The Birifor Youth Association in the Savannah area has joined calls from some youth groups in the area to ask government, national security and civil society organizations, among others, to oppose plans of the Bolewura, Sarfo Kutuge Feso I, to rename some seven hundred settler communities to native Gonja names in the traditional area of Bole.
Bolewura Sarfo Kutuge Feso I on Monday, July 4, 2022, in a meeting of the Traditional Council with its deputy chiefs, took the decision to rename all settler communities in Bole and Sawla-Tuna-Kalba districts that fall under the Traditional advice from Bole to avoid what they described as possible future land disputes, among other things.
But reacting to the decision, the Birifor Youth Association, in a statement signed by its national president, Vivien Ne-ormah Nyoni, described the action as an imminent threat to security and a draconian directive from the leader to withdraw their identity, history and culture. heritage as human beings if they go ahead to rename their communities with indigenous Gonja names.
The association is the second in the region to raise questions about the motives of Bolewura and the Bole Traditional Council behind the current exercise.
According to the Association, the entire Birifor people regard the exercise by the Bole chief as a serious provocative act, which has a high potential for breaking the peace in the traditional area.
The Association said there is an audio currently in circulation that alleges the entire exercise is targeted at Birifor.
“A letter and a circulating audio recording have come to the knowledge of the Birifor of the said area. The Birifor are particularly agitated by the content of the audio recording in which the Bolewura unambiguously stated that the Birifor were its target group,” the statement read.
The Association added that the action would restrict their civil liberties and their constitutional rights as Birifor people in the traditional area.
The statement further states that the Association will not give in to the unfavorable and malicious motives of the Bole leader which they believe are detrimental to the development and aspirations of the Birifor.
“What is most intriguing about this stark and archaic directive is the fact that settlements of the Birifor community have existed in the traditional areas of Bole since time immemorial, with the names of the Birifor describing their identity, historical heritage and cultural.
“We respect Bole’s traditional authority, coexist in peace with other ethnic groups, including the Gonja, and are law-abiding citizens. Why would the Bolewura come out with this novelty, taking place only in the traditional area of Bole? One does not need to be a rocket scientist to know that Bolewura simply wants to oppress and suppress the enviable aspirations of the Birifor people who are largely centered on development,” the statement insisted.
During this time, the Association assured all peace-loving people in the region of their continued commitment to peace.
“We are ordinary human beings, living in the region and under the protection of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana as citizens,” the statement concluded.