One should never be fooled into thinking that a home away from “the home” is much more marvelously the best thing that can ever happen to a seeker’s life; irrespective of that inclusive and all inalienable legitimacies one possesses in his or her own birthplace where the navel-sting is buried; wherein that individual is called citizen with no added prefix or suffix; as the globally sung song goes, there is no place like home, home sweet home, whether my home is good or bad, governed well and profoundly admired and respected; or bad and very poorly managed; that’s the home that the Most High gave you as exclusively yours.
Now don’t grow swollen head for being confronted with the demolition exercise grimly looming over the famous Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana that massively played host to fleeing Liberians from the senseless 15-year civil crisis, which they (Liberians) enjoyed very immensely were told of their fate long ago with options at their disposal as enshrined in the 70-year-old (1951) Geneva Convention, beginning with voluntary repatriation, local integration and resettlement.
Besides President Nana Akufo Addo’s deadline set for September 30, 2021 for the demolition of the Buduburam Refugee Camp thus bringing an end to the existence of that camp, coupled with all the terrifying stories reportedly disclosed about the camp; until those who want to remain perpetually adhere to the options offered by the Ghanaians to the Liberians to integrate into the Ghanaian society or keep firmly at the back of their minds that Ghana is not their country of birth.
It is the right for anyone to live wherever he or she wants besides the place of origin and provided such person is willing to live by that country’s rules and condition, and if the love for such place is so pleasing, then it pays a lot to harbor a decision as a contingency plan whether to stay or hang in there for a while, but don’t remain complacent and indecisive until option from the host country confronts you to either jump or be pushed because time after time, after the honeymoon, comes the hangover as the icing vanishes away from over the caked,
The hand writing on the wall is no longer at ease to shoulder the accommodation of once fleeing Liberians coupled with the warm hospitality they enjoyed over the years on the camp while the senseless war was raging back home, and as it stands, the Liberian Government’s temperature is not only bound to step up so very high amidst the deep sorrow that piercing the bodies, hearts, minds and souls of the overly disappointed and absolute broken people living in the world of complete regret. Is the government prepared to weather the pending storm of returnees?
With the Liberians who have made up their minds to subscribe to some options offered by the host country, that, to stay and continue to, enjoy the hospitality once offered, then local integration in the Ghanaian society must hit the jackpot, and if not the other options are bound to be chosen to avoid uneasiness in their stay there. Let Liberians who don’t want to go the route of don’t-want-to-stay option, must now totally at the zenith of the verdict of coming back home before the shame and misery begin to take center-stage for the undecided.
Already, two factors from both the host country and the accommodated are battling for recognition; firstly, the accommodated are appealing to the host country to reconsider its decision to demolish the camp and allow them some time to quit because they are saddled with fear and anarchy with the demolition o the Buduburam Camp and secondly, the host country has no expectation of considering such an appeal for reasons unbearable any longer.
According to them, the camp has become inimical to the security of their area in particular and the country at large; that the chemistry of the characters of nationalities apart from Liberians and including Ghanaians had worsened the condition of safety, and reflective of the haven of criminality which has now transformed the camp into either a criminal den or strategic hideout or notorious characters. Additionally, the host country has concluded to carry out some development activities on the land to include market and school establishments. With these propositions advanced; observers are asking the bitter question just who is being caught between the rock and the hard place
Should it be the returnees or the Liberian Government that has not prepared adequate or no resources to handle the challenge, because at the end of the day it will squarely be the responsibility of the government to make good out of such bad situation. Government is bound to face the hard facts of reality; that its citizens must be taken good care of upon arrival in their country, a place of their birth.
It can be recalled as reported in the Ghanaian media that the Chiefs and residents of Gomoa Fetteh in the Gomoa East District of the Central Region, who are the custodians of Gomoa Buduburam, have asked government to consider demolishing the enclave perceived to be a den of criminal activities for years.
The traditional authority is concerned about the constant criminal activities involving some inhabitants in the area, and wants the government to consider demolishing enclave to reduce crime.
The angry chiefs have given government a three month ultimatum to do so.
The Buduburam enclave, which used to host mainly Liberians who sought asylum in Ghana during the unrest in that country, is now hosting other foreign nationals from Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and some Ghanaians.
There have been several calls by various traditional leaders for the enclave to be demolished because it is believed to be contributing to the high crime rate within the Kasoa area and its environs.
The Kasoa Divisional Police Command has made several swoops in the area with the recent one being the arrest of over 300 suspected criminals mostly Nigerians inside the camp.
At a press conference to drum home their demand, the the Gomoa Fetteh Traditional Council urged the government to consider demolishing the Buduburam camp to raid the area of criminal elements.
According to the Omanhene, several criminal activities including armed robbery, prostitution, the sale of narcotic drugs among others, have become the order of the day at the camp.
“The government must demolish the Buduburam camp so that it could be used for other things. We are pleading with Nana Akufo-Addo to help us in that direction. What happens there does not speak well of Gomoa Fetteh,” Nana Abor Attah told Citi News.
The Omanhene is optimistic that getting rid of the place will help reduce crime in the Gomoa Buduburam area as well as Kasoa.
“We offer our unflinching support to the government of Ghana to take the necessary and lawful action to weed out the haven of criminals in Buduburam. The enclave has a bad tag, and this is preventing potential investors who have intentions of settling and working in Buduburam,” Nana Abor Attah added.
The Omankrado of Gomoa Fetteh, Nana Kwesi Quansah, indicated that the traditional council is giving the government three months to demolish the enclave, adding that they are ready to offer the place for markets, a lorry park and schools.
“The place can be used by the government for social amenities like market centers, schools, hospitals among others which will improve economic activities in the area. We are giving the government three months to demolish structures in the camp”, Nana Kwesi Quansah said.
He urged the government to give them the go-ahead to demolish structures inside the camp if they are not ready after the three-month period.
“We are ready to embark on the demolition if the government is not ready by the three months period we have given to them,” the Omankrado of Gomoa Fetteh told Citi News.
Facts about Buduburam
The Buduburam Camp became the home of Liberian refugees in the 1990’s. Opened by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The camp was home to some 12,000 refugees during the first Liberian Civil War from 1999 to 2003.
In April 2007, the UNHCR began pulling out of the camp slowly withdrawing all UNHCR services making way for the official cessation of the refugee status for refugees.
In 1997, Liberia held peaceful elections, and the United Nations decided to send the refugees back home since there was peace in the once volatile area. The Buduburam camp was handed over to the Traditional authorities, but till now, some refugees still remain in the camp making way for other nationals to also join.
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