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Opinions of Thursday, 10 January 2008

Columnist: Atubiga, Stephen

Akuffo-Addo Chambers Supports Mamprusi ...

...In A Kusasi-Mamprusi Dispute In Bawku

by Stephen Atubiga

In the effort to bring about some resolution to the said issue, the President of Kusasi Youth Association in the United States, Mr. Stephen Atubiga, alias Alex Kerker has had a discussion with opinion leaders: Members of Parliament of the various constituencies; Mohammed Ayariga, the MP for Bawku, Alhaji Bolnaba and Alhaji Karim Oga together with the Chief and His Elders.

I am appealing one more time, to all parties involved to calm down to bring peace into the district. On behalf of the Kusasis and the people in the Bawku district, I hereby call, not only on President Kufour; but also on Nana Akuffo Addo who will be going to the district during his presidential campaign; to come out and assure the Kusasis that he is not going to tamper with tradition or any chieftaincy affiliation during his Presidency, if he is elected, due to the history of flip flopping of the chieftancy disputes in the Bawku district as a whole. I am tired of seeing my people die in the north and a result of tribal clashes.

During one of Nana Akuffo-Addo's presidential campaigns in the US, I personally had a meeting with him in the state of Maryland in Fiife's house. The meeting centered mainly on the underlying chieftaincy dispute in the Bawku District. Nana Akuffo-Addo was advised that due to the sensitive nature of the dispute, it was very necessary that a lot of tact and caution is needed in dealing with the people during his campaign in that district and the Northern Region as a whole.

In another meeting the NPP Presidential Candidate, Nana Akuffo Addo was campaigning I vividly remember that in this meeting together with the Northern Union of North America Members held in the Commonwealth of Virginia and if my memory serves me right, I vividly remember that Nana Akuffo Addo said that the only district he had had problems with during his campaign in the country is the Bawku District.

The concern of the Kusasis is that the chambers of Nana Akuffo-Addo, the NPP presidential candidate, happened to be legal representatives of the Mamprusis in a legal battle with the Kusasis. The case was in connection with the chieftaincy dispute in the region in which the Mamprusis were fighting to destool the Kusasi chief . The Kusasis were represented by the chambers of Mr. Martin Hamidu', a former Attorney-General. The bone of contention is that if the same person (Nana Akuffo Addo); now a Presidential Candidate goes to the Bawku township and ignores tradition by not paying the needed courtesy call to the paramount chief of the district as tradition demands; he leaves a lot of room in the minds the Kusasi's to wonder what kind of leadership his presidency will provide, if he happens to win the upcoming elections. It is therefore understandable that the natives of Kusasi will seek to have this issue address by any means possible. For those of you who may not be aware of this; the Mamprusis have a history of violence and to those who know, may this serve as a reminder that the first assassination attempt on the life of the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah at Kologungu in Pusgah, then under the Bawku District, this was masterminded and carried out by the Mamprusis, simply because Kwame Nkrumah recognized Kusasi as the owners of the land. When the assassination attempt failed, the mastermind (Sule Yirmia) fled the country. After that attempt, there was a coup d'etat after which General Akuffo destooled the Kusasi chief and gave the stool to the Mamprusis, but with the help of Imoru Ayana, the late Great Asumda and John Ndebugri, the stool was eventually given back to its original owners – the Kusasis..

Also Mr. Mahami who was a former Regional Minister for the Upper East Region, a Mamprusi, released weapons from the police armory in Bolgatanga, which is supposed to be used to protect the whole region; transported them to the Mamprusis to use as an aid in their fight against the Kusasis. During the fight it took Mr. Mahami more than 8 hours to call for help in stopping the fight only after he realized that things were not going the way he hoped. Little did he know things would end up getting out of control The police officer in charge of the armory run out of the country, nowhere to be found, up to date. Ironically, the only punishment Mr. Mahami; the former minister got, was a re-assignment as minister of state

The late Hon. Hawa Yakubu, who was a mother to me, nearly lost her life in a shooting due to the tension in the district and today, all her houses have been burned down in Bawku. Also lost a very powerful king in the northern kingdom, the late Yaanaa due to tribal conflict, so be it tribal, be it political, I want peace in all of northern region including Bawku and that same northern conflicts that have caused our current vice president, Alieu Mahama, to be disliked among his own northerners, what a shame!

I will continue to use all the influence and the powers within my limits to continue negotiating, dialoguing and persuading my people, the Kusasis, to lay down their arms, and we will solve this issue according to the constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

All I am asking for is that the government should put in place a mechanism that will hold people responsible for any tribal conflict in the Northern Region in particular, and Ghana as a whole. I would like to appeal to President Kufour and his cabinet ministers to hold Mr. Mahami accountable and to retrieve all the guns he has taken out of the police armory in Bolaga District which belongs to state for protecting the people of the region.

My people are ready for peace talks and the laying down of their arms.

I Would like to thank Nana Akuffo-Addo for the statement he made on Friday on JoyFM in Ghana regarding his statement clearing the air about the alleged situation. The Kusasi are very pleased with Nana Akuffo-Addo and his executives sincerely from the bottom of our hearts for responding positively for the allegations made against him. We are wishing him all the best in his presidential campaign and our doors are open to him.

I would also like to thank fife for the responding directly to me on behalf of Nana Akuffo-Addo about this issue, I wish him all the best in running as a MP for Nana Akuffo-Addo seat

I would also like to reach out to the Mamprusis to lay down their arms, the Kusasi are ready for peace and unity and the development of our district. We will also want to sympathize with anybody who lost love one or property during the conflict in the Bawku district. I personally would do what ever it takes to unite the people of Bawku to be one.

I would like to assure those who criticsed and abuse me directly that myself and the Kusasi have a home to go to. I know and believe that dreams can come true not with weapons but with the spears of media that is stronger than the fist. I embrace on criticism because my success in life has always dwell on criticism and threats. So dream big and go get yours.

Allah blesses all of northern region and help us grow.

About the writer:

Stephen Atubiga, alias Alex Kerker is a son of Fortunate Atubiga, a former member of parliament for Binduri Constituency and a nephew to the Paramount Chief of the Bawku District. Stephen Atubiga, who is based in Virginia, USA, is the Founder and President of the Eagle Express Shipping, Eagle General Construction; a multi-million dollar company and also the President of the Kusasi Youth Association United States of America and also a member of the Northern Union Association of Northern America; and also a member of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors. He is also the patron member of numerous charitable organizations in the Bawku district and other northern regions.

Contact Info for Steve Atubiga: Cell: 571-722-4677 Office: 703-372-1974 / 703-372-1976 Email: eagleshipping@hotmail.com alexhomeimprovement@jhotmail.com Cell: 571-722-4677

Office: 703-372-1974 / 703-372-1976 Email: eagleshipping@hotmail.com alexhomeimprovement@jhotmail.com


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