Former National Youth Organizer of the opposition New Patriotic Party [NPP], Anthony Abayifa Karbo has kicked against government's weapons buyback programmes strategy for residents of Bawku in the Northern Region.
Anthony Abayifa Karbo downplayed the essence of the programme, claiming it would not yield any results in curbing violence in the Region.
Government, on Wednesday, announced at a meeting with the Upper East Region Security Command that Bawku residents possessing illegal weapons have a month to return the weapons or would be hunted, arrested and prosecuted after the amnesty period.
The "guns for cash" deal is aimed at resolving the conflicts in Bawku and its environs which has claimed three lives in recent clashes.
Bawku has known no lasting peace for years now and has witnessed numerous sporadic violence as a result of raging chieftaincy conflicts.
Interior Minister, Mark Woyongo, who announced this, cautioned that failure to comply with the directive before the yet-to-be-determined deadline elapses, would compel government to deal with persons unlawfully concealing weapons.
Details of the "gun for cash" exercise will be undertaken between the Interior Minister and the National Security Council Secretariat.
But though the Minister and Chiefs in the Region see the initiative as a laudable approach to finding lasting solution to the protracted conflict, and a means of discouraging the residents from resorting to the use of violence to iron out their differences, Anthony Abayifa says the prospects of it working is almost nil.
He wants the authorities to rather focus on engaging all stakeholders in the area to end the conflicts amicably and suggests a "multi-stakeholder approach" in the arbitration process.
To him, the "guns for cash" deal would not entirely end the conflict because traditionally, there are guns in every household in Bawku and the Region at large.
He explained that some guns are primarily used for hunting and this has since become the norm in the area.
Although he admitted on Peace FM’s Morning Show "Kokrokoo" that some guns used by the residents are very "sophisticated", he however believed the households use the guns for good purposes, though he did not also entirely rule out the fact that some of the guns are used to perpetrate violence.
"….for all good intent and purposes, you could always walk into a Northern family and you’ll find a gun in that family. So, if the Police or Soldiers are going to do the ‘Operation Search and Retrieve”; it will create a lot of problems. I’m not too sure how this is going to work but the key of our problems is that all these land disputes that we have, all these Chieftaincy issues that we have; we must have a conscious effort to resolving it.
“…Guns exist in every Northern family and this is the truth. This is the mere truth. You see, people and their culture traditionally are hunters,” he added.
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