The Minister for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, has called on Parliament, and all stakeholders, to join hands to support the government to enforce peace and order at Bimbilla.
His call follows recent murders at Bimbilla, as a result of some chieftaincy disputes, which have still not been resolved properly for a very long time now.
At least, 10 people have been confirmed dead, and there are indications of possible additions, amidst a curfew, from 6pm to 6am daily.
On the floor of the House yesterday, Ambrose Dery, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nandom, urged the National Peace Council to lead the negotiation through alternative dispute resolution methods to ensure lasting peace.
“Mr Speaker, I wish to assure you that the government shall continue to monitor the situation, and ensure that the situation does not deteriorate and affect others in the vicinity. Security is a collective responsibility, and I call on all persons/stakeholders to work with government to achieve peace, security and safety, for the benefit of all in Bimbilla,” he remarked.
Giving a background into the matter, the Minister said the late Bimbilla Naa, Naa Abarika, died in 2001.
Since the performance of the funeral of the late Naa Abarika in 2003, the Bimbilla skin has been in crisis, which has festered and resulted in a number of clashes, violence and loss of lives over the period.
He continued that the Bimbilla skin, a paramount skin, had two skin gates, which ascend on a rotational basis to the Bimbilla skin – the Gbimayili gate and the Bangyili gate.
The late Naa Abarika was of the Bangyili gate, and thus, on his death, it was the turn of the Gbimayili gate to ascend the throne.
Regrettably, an intra-gate misunderstanding ensued in the Gbimayili gate, in pursuit of providing a successor to the Bimbilla skin, between the late Naa Andani Dasana and the late Naa Salifu Dawuni (Nakpa Naa).
Fast forward; the protagonists, namely the late Naa Salifu Dawuni and the late Naa Andani Dasana, both passed on.
Nakpa Naa Salifu Dawuni passed on naturally on 5th March 2014, but is yet buried due to controversy over the status of the burial and related matters.
The late Naa Andani Dasana, however, died with three of his elders as the victim of an attack on his palace on 19th June 2014.
A curfew was imposed on Bimbilla and its environs on 7th March 2014 to contain the resultant tension after the death of the late Naa Salifu Dawuni, and has since been renewed and reviewed from time to time.
According to the Minister, on Wednesday, 8th February, 2017, the regional Security Council (REGSEC) in Tamale received intelligence that a planned enskinment of one Mumuni Haruna at Bimbilla had the potential to adversely impact the peace.
Meanwhile, reacting to the statement, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said there should be a better appreciation of what the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, who happens to be the MP for the area, had done about the issue, though the latter had contributed to ensuring peace in the area.
He said government should not relax in tackling issues such as this, “because that is why you have already stationed police and military presence in Bimbilla, and Mr Speaker, I say so to guide what future actions should be, and what future interventions should be.”
He noted that Naa Abarika Andani was murdered, even when there was security presence in that particular area in 2015, but justice has not been done.
“Mr Speaker, bear me to share some details. Following even the death of Nakpa Naa Salifu, who has since not been buried, since 2014, what are the underpinning cultural issues?
“We need to understand; even as I see the roadmap that the Hon Minister for Interior has shared, and I am sure both cultures are similar. Who aspires to be the Bimbilla Naa aspires to the paramountcy.”
The Minority further stated that it is a fact that both the Regional House of Chiefs and the National House of Chiefs have ruled in favour of the Naa Andani gate, which is now the matter pending before the Supreme Court, adding, at least, within the judicial organ of the House of Chiefs, there has been a decision which has not been respected.
By Maxwell Ofori, Parliament House
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