General News of Friday, 23 September 2011
Accra, Sept. 23, GNA – Some chiefs and elders from Nawuri Traditional Area on Friday appealed to government for intervention to prevent an imminent conflict with Gonjas in the Northern Region.
They contended that Nawuris needed peace to manage their own affairs.
At a media briefing in Accra, they called on government to issue a White Paper on the Justice Ampiah Committee Report of 1992 to investigate conflicts between the two ethnic groups which erupted in 1991.
Nana Okalapunye II, Kitare Disane Wura, Spokesman for the chiefs and elders said “People from Kpandai and Nawuris are mobilising to attack Gonjas soon.”
They alleged that Alhaji Haruna Kibasi, Kpembewura and Paramount Chief of Kpembe Traditional Area, in series of petitions to the Nawuri Traditional Council continued to wage war against Nawuris.
“In a letter dated May 8, 2010, the Kpembewura threatened war against the Nawuris over alleged destruction of Gonja houses in Kpandai.”
They noted that the Kpembewura had illegally and persistently demanded GHc2,800 from the Nawuri Area Council to be paid to him as the traditional head of the area, which did not augur well for the people of Kpandai.
The chiefs and elders pointed out that the Gonjas were preparing to install one Raymond Abuba Asuo, a Nawuri as Paramount Chief of Nawuris, whose coronation was scheduled for Kpembe and brought to Kpandai under Gonja escort.
They explained that the 1991 war between Nawuris and Gonjas caused much havoc that led to the loss of many lives and properties therefore, there was the need to prevent its occurrence.
According to the chiefs, Nana Bresiam Okore Atorsah II was the legitimate chief of Kpandai (Kpandai Wura) and any attempt to install another Kpandai Wura would lead to new conflicts that would be more deadly than what happened in 1991.
Tracing their roots, the Nawuris said their cultural linkage to Akans was from the period of Ndewura Jakpa to the present Kpandai, and that there were some people already living on the land, so it was erroneous for Gonjas to say that Nawuri lands belonged to them.
The chiefs explained that Nawuris and Nchumurus lost their sovereignty to Gonjas due to the inability of the people at that time to be allowed recognition and though Nawuris resisted absorption into Gonja rule they were compelled to do so.
Kpembewura Kibasi, when contacted on telephone said after the 1991, 1992 and the 1995 conflicts between Nawuris and Gonjas, attempts by former President Jerry John Rawlings to reconcile them proved futile because the Nawuris refused to attend all the meetings held in Salaga.
He noted that it was Nana Atorsah who was still fomenting trouble in the area.
Kpembewura Kibasi said some people from Kpandai were ready to unite with Gonjas to maintain peace and only a few people owe allegiance to Nana Atorsah as Chief of Kpandai.
He announced that Gonjas and Nawuris had set Thursday, September 29 to coronate Mr Raymond Abuba Asuo as the rightful chief of the area.
Kpembewura Kibasi said efforts were being made to get the National House Chiefs involved in the coronation to prevent Nana Atorsah from making any trouble, adding “Security of the nation is paramount and we believe that the national security apparatus would ensure peace between Gonjas and Nawuris”.
He denied claims that Mr Asuo was being installed illegally because the Nawuris chose him, adding “As I am talking to you, I am on my way from the Dagbonwura on the same issue. All is set for peace initiation between Gonjas and Nawuris”.