A former Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, has made a passionate appeal to the public, particularly those from the Dagbon Traditional Area, to bury the hatchet, forgive each other and chart the way forward for the betterment of all.
He said the continuous division of the people from Dagbon along chieftaincy and political party lines was not only drawing the area backwards but also poisoning the minds of the youth who were being used by some selfish individuals and groups to achieve their ambitions.
Alhaji Mahama was speaking at the funeral of Alhaji Mashood Idris Gomda, a prominent citizen of Dagbon, who died in Tamale on April 12, this year.
The funeral was attended by both former and present ministers of state, district chief executives, Members of Parliament, chiefs, Muslim clerics and executives of various political parties.
Also present were the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Muhammed Mumuni, the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Moses Mabengba, and the 2012 running mate of the NPP, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
According to Alhaji Mahama, who was apparently worried, posterity would not forgive the people if they refused to come together to plan how they could marshal their expertise and forces to provide jobs for the teeming unemployed but agile youth, and reduce poverty, disease and ignorance plaguing the communities.
?We may have our differences as people but we should be mindful that we are still members of the same family and, therefore, should not consider ourselves as enemies when we disagree with each other on matters of chieftaincy and politics, since they are only pedestals and not more important than our values as human beings.
?Our common enemy in the north is the prevailing poverty staring us in the face every day, the growing indiscipline occurring on our roads and the pervasive hatred in our midst: until we eschew these cankers, we would not make any progress as a people,? he said.
All the speakers described Alhaji Mashood as a compassionate and tolerant person who exhibited humility, brotherly feeling and whose arbitration skills were admired and respected by all.
Alhaji Mashood, who was in his late 60s, also contributed enormously in the education sector as he supported many young boys and girls to gain admission into senior high schools and tertiary institutions in various parts of the country.
He was a butcher and a general merchant and the elder brother of the former Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris.
Foreign Minister, Alhaji Mumuni, also described Alhaji Mashood as a unifier whose generosity and friendship cut across all boundaries.
?He dedicated himself to serving humanity and ensuring peaceful co-existence at all times,? he said of the deceased.
Alhaji Mumuni advised the youth to emulate the exemplary life of the deceased, who, he said, was humble, tolerant and peace-loving, attributes which were catalysts for the accelerated development of the nation.
The First Vice-chairman of the NDC, Alhaji Hudu Yahaya, entreated the youth in the area to shun violence at the least provocation.
He, however, commended the people of Tamale for conducting themselves peacefully in the ongoing voter registration exercise and urged them to demonstrate similar conduct during this year?s campaigns and voting.
On behalf of the family, Alhaji Mustapha Idris acknowledged that the demise of Alhaji Mashood was a great loss to the family who always relied on him for his wisdom and guidance.
He expressed appreciation to all individuals and groups who mourned with them in their period of grief.