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Government calls for ceasefire in Bawku

The government urges all parties to “desist from actions and pronouncements that can further escalate tensions"

The government has called on all stakeholders in the Bawku chieftaincy dispute to ceasefire and resort to dialogue for calm to prevail.

A statement from the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs said, “the status of the Paramount Chief of Bawku has been settled by the Supreme Court of Ghana in the celebrated case in April 2003.”

The statement further urged all parties to “desist from actions and pronouncements that can further escalate tensions and violence in the area.”

According to the ministry’s statement, the security agencies have been authorised to deal with anyone who disturbs the peace of the area.

On 24 November, the Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery, imposed a curfew on Bawku Municipality and its environs in the Upper East Region.

The imposition followed advice from the Upper East Regional Security Council after recent threats of insecurity in the area.

In the statement, the minister called on the chiefs, elders, opinion leaders, youth and other citizens of Bawku and its environs to exercise restraint as the government works to settle differences to ensure peace.

However, on Monday (27 December) a renewed chieftaincy clash in Bawku resulted in the loss of lives and the destruction of properties.

Below is the full government statement:

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has instructed the Minister for Chieftaincy Hon. Kojo Kum (MP) to draw urgently the attention of all stakeholders in the Bawku impasse to desist from actions and pronouncements that can further escalate tensions and violence in the area. Claims that Bawku does not have an overlord and attempts to install a new Bawku Naba run contrary to the already determined position by the Supreme Court on the matter.

The status of the Paramount Chief of Bawku has been settled by the Supreme Court of Ghana in the celebrated case in April 2003. Indeed, judgements of the Supreme Court, the highest court of the land, are meant to be complied with and not subject to the opinions of any individuals or group to pick and choose whether to abide by the judgments or not. As a matter of fact, until or unless a decision of the Supreme Court is varied or set aside, that decision is binding on all persons. It is our expectation that all parties will abide by the decision of the Supreme Court and let peace prevail in Bawku. The government is resolved to ensure that persons holding offices legitimately are uninhibited from performing their roles and functions.

The security agencies have been authorized to take all necessary steps to ensure law and order are fully enforced and any persons who are in breach of the peace are brought to book. The list of members of the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs with its regional house at Bolgatanga states that the Paramount Chief of Bawku / the current occupant of the skin is Naba Asigri Abugrago Azoka ii who was enskinned on 24th April 1984 and thus became the President of the Kusaug Traditional Council.

All are strongly advised to respect the position of the law and act accordingly.

Nicholas Brown

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