The Chiefs and youth of Mamprugu in the North East Region known as Gbewaa Bisi Yiri have matched through the principal streets of the regional capital to register their concerns on the unfair treatment meted out to their family members in Bawku.
Some of their family members in Bawku have been ambushed and killed and they are calling on the president to take the security situation in Bawku and other places of chieftancy conflict seriously.
They say politicians in the Mamprugu Traditional Area and the president are quiet on the security situation in Bawku and Lukula since November 2021 and are demanding an immediate solution to these attacks on the descendants of Naa Gbewaa.
The group reminded government of Article 270 and 273 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana on which institutions are responsible in dealing with chieftaincy issues; for that matter, the president and his ministers interfering in chieftaincy matters is unconstitutional.
The Gbewaa Bisi Yiri in their petition to the president reminded him of a 1983 Judicial Committee of the National House of Chiefs ruling which made a clear ruling on the Bawku skin and that, the Nayiri be allowed to enskin a new Bawku Naba despite Abugrago Azoka II being gazetted as the chief of Bawku Traditional Area.
The group outlined several incidents that took the lives of their loved ones in the Bawku chieftaincy conflict and calls for justice for them so they can have a peaceful rest wherever they may be eternally.
The group is also demanding an update on the committee investigating the boundary issues between the North East Region and the Savannah Region around Lukula and its environs.
Thousands of youth including several chiefs in Mamprugu staged the demonstration in Nalerigu to bring the attention of president Akuffo Addo on the current happenings in the Mamprugu kingdom which has claimed many innocent lives especially in the Bawku chieftaincy conflict.
The demonstrators later visited the king of Mamprugu, Nayiri Mahami Sheriga Bohagu, to also register their displeasure on the Bawku chieftaincy conflict.
The Nayiri urged the youth to continue to be patient and allow the state to handle the issue and that his revered office is also working hard to bring finality to all chieftaincy and land issues in Mamprugu including Bawku.
The group made several demands to the president and are expected those demands be addressed within the next 72 hours.
The demonstrators finally submitted their seven paged petition to the North East Regional Minister on behalf of the President.
Below is the full statement of petition of GBEWAA BISI YIRI to president Akuffo Addo
The Chairman, REGSEC
P. O BOX 29
North East Region.
Dear Honourable Minister,
PETITION ON THE CURRENT HAPPENINGS IN THE MAMPRUGU KINGDOM
We bring you warm greetings and good wishes from the youth of the Mamprugu kingdom. It is also our prayer that this petition finds you in the best of health and peace.
Sir, following the current deterioration of the security situation in the Mamprugu kingdom particularly in the Bawku and Lukula traditional areas, we find it necessary to petition your office to do the needful.
Politicians in Mamprugu including yourself have been quite since the conflict erupted in November last year. Even with the murder of the Gambaga two at Bugri Corner the MP for Gambaga/Nalerigu constituency, Hon Alhaji Baba couldn’t even make a public statement condemning the act. Neitrher did any of the other MP’s or appointees of government from Mamprugu. We are keenly observing all these and taken note.
As you are very much aware, the Bawku and Lukula traditional areas are part of Mamprugu and under the traditional authority of our father, the Nayiri, King of the Mamprugu kingdom since time immemorial. Therefore, we will like to respectfully draw your attention to this fact and emphasize as well that the youth of Mamprugu are very much saddened about the seemingly neglect of these two towns/communities by the N/E REGSEC.
We would like to state that we are fully aware that administratively the Bawku traditional area is under the Upper East Region and Lukula traditional area in the Savana Region, but as indicated in the preceding paragraphs, these two towns/communities are part of Mamprugu. Hence, whatever that happens in Bawku and Lukula affects us directly or indirectly, and as the Minister of the North East region and son of the kingdom for that matter, we wish to suggest that you should consider liaising with your colleague Ministers of the Savannah and Upper East regions to ensure the safety of our people in these two regions.
Sir, for the benefit of doubt, we wish to give a brief background to the Bawku traditional area and why it is part of Mamprugu. Bawku has alwasy been under the jurisdiction of the Nayiri, he has been enskinning Bawku Naaba since the 17th century. The Nayiri has successfully enskined 14 Chiefs of Bawku (Bawku Naaba) with the first Chief being Bawku Naaba Ali, son of Naa Atabiya the 10th Nayiri in 1721, and the latest Chief being Bawku Naaba Tampuri Adam Zangbeo who was enskined in 1967 by Naa Bongu Adam Badimsuguru the 30th Nayiri (King of Mamprugu).
The Bawku traditional area forms an integral part of the Mamprugu kingdom and cannot be detached from the kingdom since it houses the Shrine of Naa Gbewaa at Pusiga, the ancestral home of Mamprusi, Dagomba, Nanumba, Mossi and all descendants of the Mole Dagbanni ethnic group.
Sir, we also would like to take you through the chronicle of events that have ensued over the past couple of months in the Mamprugu kingdom of which we are yet to see an action or an update from your high office as the Regional Minister for the N/E Region on progress made so far with regards to arrest or investigation on the following issues.
- Honorable Minister, you can vividly recall that on the 27th of December, 2021, two young men from Gambaga namely Issifu Iddrisu and Baba Abdul Razak were on a business trip to Kulungungu in the Upper East region to deliver a horse to a business partner and were murdered by Kusasi Bandits at Bugri-Corner a suburb of Bawku. An audio recording in circulation on social media by Kusaasi admitted to murdering our brothers and went further and said the horse our brothers were carrying was sent to the house of Aninchema Abugrago Azoka the Kusasi community Chief of Bawku. A formal report was made to the Ghana Police service at Bawku. We the Youth of Mamprugu had some kind of relief when we saw a letter from your high office as the Chairman of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) calling for calm and also assured the youth of Mamprugu that, “the criminals will be arrested and made to face the full rigours of the law” we trusted your leadership and assurance given to us and we were patiently waiting for an update from your high office. Unfortunately, almost 10 months down the lane you as the Chairman of REGSEC together with the security agencies seems not be interested in the case since neither an arrest has been made in connection with the case nor anyone has been prosecuted.
- On 11th June, 2022, our brother by name Issifu Abdul Rahim, between the ages of 20-30 years was shot dead at Kutula a farming community around Lukula in the North Gonja District of the Savannah region by armed men who were later on identified as Gonjas from the Wasipe traditional area in Daboya. It can however be recalled that, in April 2011, Nyua-Gbinni a farming community around Lukula was burnt down by this same Gonjas from Daboya. Also in June 2018, same Gonjas from Daboya burnt houses in Lukula that led to the death of two of our brothers. Upon the glaring evidence of the above hernous crimes, we haven’t received any update from your office on the investigation or prosecution of the culprits connected to these crimes. Though we realize the fact that the North East region wasn’t in existence in the 2011 and 2018 instances, but the 11th June, 2022 incident happened right under your watch and for almost four (4) months now, we haven’t gotten any update from your office which is very worrying and suggest that the lives of the Mamprugu youth does not matter to you which is very unfortunate.
- When the president visited the North East recently, the North East Regional Minister made a comment that he has brought finality to the Lukula chieftaincy issue but up to now we’ve not heard anything from him
- We the Mamprugu Youth also witnessed the bizzard killing of three (3) of our brothers namely, Fatawu Ibrahim, Ibrahim Abdulai and Bunyaminu Adam on the afternoon of 16/08/2022 between the hours of 2:45 pm and 3:00 pm. The deceased who were traveling in public transport from Bolga to Bawku were stopped around Bawku Secondary School which is a Kusasi-dominated settlement and shot dead whilst injuring the driver of the vehicle and the front seat passenger.
- Kussasis should put a stop to the activities of road blocks and unprovoked killings of our kinsmen within the Bawku Traditional Area. Our patience and tolerance should not be taken for granted. Mamprusis engulf all the areas we settled the Kusasis and if we chose the path they have taken, they will be the losers and so government should take note and put in the appropriate measures to protect lives and property of our kinsmen whose biggest crime is that they allowed kusasis to settle around them.
- You, Hon. Regional Minister has found reason to liase with your colleague the Upper East Regional Minister Stephen Yakubu even to the extent of bringing him to the palace of the King as they sought to scuttle the efforts of the king at performing the funeral of his son the Bawku Naaba. In the same vein, you the North East Regional Minister can liase with Stephen Yakubu to bring his kinsmen who perpetuate all these crimes against Mamprusis in Bawku and its envoirons to book.
- Currently, Mamprusi and their sympathisers are unable to access education in the Gbewah College of Education and the Bawku Senior High School among other educational institutions in Kusasi areas. We the Youth will want to remind government through the Hon. Regional Minister that, the right to education is basic and universal and kusasis are enjoying this in all the educational and professional institutions in Mamprugu. Efforts should be made for our kinsmen in Bawku to enjoy same before there is an escalation in retaliatory actions
- We the youth of Mamprugu will also like to register our distaste to the way and manner in which our King the Nayiri, was disrespected by His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, Minister of the Interior, Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious affairs and the Upper East Regional Minister by arresting his Elders who were sent to Bawku for the funeral of the 14th Bawku Naaba Naa Tampuri Adam Zangbeo. The Elders did no wrong since they went on a traditional mission to perform traditional rites that were performed at the residence of the late Chief and had nothing to do with anybody. The dismissal of the case against the Elders by the Accra High Court affirmed our initial stand that the Elders did no wrong, and were arrested unlawfully and in an unjust manner. We hereby demand an unqualified apology from the government to our King the Nayiri. Article 270 and 273 of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana does not permit Government or Parliament to interfer in matters relating to Chieftaincy therefore the actions of the President and his Ministers was unconstitutional.
- Honorable Minister, we will like to bring to your notice as well as the Minister of the Interior, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Upper East Regional Minister about the arrest of one Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed aka Kwakwa Morey a Kusaasi Youth Chief of Accra and C.E.O of a transport company called ASUNGTABA VVIP. This Kusaasi Bankroller/Financier has been noted over the years for using his Bus Terminal in Accra to smuggle weapons to Bawku. He was arrested by the Ghana Police Service upon intelligence on 5th September, 2022 for unlawful possession of a weapon and ammunition and remanded in police custody. In a Court hearing at Bolgatanga on the 7th September, 2022, He mentioned the name of one Musah Abdulai a former Municipal Chief Executive of the Bawku Municipality as an accomplice. We are therefore calling on your office, the Interior Minister and the IGP to show particular interest in that case and ensure that Ibrahim Mohammed and his accomplice are jailed if found guilty to serve as deterrent to others since they are the financiers of the unending conflict in Bawku.
- We wish to renew the call of his Royal Highness to the vice President who is also the chairman of the Police council to immediately revoke the interdiction of Inspector Haruna Ali Tandali who was interdicted for allege Facebook comments. Honourable Minister, you will recall that three months (3) ago when the vice president and chairman of the police council visit his Highness, he appealed to him and his council to consider calling back to office the innocent police officer who was harshly interdicted just because he defended Mamprugu and Nayiri when the MP for Bawku Central denigrated him. It is sad to note that the appeal has not been heeded to till date.
Persuant to Regulation 105 (12) of the police service Regulation 2012(C.I 76), if after three(3) months of interdiction disciplinary proceedings are not instituted against the officer, the Inspector General of Police shall revoke the interdiction and the officer shall resume duty.
As such, we call on the IGP and the Vice President who is the Chairman of the Police council to immediately revoke the interdiction of Inspector Haruna Ali Tandali, if by the close of this week the officer concerned is not reinstated, we shall take it that the vice president His Excellency Dr.Mahamudu Bawumia and his Police council have blatantly disregarded the appeal of his Royal Highness, the Nayiri which is a gross disrespect to our kingdom.
- We wish to add that the continue stay in office of Mr. Steven Yakubu as the Upper East Regional Minister is the reason why the Kusasi Bandits are emboldened to further attack and kill innocent citizens for they know their tribesman is in charge of security of the area and can always intervene to get them out even if they are caught in their banditry.
- Hon. Minister, let me add that the institution responsible for dealing with chieftaincy disputes is the National House of Chiefs. It Judicial committee in 1983 gave a sound ruling on the Bawku skin dispute, describing Abugrago father of Aninchema whose efforts to usurp the Bawku skin has brought all the trouble Bawku is experiencing as a commoner, therefore the political interference must stop and Nayiri allowed to enskin a Bawku Naba for the absence of a chief in the traditional area is also affecting it development.
Sir, we wish to conclude by assuring you that the youth of the Mamprugu Kingdom are for peaceful coexistence and, we shall promote peace and unity with purpose among the Paramountcies in the Mamprugu kingdom. We have also resolved to defend and protect the sanctity of the high office of the Nayiri at all times. It appears that our long silence on standing up for our father the Nayiri has emboldened politicians to attempt to disrespect him and his high office as the Overlord and King of Mamprugu.
In view of the above issues stated in this petition, we unequivocally demand that as Chairman for N/E REGSEC you should as a matter of urgency work towards ensuring the following within the next 72 hours:
- Arrest and prosecute the Kusasi Criminals that Murdered our two Brothers from Gambaga at Bugri-Corner a suburb of Bawku.
- Arrest and prosecute the Gonja Criminals from Daboya that shot and killed our Brother Issifu Abdul Rahim at Kutula around Lukula.
- We are demanding an update on the committee investigation on Boundary issues between the North East Region and the Savannah Region around Lukula and it’s environs.
- We demand that Inspector Haruna Ali Tandali interdiction be revoked.
- Aninchema must be made to know his father died as a commoner and he can only succeed him as a commoner.
Failure to address the aforementioned concerns will mean to us that the government (of which you represent the President in the region) is not interested in the welfare of Mamprugu and for that matter the Youth. We are law abiding citizens and have been patient all this while trusting the government, your good self, and the security agencies to ensure the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators who murdered our brothers. Our peace-loving nature and respect to law and order must not be taken as our weakness or inability to take any necessary action we deem fit when pushed to the wall. We will not hesitate to advise ourselves and rise to protect ourselves if the government and the security agencies fail on their mandate to protect us.
Honorable Minister, the Youth of Mamprugu are looking forward to hearing from you soon, otherwise we will advise ourselves.
GBEWAA BISI YIRI
Minister of the Interior
Hon. Ambrose Dery MP
Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious affaires
The Regional Minister, Upper East Region
The Regional Minister, Savannah Region
Inspector General of Police (IGP)
The Regional Police Commander, North East Region
The Regional Commander, BIN/NIB North East Region
The Regional Police Commander, Upper East Region
The Regional Commander, BIN/NIB, Upper East Region
The Regional Police Commander, Savannah Region
The Regional Commander, BIN/NIB Savannah Region
By Mohammed Rabiu Tanko|NE/R|Onuaonline.com