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15.05.2008 Regional News

The Bawku CrisisPREZ KUFUOR TO MEET KUSASIS, MAMPRUSIS…to find lasting solution to problem

By William N. Jalulah, Nalerigu - Ghanaian Chronicle

President John Agyekum Kufuor is set to meet leaders of the Kusasi and Mamprusi, for the second time, to help resolve the long-standing dispute between the two feuding ethnic groups.

This follows recent clashes, which have claimed the lives of some residents of Bawku, leading to the imposition of a further curfew in the area.

In a special message from the President, and delivered by Mr. Alhassan Samari, the Upper East Regional Minister, to the Paramount chief of Nalerigu, Naa Bohagu Mahami Abdulai, at his Palace, President Kufuor expressed his disappointment at the resurgence of the recent conflict, especially at a time when peace talks have almost been successful.

Mr. Samari said President Kufuor was also worried that all the wisdom and efforts that had gone into restoring peace in Bawku, had been thrown away, hence retarding the peace-building process.

It is against this background that the President wants to meet the leaders of the two sides, to find out what has gone wrong, in order return to a peaceful process, to ensure a lasting solution to the over-four decades' conflict.

President Kufuor thanked the Nayiri for having control over his people at Nalerigu. 

He noted that government could not ensure lasting peace in Bawku, without the involvement of the Nayiri, and appealed to him to maintain control over his people, as government tries to restore peace in the area.

Mr. Samari disclosed that efforts were being made to bring back to Bawku, the Mamprusis who fled the area to Konogu, in neighbouring Togo, during the recent crisis.

On his part, Naa Abdulai attributed the cause of the conflict to the non-performance of the final funeral rites of the late Bawku Naba, Adam Zamlegu, who died several years ago.

He said the departed soul of the late Naba, was causing nightmares to those living in the area, because his resting place was where his ancestors were, and wanted to join them.

He, however, noted that since his funeral rites had not been performed, there was no way he could join them.

The Nayiri said peace cannot be attained by merely wishing, but that the seeker must work to achieve it.

For that matter, he indicated his preparedness to partner government, and all stakeholders, to advance the cause of peace in Bawku.

He expressed concern with the fact that his people had no access to farmlands, since these farmlands have been confiscated by the Kusasis.

According to him, the situation has made life unbearable for them, because farming was one of the major occupations of the people.

The Nayiri, therefore, hoped that when peace is restored, these farmlands would be given back to his people.

Naa Abdulai expressed worry at how development had been retarded in the area.

He also expressed concern about government resources, which have been channelled into peace restoration, instead of development

The Regional Minister, on Monday, communicated the President's intention to meet the two feuding factions, to the Bawku-Naba, Asigri Abugrago Azoka II.

Mr. Samari, who was in the company of top security officers, from the Regional Security Council on his trip to Nalerigu, made a stop-over at Gambaga, where he met with the District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr. Peter Baago Wuni, and at Walewale, where he met with the District Coordinating Director, Mr. Musah Issah, on security matters.

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