The leaders of Nkonya and Alavanyo have refuted claims that the two factions were engaged in a land dispute. According to them, the land dispute is between individuals and families from both sides and not the entire traditional areas.
This came to light when leaders of the two factions met Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur on Friday to find a lasting solution to the over 90-year-old conflict.
This will be the third attempt by government to broker peace between the two parties after talks stalled in 2013. In December last year, there were renewed clashes that left one person dead.
The violence in the two communities has persisted for years despite several mediation attempts.
The paramount chief of Alavanyo Traditional Area, Togbe Tsedze Atakora VII stressed, “I also want to put it on record that it might surprise everybody here that Alavanyo and Nkonya have never gone to court over land. If anyone has that record, let him show it.”
He further clarified, “I am saying that some people from Nkonya Tayi and six individuals from Alavanyo went to court over land.”
As far as the outspoken Alavanyo chief was concerned, limiting the problem to those individuals from Nkonya and Alavanyo – who went to court over land – would have made the problem very small. Unfortunately, the “small issue” has escalated over the years to deprive other areas of their peace and livelihood.
His position was corroborated by Nana Ampem Darko, the Ankobeahene of Nkonya Ahenkuro, who rep-resented the Paramount Chief, Nana Okotor Kofi.
According to him, the said land had been abandoned while other areas were experiencing violence along the boundaries (from Tayi to Asakyiri) between the feuding parties.
He then emphasized, “I want the whole world to know that any other thing that is happening is not on land dispute,” and that observers are only givin the atrocities a name. Nana Ampem Darko therefore pleaded with the authorities to “consider the land problem as one chapter and look at the criminality and atrocities happening as another chapter” and handle the issues decisively.
He also revealed that some people were takingadvantage of the situation to encroach onto other people’s land and farms, adding that that was what was creating problems.
Togbe Dagadu VIII, paramount chief of Akpini (Kpando) Traditional area who hosted the mediation meeting, urged both sides to fully corporate to ensure that lasting peace was realized within the shortest time possible.
Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur commended the parties for honouring the call and warned them against the cycle of retaliations which was having a negative toll on life and the economy of the area and the country as a whole.
He was hopeful that they would cooperate in the peace process.
Other people present at the meeting included Mrs. Helen Adwoa Ntoso, Volta Regional Minister; Yaw Donkor, National Security Co-ordinator; Mohammed Alhassan, Inspector General of Police and Brigadier General Adeti, General Officer Commanding the Southern Command of the Ghana Armed Forces.