody goes there”.
The Biakoye MP also downplayed the proliferation of arms in the area. According to him the natives are naturally good black smiths but are not producing guns to fuel a war. He noted that certain criminal elements are behind some of the killings that are reported as being part of the supposed conflict between the people of Alavanyo and Nkonya.
“Manufacturing guns has been something they’ve being doing for centuries, which is not what is fuelling, the man knows his trade and he does it to sell to survive”, he revealed.
Meanwhile, Security Expert Nana Owusu Sekyere is calling on government to translate the acquisition of the disputed land into a security situation that would sustain the peace in the area. He also told XYZ News, effort should be directed at flashing out illicit guns in the area.
“I want to ask myself a question, why is it that, that environment continues to have guns; people continue to have ammunition under their beds or in their houses? It clearly tells you that maybe what we have to do is a house to house search of arms and guns in people’s homes. We may have to conduct security audit to understand how the temperature of the terrain is to appreciate the needs of the people to be able to stand appropriately so as security agencies in the face of the insecurity at that community” Nana Sekyere said.
By: Joe Bright Nyarko