Civil society organisation, Anchoring Democracy and Advocacy Movement Ghana (ADAM-GH) has implored President Akufo-Addo to support the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to intervene in the protracted chieftaincy dispute in Bawku.
The clashes in the area has killed many whenever the dispute is renewed.
In a statement copied to the IGP, COP Dr George Akuffo Dampare, ADAM-GH invoked the constitutional mandate of the Police, saying the police I mandates to protect lives and properties in the country.
Asking the police to ensure internal security and detect crime, the CSO observed that “unfortunately”, the “core mandate and key functions beautifully presented [to the police] do not reflect in the lives of the people in Bawku and its environs.”
Below is the statement;
THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE DR. DAMP ARE GHANA POLICE SERVICE PO BOX 116 ACCRA.
H. E PRESIDENT NANA ADDO THROUGH SECRETARY TO THE PRESIDENT ASANTE BEDIATUO.
MINISTER OF INTERIOR HON. AMBROSE DERY.
MINISTER OF CHIEFTAINCY AFFAIRS HON. KOJO KUM (MP).
PRESIDENT OF NATIONAL HOUSE OF CHIEFS (NHOC).
4th February 2022.
ENFORCE THE LAWS TO SUPPORT PRESIDENT NANA ADDO AND THE GOVERNMENT’s PRONOUNCEMENT TO SECURE ABSOLUTE PEACE IN BAWKU.
Anchoring Democracy Advocacy Movement Ghana (ADAM-GH) is a civil society organisation that anchors proper democratic principles, ensures good governance, promotes the rule of law, fights for proper fundamental human rights and resists corruption in the country.
Sir, ADAM-GH humbly writes to remind you of the core mandate of Ghana Police service which states ” The mandate of the Ghana Police service is to protect and preserve internal security of the country through enforcement of the Law”. You further presented the key functions of the police service as follows:
1.Prevention and detection of crime,
2. Apprehension and prosecution of offenders,
3. Protection of life and property.
Unfortunately your core mandate and key functions beautifully presented do not reflect in the lives of the people in Bawku and its environs.
The confidence ADAM-GH as a CSO and Ghanaians have in your leadership as a dynamic Inspector General of Police (IGP) due to your commitment to ensuring law and order in Ghanaian society needs to reflect in the Bawku situation to bring a lasting solution to the area. ADAM-GH is one of the CSOs that openly commends you for your great leadership style which you can easily access online.
The 2003 Supreme Court decision is clear that the Zug-raana Asigri Abugrago Azoka ll, is the legitimate and only Paramount Chief of Bawku and President of the Kusaug Traditional Area. His Excellency President Nana Akuffo-Addo and his ministers, including your boss, the Minister of Interior as well as the Minister of Chieftaincy, have all referenced the 2003 Supreme Court judgement and clearly stated that the Bawku chieftaincy is not in dispute. They added that anyone who undermines the authority of the Supreme Court ruling and the Bawku Naaba is a common criminal and anyone who questions his legitimacy is engaged in illegality.
Sir, what then stops you from arresting the man in Bawku who self-styles as the “Regent” and puts his “palace” by the roadside with the inscription “original Bawku Naaba” and his accomplices? This self-styled regent or “original Bawku Naaba”, as well as his agents and accomplices parade on social media and public fora with mischievous theories and insult that undermine the authority of Ghana’s Supreme Court and Bawku Naaba, an act clearly in contempt of the Supreme Court ruling. This is happening because of lack of enforcement of the Law by the Police administration. These people are seen in videos threatening the security officers in a meeting with them at their “Original Bawku Naaba’s palace” and stating categorically that there will never be peace in Bawku if their wish is not granted regardless of the Supreme Court decision.
Openly, the President of the Republic has shown good leadership on the Bawku issue. But the law enforcement agencies do not seem to be helping the situation and have failed the people of Ghana especially those in Bawku which led to the needless loss of innocent lives including a promising young police lady. In fact, information we gathered from Bawku makes us believe that the police has not only failed or refused to arrest the criminals who caused the aggression and the violence, they also escort the criminals/aggressors to and from Togo and Burkina Faso to bring in logistics that was not known by the Ghana Immigration service in Bawku and its nearby checkpoint. We are reliably informed that the police on several occasions in the midst of the conflict escorted some people in Bawku believed to be the Mamprusi warriors/aggressors to Togo and Burkina Faso (Cinkase and Cinkanduri) to bring in logistics and, anytime they reached the security checkpoint and officers attempted to search the buses and trucks conveying them, the police escorting them resisted the search with gunfire!!!
Respectfully sir, we are calling on you and everyone who has a legal mandate to exercise and is interested in the peace of Bawku to do your part to ensure all the relevant law enforcement authorities (your men especially) act appropriately and act faster in arresting, prosecuting and punishing all the criminals to ensure peace for Bawku and its people and authorise the self-styled regent to clean the written ” Original Bawku Naba’s palace” or demolish the shed which undermines the Supreme Court’s ruling.
The responsibility for what should be done to stop the widespread violence, injustice, corruption, immorality and hatred in Bawku and around the country as well as the task to pursue non-violence, peace, moral living, sustainable development, freedom and Justice for all, does not fall on the President and his ministers alone, but you also as Inspector General of the Ghana Police Service. It is our collective responsibility to obey the highest court of our land whether we are favoured by its ruling or not.
The Ghanaian youth, our parents, our leaders, clergy and religious people, public and civil servants, private sector players, media persons and information vendors, personnel of the forces and security services, personnel of the judiciary and those of the commission for human rights and administrative Justice, members and personnel of the legislature, political party members and leaders of civil society organisations (CSO’S) must unanimously defend our constitution against some few individual’s selfish interest.
As a nation, we should not wait for the U.N or any international organisation, nor any superpower, nor A.U, nor ECOWAS, nor our colonial masters, nor any external interventions to give us peace, development, freedom and justice in our country. We must all respect the Supreme Court ruling and the constitution of Ghana. These organisations and institutions, as well as their agencies and agents, would rather take advantage, under the façade of diplomatic interventions to project their images, promote their interest and exploit our resources and opportunities if we fail as a nation.
If we continue on this dangerous tangent of discharging violence and injustice, disrespecting the Superior Courts of our land then the survival of our great nation is at high risk. When President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufu Addo disagreed with the Supreme Court verdict in the 2012 election dispute, he respected the rule of law and gave peace a chance. Former President John Dramani Mahama in the 2020 elections petition also disagreed with the Supreme Court ruling but respectfully gave peace a chance. Why can’t the Bawku-based Mamprusis humbly accept the Supreme Court ruling or go back for proper interpretation but rather choose to use firearms and the IGP does not seem to be bold enough to defend the constitution of Ghana?
We keep blaming the President for every problem in the country but we close our eyes to the failure of independent Institutions mandated to protect the laws of the land. The fact is that the President and the presidency operate through established systems and the failure of such systems is a collective failure of the country. The President or the presidency can do nothing without the players and the operators of the system; and if the system as well as its players and operators actually function according to the established regulatory mandates, we would not have the problems we are facing today.
Sir, until we see you and your men and other law enforcement authorities arrest and punish the so-called regent and other offenders without fear or favour, the safety of the innocent people living in Bawku and including your officers who are there to conduct their lawful business will be at stake. A lot of lives have already been lost through the actions of this self-styled regent, unfortunately you and I do not know who is going to be the next victim. It’s our collective responsibility to save lives and prevent any future casualties through this illegality happening in Bawku.
All of us should begin to wonder where these criminals are getting the courage and confidence to act in the manner they do. Could the President of the Republic, after the Supreme Court decision in 2013, have gone ahead to carry himself as President of Ghana, labelling his house “real President of Ghana”, with the law enforcement agencies looking on without arresting him? Could Former President John Mahama, after the Supreme Court decision in 2021, have gone ahead to carry himself around as President of Ghana, labelling his house as “real President of Ghana” and the law enforcement agencies would look on without arresting him? Why then, has that man in Bawku been carrying himself around as regent and “original Bawku Naaba”, in clear contempt of the Supreme Court, and the security agencies cannot arrest and treat him as a common criminal, visiting on him the awesome rigours of the law?
Let us not indulge wrongdoing to the detriment of our constitution. Most Ghanaians are no longer patriotic because of the widening spread of injustice and disregard for laid down procedures. They no longer feel a sense of responsibility to the society and the constitutional Republic and the content of our democracy is looking ever empty. The Ghanaian culture of love, non-violence, brotherhood and peaceful coexistence is degraded, and vulgarity and violence enthroned; the social system does not build peace and security any longer, but induces peril and chaos.
Inexorably, individuals are impelled by actions and inactions of such self-styled regents and some politicians to ignore their respective roles and responsibilities to protect the peace and security of our nation. This produces alienation – perhaps the most pervasive and insidious development in our country’s history. It is obvious that you and inherently your men in Bawku are constrained by some powers from arresting the known criminals, whose arrest and prosecution would have brought a closure to the conflict in Bawku.
The failure of the police to enforce the law and make sure every citizen abides by the laid down procedures is costing this country a lot. Some people take advantage of the weak system to undermine the laws with impunity. Virtually every Ghanaian having a small support base thinks they are above the law. Criminals nowadays seem to be untouchable and are in the business of destroying almost everything in the country, including lives for livelihood and luxury; they destroy systems, infrastructure, communities and even our heritage and human lives to earn and sustain comfort and luxurious lifestyles. The media and political platforms are now flooded with ugly words, abusive language, unsubstantiated allegations and wild propaganda that breed, heighten and spread panic, fear, tension, aggression, chaos, and vicious drive for violence.
If Ghanaians, especially people who have interest in and mean good for Bawku had acted in concert, supported the President and his Ministers in condemning the crimes of the minority Mamprusi and ensured the arrest and punishment of the known criminals parading themselves as “original Bawku chiefs” the conflict would have been a forgotten story. Unfortunately most Ghanaians including all those who need to stand by the truth and defend the constitution of the Republic with respect to the Bawku issue, have become habituated to sacrificing anything, including their God-given conscience, the imperatives of public safety, social justice, peace, national security and even human lives for wealth, power and God knows what else.
Conflicts, disagreement and the temptation to serve one’s personal interests are natural and neutral. They are natural because individuals, as well as groups, are bound to disagree over ideologies, over principles, over feelings, and practises, and over likes and dislikes. That is why there is the need to have a constitution that must be respected by all. They are neutral because they do not determine whether the reaction (s) or response (s) should be peaceful or violent, and they do not determined and or automatically result in Injustice, corruption or immoral self- serving acts; (a) party(ies)’s reaction (s) or response (s) is what could turn a disagreement/conflict to violence and war, or transform it to friendship and Peace; a response in love and one guided by morality and emotional intelligence, turns the odds of conflicts to the ideals of non-violence; a response in anger/bitterness and hatred escalates disagreement/conflicts to violence and chaos.
Love and tolerance are the forces capable of transforming a serious conflict/disagreement to friendship; and impatience and hate can inflame a trivial misunderstanding to bloody violence and destructive war.
Any person who has any issue with the authority of the Bawku Naaba could exercise the option of going to the Supreme Court for interpretation of the 2003 decision of the court. Apart from that, any mischief in revisionism and falsification of history and facts of high courts and appeal courts, all of which were reviewed by the Supreme Court in the 2003 judgement, is vulgar criminality.
Sir, if we all failed to push hard to protect the rule of law, for you to arrest all those perpetuating criminality in relation to the Bawku crisis to serve as a deterrent, we will, sooner than we ever expect, find the whole three traditional Regions of the North and Ghana as a whole, in bloody violence, borne out of a wanton disregarding for the established constitutional order. Let us be mindful that the terrorists in Burkina Faso are currently around a Burkinabe village near Kulungungu, near Bawku, and can conveniently take advantage of the situation in Bawku to cause chaos in Ghana.
Sir, we all must recognise and appreciate: this time, today, now and immediately is the last chance to resist and fiercely fight against the heightening unethical, immoral and evil acts that breed injustice human right abuses, violence, insecurity and chaos in our communities and around the country; We must all repent and change to moral and ethical living, observing always to do what is right. This will blow and spread a new air of social justice, non-violence, security and peace in our communities and across the whole nation. A resolve to moral living will put a stop to our actions that are destroying our community with violence and making brotherhood impossible. The Ugly insults, lies, mischief, propaganda, unsubstantiated allegations, threats and violence in our party politics have left the Ghana Society in monologue rather than dialogue. Many Ghanaians have now resorted to violence and other destructive acts in response to simple misunderstanding and disagreements. This requires you and your men to swiftly respond to and act when anyone has the evidence and or potential of causing violence, like those linked to the Bawku conflict. Those linked to the unfortunate development between the Asantehene and Dormaahene may either be discouraged or encouraged depending on how you handle the Bawku conflict. Let the citizens believe in the law enforcement agencies and rest assured that no one is above the law, by arresting the self-styled regent in Bawku and his enablers.
Violence cannot win and the perpetrators and participants in Bawku must know this fact; As Mohamed Gadhafi said ‘violence ends up defeating no one except itself.’ It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the perpetrators. Violence is never revolutionary, it is reactionary because it invites agony, chaos, destruction, crisis and failure of a society/nation and its people. Indeed violence defeats the ideal of society and strips a community or a nation of the opportunity for sustainable development. It involves emotional catharsis, often followed by a sense of futility. In short, violence is never an option for any reason and must be avoided and resisted under all circumstances; even victims of any violence should not respond with violence. On this note The ZUG-RAANA ABUGRAGO ASIGRI AZOKA II and his subjects must exercise high level of restraint in responding to the insults and violent attacks from self-styled regent in Bawku and his minions and enablers; otherwise their response may equally end in criminality just like the actions of the Mamprusis. In light of the foregoing, we implore you and your men to play your role in ensuring that people use non-violent means in their pursuits, and any person or group of persons who try to use violence in pursuit of their selfish interests, like the self-styled Bawku regent and his tribesmen are doing, must face the fire and fury of you and your men, using proportionate force.
Dear Dr. Dampare, we solicit your consideration to ensure your men appreciate the imperative of rightful action.
We hope our request will receive your immediate action to ensure peace and security in Bawku and its environs.
John Kwame Adu Jack
Director of Research and Media Relations ADAM-GH.
Contact: 0208307003/ 0544526676
Ibrahim A. Mumuni Director of Operations ADAM-GH
Contact: 0243486397/ 0545270290