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Opinions of Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Columnist: Yakubu, Fuseini

Blame gov't for Bimbilla 'crisis'


On Tuesday, 28th July, 2015 the Deputy Interior Minister, Mr. James Agalga accompanied by the Northern Regional Minister, paid an official visit to Bimbilla for a dialogue between the regent and the butchers.

The two ministers together with the District Chief Executive for Nanumba-North District visited only one faction i.e. the regent and his elders close to an hour at his palace. The butchers were later invited by the team at the District Assembly Library in Bimbilla only for the Interior Minister to impose on the butchers their decision of 'signing a bond of good behaviour' and also to honour the regent customary obligations by sending the symbolic meat to the his palace. During the meeting the butchers were intimated by the Interior Minister himself with the security personnel present at the sitting. Any butcher who attempted to speak was shut down by the Deputy Interior Minister himself. According to the Minister failure to sign the bond and honour the regent those customary obligations will mean that the butchers will not get access to use the abattoir and the meat shop. The simple question is whether the constitution of Ghana allows government officials to deny group of persons their basic economic rights under the pretext of customary obligations? Customary obligation is just an obligation not a right.

Another interesting question is whether government is trying to promote violence by some citizens or group of persons as a means to address their grievances? Why will the regent result to the use of violence and attacks on the butchers and more than 19 persons lost their lives including innocent farmers yet the government officials including the deputy interior minister and the northern regional minister himself supporting such a destructive cause? The decision of the deputy interior minister clearly shows that the NDC government has taken side with the regent in the Bimbilla chieftaincy struggle. We the Butchers will never sign any bond based on the following reason:

The legitimacy of the 'regent' is disputed as the case is pending at the Supreme Court.

Nine people including the Deputy Northern regional Minister, A. B. A. Fusheini, the Nanumba-North District chief Executive, Mohammed Ibn Abbass, the 'Regent' Yakubu Andani Dasana among others have been cited for contempt at Tamale High Court.

These people will appear in the Tamale High Court on 21st August, 2015 over this issue. These and others are the reasons why we the butchers would not recognize and honour the 'regent' in any way, until the Supreme Court determines the case.