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Over hundreds of Dagaaba within the Gonjaland territory of the Savanna Region, last Saturday, 29th February, 2020 held the maiden annual congress of the Dagaaba Youth Association (DAYA) after it was launched last year on May 4, 2019. The congress which took palce at the forecourt of the Catholic Cluster of schools in Sawla, the capital of the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba (STK) district, was under the theme “Peace and Unity; the Role of Dagaaba in Community Development”.

Welcoming all participants to the durbar in his keynote address, the president of DAYA, Mr. John Zoyaari, highlighted the need for peace and unity especially in this year of elections. He therefore advised the youth not to be used as a tool for violence in any form, before, during and after the 2020 elections.

Mr. John Zoyaari expressed the Association’s gratitude to the chiefs and traditional authorities of the “Great Gonjaland” who graced the durbar for their utmost love for peace, saying that “without you, we could not enjoy peace and unity all this while in your midst”.

The DAYA president however expressed disgust at how the activities of Fulani herdsmen and their cattle in the area are affecting the Dagaaba community.  He said the emotional trauma caused the Dagaaba by the terrible menace of the Fulani cattle is enormous. According to him, most Dagaaba settlers in the Gonjaland, especially in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba district, are farmers. These farms and the produce are usually destroyed by the large numbers of cattle belonging to the Fulani herdsmen, he said. Mr. Zoyaari further alleged that the unattended animals are sometimes found battering and crashing down their yam mounds, chewing and breaking down their cashew nuts and plants and worse above all, grazing on their maize among others during the rainy season.

Mr. Zoyaari therefore craved the indulgence of His Royal Majesty the Bolewura and his eminent chiefs to intervene to help end the canker. “Somewhere last year during the launching of this programme, we made this complain to His Majesty about the menace of the Fulani cattle destroying our farms but the canker is still showing its ugly head towards us hence our humble appeal again for you to show more efforts to curb the canker”. He pleaded.

Special Guest of Honour at the event, Supt. (rtd) Peter Lanchene Toobu who is the NDC parliamentary candidate for the Wa West Constituency in the Upper West Region applauded the founders of the association for the effort put together in a bid to uplift the Dagaaba cultural heritage.

The former Executive Secretary to the IGP called on members to uphold their unity by loving one another. He also charged them to protect their integrity by avoiding all forms of criminal activities and desisting from indiscriminate drinking of the local gin ‘Akpetesi’. The retired police officer pledged his unwavering support to ensure DAYA stands the test of time.

The ceremony was graced by the Member of Parliament for the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba constituency, Hon. Andrews Dari Chiweetey; the DCEs for the STK, Alhaji Lawaal Tamimu Mumuni, DCE for Bole-Bamboi, Hon Veronica Alele Herming; and the NPP parliamentary candidate for the STK, Hon. Nuhu Seidu Banasco.

Others were representatives of His Royal Majesty, Bolewura Kotogu Feso (I), the paramount chief of the Bole Traditional Area, and His Royal Majesty, Sawlawura Abdulai Nungbansu. There were other divisional chiefs and traditional rulers present during the ceremony.