The Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) has appealed to residents of Bawku in the Upper East Region to allow peace to prevail in the area.
A recent eruption in the age-long conflict in the area has partially grounded social and economic activities in the Bawku area.
For instance, the Presbyterian Midwifery Training College in Bawku has partially been shut down due to insecurity, and the final year students have been transferred to the Bolgatanga campus.
This is to enable them to prepare adequately for their final examination.
First-year students have also begun their training at the Bolgatanga campus while other continuing students who are supposed to be in school, are currently at home waiting till the security situation is favourable enough for them to return to school.
Partly empty hospital
Aside from that, at the Presbyterian Hospital in Bawku, which has a 400-bed capacity and serves as a major referral centre for cases from adjoining communities and districts, only 20 patients are currently on admission.
Regarding the Out-Patients Department (OPD), although it previously received an average of over 400 patients daily, the number has reduced to an average of 50 patients daily.
The acting Head of the Bawku Presbyterian Health Services, Thomson A. Apana disclosed this when the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rt Rev Prof Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante visited the area.
Accompanied by the Upper Presbytery Chairperson, Rev James Awuni, and the PCG National Director for Mission and Evangelism, Rev Dr. Emmanuel Sarbah, their mission was to acquire first-hand information on how the security situation in the area was impacting on the hospital and the training college.
It formed part of the Moderator’s pastoral tour of the Upper Presbytery of the PCG comprising Upper East, Upper West, and some parts of the North East and Savanna regions respectively.
Briefing the team, the acting Head of the Bawku Presbyterian Health Services, Thomson A. Apana said the staff was currently being paid while staying at home and thereby causing a huge financial drain on the facility.
Let peace prevail
In his response, Rt Rev Mante appealed to the feuding factions, whether Kusasi or Mamprusi, to know that they are first and foremost Ghanaians and should not allow the divisive aspects of their history to destroy the peace they are currently enjoying.
“We are all having the same Ghanaian blood flowing through us and that it is only a design of history that one is Kusasi and another a Mamprusi; we should not let our history destroy our future,” he said.
He said “the world is moving forward and improving in many areas of development and that we cannot afford to draw ourselves back with inter-ethnic issues”, adding “I plead with all my heart for you to let peace prevail and be done quickly”
He added that the PCG did not want to be compelled to get to a situation where it had to move both the hospital, the training college, and other educational institutions out of Bawku if the current volatile situation persisted.
During the dedication of the Chapel of the Peniel Congregation of the PCG, Bolgatanga, Rt Rev Mante, called on the people of Bawku to let peace prevail to accelerate the development of the area for the benefit of the people.
“I have visited Bawku to pray for the peace of the community and also encouraged members of the Christian community to let the peace of Jesus Christ dwell in their hearts towards ensuring lasting peace in the area,” he said.