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09.01.2006 General News

War Drum Beats At Bimbilla

By the Heritage
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Security situation at Bimbilla in the Nanumba-North District of the Northern Regional is on a knife-edge, after gunshots and tear gas were last Friday used to disperse two opposing factions involved in armed struggle, the Heritage can authoritatively report.

What started as mere stone throwing was turned into a full fledged armed struggle with combatants from both sides retreating home to bring out their guns, but the vigilance of the District Chief Executive (DCE) Mr Salifu Sa-ed and the security chiefs in the district who quickly organized a team of security personnel to quell the angst-ridden situation.

The initial contingent of police personnel could not contain the situation and the DCE had to seek reinforcement from the military to help augment their strength to stop what potentially would have been another Dagbon.

The DCE, Mr Salifu Sa-eed (popularly called SS) told the Heritage in an interview that the bruising confusion started when one side of the long-existing chieftaincy dispute decided to go out for communal labour. Just when they were about to start, the opposing side also decided to undertake their separate cleaning exercise. In so doing, they both locked horns resulting in near-anarchy.

According to the DCE, the two groups do not want to see eye to eye with each other and so meeting at a common place for an exercise like communal labour was enough to ignite already existing doused flames. “The area has been witnessing intermittent conflict. It used to be ethnic conflict between the Kokombas and the Nanumbas and now we have chieftaincy and that thing is not helping the place… it's very serious. It's just that we've been firm, otherwise the situation would have been terrible.

“If there is no solution to it and somebody one day comes out to shoot one person from either side, the situation will get out of control,” the DCE told The Heritage yesterday just before press time on phone.

Newsmen has also gathered that just after the death of the former paramount Chief of the Nanumba Traditional Area some three years ago, two factions or gates are enmeshed in a tangle of confusion over who must provide the successor to the skin. The two groups, Napka-Na Salifu and Andani Nassan family are engaged in a battle over who should occupy the skin. The matter has been referred to the Northern Regional House of Chiefs for a resolution but there is some dithering in finding solution to it.

So the protagonists are growing impatient of the situation, seizing every opportunity at hand to create mayhem and shake up the place. Mr Salifu in an interview, made an appeal for a speedy resolution of the conflict by the regional house of chiefs in order to stem a calamitous occurrence.

The DCE told newsmen that he needs some vehicles and a rapid response unit to be on standby to avert any future occurrence of the situation. He appealed to the youth of the area to marshal their efforts towards assisting in development rather than always resorting to arms struggle.