Coalition for Development of Northern Ghana(NORTHCODE-GHANA) has sensitised opinion leaders, chiefs and residents in Kalba and its adjoining communities in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District of Savannah on Alternative Dispute Resolution.
The workshop forms part of Preventing Electoral Violence and Providing Security to the Northern Border Regions of Ghana (NORPREVSEC) project.
The NORPREVSEC project is an European Union funded project through COGINTA-Ghana implemented by NorthCode with the effort to counter Violent Extremist in border communities in Northern Ghana.
The activities of violent extremists have caused a lot of havoc in various countries within west Africa including Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria, Niger among others.
It was against this backdrop the NORPREVSEC Project was introduced with funding from EU with security agencies, NCCE and the Civil society organisations as implementing partners.
Speaking at the workshop, Tolodomoewura Abdallah Ahmed, aka Chief Monor, Registrar at CHRAJ and member of Ghana Association of Certified Mediators and Alternative Dispute Resolution said Alternative Dispute Resolution is the best way to resolve civil matters in our communities instead of resorting to the court system.
Chief Monor explained that ADR leads to confidentiality, compromise among other advantages of ADR adding that travelling from Tamale to Kalba every week for court is cost intensive and time wasting and advised that they should always resort to ADR.
The ADR expert admonished citizens to resolve conflict with family heads and community heads for peaceful coexistence because they know and understand our culture but called on family to keep such disputes confidential.
Criminal offence he said are not part part of ADR and that when a person commits a criminal offence it becomes a matter of the individual and the state. An opinion leader cannot shield a criminal matter but will have to report to appropriate agencies to deal with it.
Mr Dakurgu Andrew the Technical Lead officer at NorthCode said we need peaceful coexistence to be able to police our boarders to prevent violent extremist.
Mr Dakurgu said assuming you sue your brother in court and after the court has slapped the charge on him, and you return home how do you then coexist and therefore pleads with community and opinion leaders to settle disputes with fairness to allow a violent free community reminding all of the the “Time bombs” of violent extremists.
Chief Kalbawura Amalia said he has deviced a strategy to resolve conflicts explaining that he had divided his traditional area into zones with their zonal leaders to resolve disputes within them for peaceful coexistence.
He said a Fulani herdsman cannot destroy a farmer’s crop and go away scout free.
According Kalba wura, when all Fulanis deny the the crime of destroying any person’s farm then all of them will contribute to pay the farmer.
Chief Amalia expressed his gratitude to NorthCode for the education and with firm believe that it will bring a lot of behavioral change.
Some participants expressed their gratitude to NorthCode for chosing their community to implement such an educative project.