Feature Article of Friday, 4 January 2008
Columnist: Atubiga, Steve
On behalf of the Kusasis in the United States, I am calling for peace and calm in the Bawku District I would like to assure all concerned parties that the leadership of the Kusasis will not stop at anything to ensure that the source of this conflict has been tackled and the needed solutions applied for peace and tranquility to prevail in the district.
During a recent visit of Nana Akuffo Addo, the NPP presidential candidate to the Bawku district, he did not pay the needed courtesy call to the Paramount Chief of the District, for the mere reason that he was not informed/ "educated" as to what the proper procedures are by the Mamprusis who received him. It is being alleged that the Mamprusis who think NPP is a tribalistic party do not recognize the paramount chief of the Bawku district, because he is a Kusasi and this is how this conflicted started.
There has been a cold war between the Kusasis and the Mamprusis for a while, just waiting for the opportune time to explode, so the events of Nana Akuffo-Addo's visit was the spark that started the fire.
At the time when the fight started, the Kusasis were celebrating their end of year festival as their traditional routine. The Mamprusis, instead of joining the Kusasis to celebrate the festival as settlers, rather had hooligans and thugs disrupt the on-going festivities. The rumour amongst the Kusasis from the Mamprusis is that Nana Akuffo-Addo is alleged to have said that if he comes to power he will destool the Kusasis and give the chieftancy to the Mamprusis; and so that is why the Mamprusis started misbehaving in the district.
If it is not true that Nana Akuffo-Addo made the alleged statement, then he should call a press conference to denounce the statement and assure the people of the District that if he is elected, he will be president for all Ghanaians no matter which tribe they belong to. That is the only way the Kusasis will lay down their arms.
I would also want the general public to know that, the government is aware that Bawku belongs to the Kusasis. As history has proven, the Mamprusis, who are in the minority with a population of about 2000; are settlers from Mamprusiland at Nalarigu and Gambaga who came to settle in the Bawku district during the time that the Busangas from Burkina Faso were invading Bawku for greener pastures. The Mamprusis were sent to Bawku during the rule of Na Gbewaa as soldiers to help the Kusasis fight the Busangas from invading Bawku. After the war, the Mamprusis settled in Bawku with the Kusasis; but now want to claim the land of the Kusasis as their own. This indeed, defeats the whole purpose of their being sent there to help the Kusasis win the battle in the first place.
The Bawku District comprises of the Moshis, Busangas, the Kusasis and other northern tribes, of which the Mamprusis form the minority amongst all the tribes who have come to settle on the Kusasis Land.
I am appealing to the government and Ghanaians as a whole, to make it clear to the Mamprusis that the whole of the Bawku District belongs to the Kusasis to avoid any conflicts that would arise and negatively impact the infrastructure and socio-economic development of the district as a whole.
I have also spoken with Nana Akuffo-Addo's aide, who has assured me that they will send a delegation to the Northern Region to resolve this issue.