A heavy-tick-dark clouds of conflict is said to be hurriedly gathering in the Bawku Municipality of the Upper East Region, as loud sound of war drums dazzles closer and quicker.
The dark days of the gun and bullet appears to be speedily returning to the unpredictable troubled traditional enclave.
The momentum with which the clouds of war are fast assembling in the business hub cum border town, have sent many peace-loving Ghanaians sulking.
Unstable-intermitted-tension is said to be building up in the town at the least provocation. The days of trust between the two feuding tribes; Kusasis and Mamprusis, appears to be fast vanishing as fear, mistrust and uncertainty takes over.
The Herald, have intercepted multiple audio bites pregnant with threats and plans of how to revisit the bloody past in the Bawku municipality.
In one of the numerous audios in the firm grips of this paper, a man (pictured) who spoke in ‘Mampruli’ was loudly heard verbally attacking the vice president – Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for failing to aid them (Mamprusis) perform the traditional royal funeral rites of one Naa Tampuri, who is said to have died few decades ago. The performance of the said funeral, this paper is told, was to pave way for the enskinment of a rival chief in Bawku.
Names of prominent persons, this paper have learnt are said to be lobbing for the rival skin. In a blazing tone, the audio among other things stated“Dr. Bawumia, you don’t like us. When you went to Abugrago (referring to the Bawku Naba), he refused to welcome you. If you have forgotten, we are reminding you. Are we lying? How many people in Garu voted for Nana, only one person, the rest voted for Alan Kyeremanten and now you like them as though they (Kussasis) are your kinsmen. Why can’t the security protect us to perform the royal funeral? What is the use of the security? You are saying that the performance of the funeral will cause trouble, can’t you arrest those trouble makers? Is there no prison in Bawku? You are preventing us from performing our father’s funeral. You have informed Nayire, but that is not our wish, you have empowered the Kussasis. You said Bawku is for Kussasis, keep on, we the Mamprusis have taken things for granted. Now that we have been prevented from performing the funeral, lives will be lost. But Dr. you are listening to your boss and you have stopped us from performing our father’s funeral. Keep on”. He fumed.
Going by a social media name chief Naa Tampuri, he dared to lead the killing of all kussasis.
In one of the audios, a man believed to be an opinion leader is heard coaching some people how to go about the planned enskinment. He likened the present Bolgatanga chieftaincy situation (where two gates have enskinned rival chiefs) with the case pending in court.
One Mbatarana, who is said to be an outspoken elder and one of the chief makers in the Nayire palace was mentioned as one of the peoples who could help them have a successful enskinment of the rival chief. It is however unclear if the said Mbatarana is in anyway link to the said plan. In some of the Audios, one Naa Tampuriis heard swearing and daring to kill all Kussasis.
He boasted of his bravery and added that no one could arrest him. He fumed at president Akuffo Addo and the vice president as he questioned the loyalty of Kussasis to the present government and wondered why the presidency is failing to give them the needed security as well as the political backing to celebrate the traditional funeral rites of Naa Tampuri. The traditional funeral of Naa Tampuri is said to have come up a number of times and has always generated tension in the municipality.
A source told this paper that NaaTampuri’s Islamic funeral rites was well performed and that to perform a royal traditional funeral rites where a chief exists is alien and unbefitting of him hence the tension.
Two Facebook accounts (bawku links and moshienaaba) have for some time now been producing hatred and inciteful write-ups to the dislike of many people in the area. Months of painstaking monitoring of the activities of the accounts saw unprintable, hatred, hot-threat as well as a call-to-war messages flooding and fueling.An MTN number 0557947559 with the registered name, Seini Assaniwas on the 15th of October, 2021 Posted on the page where the handlers were appealing for monetarily contributions to fight a good course. “if every Mamprusi and our sympathizers should contribute just GHC 5 then we can fight any obstacle standing our way”. prominent persons including late president Rawlings have been described with unprintable words by handlers of the account. As of 22nd November 2021, the account appears to have been hacked with its previous content missing.
The Bawku Naba – Asigri Abugrago Azoka II has been the most insulted and denigrated person by the operators of the page. Handlers of the accounts have on several occasions threatened local security officials. The account has gained notoriety for its excessive use of vituperative language against persons of high repute.
On 15/10/2021, a youth group going by the name ‘Mamprugu Kaya nita’da youth group’ organized a presser in Walewale in the North East Region, where they threatened to dismantle the peace in Bawku.
In the presser captioned ‘Bawku has no chief; and there is nothing like Kussaug traditional area: a reaction to Prof Agbango’s claim and matters arising’ the group among other things stated that “the Kussasis in Bawku should note that we are quite abreast of the happenings in Bawku and we are monitoring closely and getting prepared”. The video and written versions of the lengthy scribe is riddled with insults, threats and hatred language.
Days after the said presser, a youth group named ‘concerned Kusaug youth group’in a rebuttal described the Mamprusi youth group as disgruntled and blood thirsty gang whose sole interest is to disrupt the ongoing peace in the municipality.
Bawku FM, a Bawku based local radio station has equally been used by some Mamprusi youth to verbally attack prominent persons in the municipality. On numerous occasions, the radio station has been used to question the legality of the Bawku Naba beside the unprintable words used to describe him. The development, this paper has gathered is promoting anger and hatred in the municipality.
On November 10, 2021 a Facebook account named ‘moshienaaba’ wrote “fighting for Bawku Mamprusis is Jihad (Holy Fight). I lay my life down for Mamprusis. Tell Abugragug this Samanpiid will not happen! I swear on my life. Woe to anyone behind Parara visit to the Abugragug. December will be history kussasis will leave Bawku by force”. On some occasions, guns are displayed on his page as he issues his threat. Innocent persons have had their pictures posted there and labeled as wanted persons. He has used the account to issue a five-day ultimatum for the Bawku Naba to leave the town or risk been killed.
As the tension wages on, the users of the accounts are said to have driveled local police relative to their identity. ‘moshie Naaba’ have equally issued open letters warning security officials and bragged of his invisible nature.
One Ibrahim Azangbego is alleged to be parading himself as a regent of Bawku, a developmentwhich many have described as not just lawless, but an insult to the chieftaincy system. To them, the existence of a gazetted Bawku Naaba has nullified the existence of a regent. During one of the visits of President Akuffo Addo to the Bawku Naba palace, the traditional overlord openly complained about the attitude of Ibrahim Azangbego. The president in a response called for calm and noted that he only is aware of one Bawku Naba in the person of Asigri Abugrago Azoka II.
The legality of the present Bawku Naba was adjudicated and confirmed by the supreme court in 2003.
Kussasis and Mamprusis have engaged in a chronic intermitted chieftaincy gun battle over the decades leading to destruction of lives and properties.
Meanwhile, a high-powered meeting between state security officials and representatives of the Mamprusis in Bawku was held at the Upper East Regional capital, Bolgatanga with the later been asked not to perform the funeral rites of the Late chief Naa Tampuri nor enskin a rival chief due to security reasons. A court restraining order was said to have been served on one Dr. Sam Bugri, an elder and one of the representatives of the Mamprisis at the said meeting.
As the state puts in effort towards curtailing the hiking tension, reports of sporadic gun shots, especially at nights keeps on raging. Sources told this paper that visible uniform police cum military personnel have increase in the area.