A victim of the Hohoe conflict has given "painful" account of treatment meted to him by Muslim youth following some misunderstanding.

Baba Issaka, 34,  is still terrified by the kind brutalities he was subjected to during the conflict between the Zongo youths and the indigenes of Gbi.

Six years of the conflict between Muslim youth and the indigenes of Gbi tradition council, but Baba Issaka  tells how a community clash morphed into a serious religious conflict.

He says his decision to quit Islam made him an enemy to the youth of the Zongo, who tagged him a hypocrite. Two people were killed in the conflict that saw also rendered thousands homeless

"It was not a religious misunderstanding at the beginning because the issue had nothing to do with Christianity but someway somehow, some people took advantage of it to attack people of different faith," he said.
"I was beaten, clobbered because some of the Muslim said am a hypocrite.
"They said once I'v left Islam, it means am in support of the Gbi traditional council."

In June 11, 2012 Chaos erupted in the Hohoe Township following the exhumation of the body of the Chief Imam, Alhaji Alhassan. His exhumation sparked ethnic clashes between members of the Zongo community and the indigenes but it later took a religious twist as some Muslims were accused of taking advantage to reignite a religious conflict which left two his friends dead.

Issaka, an electrician, was originally born a traditionalist with the name Kwado Deku, converted to Islam at age 23 but moved on to become a Christian in 2011.

His conversion to Christian got him hated and was drawn into a conflict which had begun from tribal misunderstanding.

Speaking to ghanaguardian.com, the Issaka, who now preaches on the street of Abeka Lapaz in Accra said he will focus his messages on religious tolerance.

“I have been able to speak to some knowledgeable Muslim scholars here in Accra and their explanation about apostasy in Islam is different from what is practised back in my village,” he said.

“They talk about religious tolerant in Islam and I think If people have learnt to be tolerant, a communal clash would not have escalated into a religious conflict,” he said.

“They first attacked us in the church when we having a meeting after they had blocked  key roads and set the chief’s  palace on fire.”

He however says he loves to remain a Christian and be preaching about the gospel.

He still has painful memory about the conflict that had forced him to run to Accra, leaving his families back in the Volta Region.

He said some of them had to flee the place because they became the “prime target” of the rampaging Muslim youth.Top of Form

The conflict

In June 11, 2012 a minor misunderstanding between youth from Hohoe-Zongo and indigenes from Gbi Traditional council culminated into a full blown violence which left two dead, hundreds injured with about 6000 people displaced.
Some Muslim youth were reported to have attacked and vandalised the Hohoe hospital, accusing authorities of the hospital of not releasing the body of a Muslim youth who had died through electrocution.
The attack angered the Gbi Traditional Council which then announced a ban on the burial of the Muslim youth.

Coincidentally a chief imam within the Gbi Traditional area died around the same time and had to be buried in accordance with muslim traditions. He was but his body was later exhumed and thrown into a bush by some unidentified persons suspected to be indigenes.
The action infuriated the Muslim youth who took the law into their own hands and attacked the Gbi Traditional Council.
The Palace of Togbui Gaabusu was invaded, parts of his regalia stolen and properties destroyed. The indigenes loyal to the Volta Chief also embarked on a reprisal, looting and burning shops and houses owned by the Muslims in the area.
The Chief of Gbi, Togbui Gaabusu gave a 48 hour ultimatum for the Muslim youth to return the stolen regalia or face the consequences. He was ready to go the full hog but was prevailed upon.
It took a combined effort of the military and other security personnel, the presidency, the national chief Imam to restore calm in the area, but not before a dawn to dusk curfew was imposed.
A ten member committee was constituted in October 2012, chaired by Mr Justice Patrick Baayeh, a Ho High Court Judge to investigate the cause of the clashes.