Decision by the Volta Regional House of Chiefs (VRHCs) to suspend the paramount chiefs and queenmothers of Nkonya and Alavanyo traditional areas in the Biakoye District of the Volta Region has heightened tension between the two ethnic communities.
The aggrieved chiefs and queenmothers of the two traditional areas have described as “unfair” the Volta Regional House of Chiefs’ decision to suspend them indefinitely for failing to address the recurring conflict between the two towns.
Two persons were shot dead while two others who sustained severe gunshot injuries on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 are battling for their lives in hospital in a renewed conflict between the two feuding sides. A 15-year-old girl was also shot and killed on Saturday.
The renewed violence occurred barely hours after a curfew imposed on the area in view of the violence there was reviewed on the said Wednesday.
Alavanyo and Nkonya have been under a dusk-to-dawn curfew over a protracted land dispute spanning almost a century.
Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa, told the media last week Thursday, April 20, 2017 evening that, the police were working to arrest perpetrators of the violence.
The decision by the regional house of chiefs was to force the two traditional authorities to take responsibility for the actions of their people.
But the Queenmother of Alavanyo, Mamagah Ametor II, in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM said it was “unfair” to hold the traditional leaders responsible for someone’s criminal offence.
“We don’t know why they are doing that because this is not conflict. This is a criminal act which individuals are doing it, so they should look for the individuals and not the chiefs.
…The chiefs are not in the town. Somebody went to do a criminal act, why should the chiefs be punished? This is not a fight between the Nkonyas and Alavanyos. Some individuals are doing this, so why should the chief be punished for that?
“Even in our various homes, your children, how many of them can you control and this is a community issue. Over 2000 people under your umbrella and then one person is doing some criminal act how could you identify that this is the person?
“This is not conflict. It is different from conflict. We’ve left conflict behind and so why should they be attacked. Even as of today, I called somebody from Nkonya, we spoke so there is nothing going on between us,” she stated.
For his part, Chief of Nkonya, Ahodwo, Nana Ampem Dako III, charged the police to arrest the culprits instead of blaming the traditional authorities.
Meanwhile, during a media briefing held last Thursday, the Volta Regional Minister and Chairman of the Council, Dr. Archibald Letsa, isolated the killings from the long-standing land dispute between the Alavanyo and Nkonya communities.