Regional News of Wednesday, 3 September 2014
Feuding factions in the Bawku chieftaincy conflict are reluctant to surrender their weapons and blame their intransigence on their lack of confidence in the security agencies.
A member of the Mamprusi clan Mohammed Tahiru Nambe told Joy News, “I am afraid it is not going to be applicable to the Bawku situation. It is because of mistrust and loss of confidence in the security agencies that is why people, a lot of people have weapons.”
Recurrent gun violence in the Bawku area has claimed scores of lives in the past decade with its resultant destruction of properties running into millions of cedis.
In recent times, three people lost their lives after violent clashes.
Government last Wednesday offered a month’s amnesty for residents possessing illegal weapons to turn them in and receive cash incentives.
Interior Minister Mark Woyongo believes the move was part of measures to bring a solution to the chieftaincy crisis between the Mamprusi and the Kusasis.
Mr. Woyongo, who once served as Regional Minister for Upper East, warned those who fail to comply with the directive would be hunted, arrested and prosecuted after the amnesty period.
Reacting further to the directive, tribal leaders including Mohammed Tahiru believes, “It is difficult to hand over weapons if they have any. And which group is going to hand over first. You do not even know who has it…. It is perhaps individual people who have gone to purchase their weapons. To let them bring them out is going to be very difficult for us as leaders of various tribes to talk.”
His position is shared by a leading figure in the Kusasis clan, Salifu Mohammed.
“Both of us are afraid of each other. The trust is not there.”