The Executive Secretary of the Peace Council in the Upper West Region, Mr Emmanuel Danyomah, has lamented the irregular flow of funds to the office for administrative work and execution of its programmes and activities.
He said the situation had impacted negatively on the council, and urged government and donors to assist the council financially so that it could function effectively.
Mr Danyomah, who made the call on the sidelines of a training programme for new members of the Council at Wa, said, “From 2014 to December, 2016, for instance, allowances for executives and members of the council were not paid. The situation improved in 2017, however, we sometimes receive part of our quarterly administrative allocation from government and in some cases, the money does not come at all, yet we will always have cases of conflict to attend to,” he said.
Inaugurated in July 2014, the Upper West Regional Peace Council, which consists of seven member mediation, education and fundraising committees, respectively, has employed dialogue as a unique conflict resolution mechanism to prevent conflicts from escalating.
Mr Danyomah explained that “the operation of the council is quite demanding in this region because there are always issues to attend to and that is what has made Upper West a beacon of peace in Northern Ghana. Even though there are no funds, when people call on us to intervene in conflicts, we do not decline.”
Mr Danyomah also made an appeal to the regional coordinating council to expedite action on allocating to them a permanent office to enhance the operations of the council.
He stressed that the council had tackled “chieftaincy issues at Wa, the Dondoli -Jujeidiyiri land conflict, in Wa, which nearly degenerated into a religious conflict and land issues at Funsi in the Wa West District”.
The Chairman for the Council, the Reverend (Rev) Dr Aloysius Nuolabong, said the lack of corporation from the municipal and district assemblies was a setback to the performance of the council.
He stated that “sometimes all we need from the assemblies are just fuel and lunch for our representatives, who go there to help quell one conflict or the other and they are unwilling to support us”.
Rev Dr Nuolabong expressed worry that the council had not been admitted into the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), say it was affecting operations of the council as it did not get enough update on security issues that demanded attention.
He urged the REGSEC to consider the significant role being played by the council, and speed up processes to make it an integral part of the Security Council.
LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA