The unfortunate development that occurred at Bawku yesterday forced President Akufo-Addo and his security apparatus to hold a crunch meeting at Jubilee House yesterday. Details of the meeting were not made public, but The Chronicle understands it was attended by one of the prominent chiefs in the country.
Opening his remarks to students from Wesley Girls High School who had visited him, President Akufo-Addo said he was happy to welcome them, albeit not at a favourable time.
“You have unfortunately come at a poor time for us. We have first of all a big crisis on our hands in Bawku, as we are speaking right now. Things happened there early this morning, which are causing a lot of problems for the security agencies. That’s why I was late. I was in a meeting with them,” he told his guests.
Meanwhile the government has ordered the security agencies to arrest and prosecute any person who holds himself out as a Bawku Naba.
The order follows an alleged enskinment of a new chief for Bawku, in the Upper East Region, by the King of the Mamprugu Traditional area, Naa Bohugu Mahami Abdulai Sheriga II yesterday.
A statement released in Accra yesterday and signed by the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah condemned the alleged enskinment saying it is threat to our National security. The government re-iterated that the incumbent Naaba Asigri Abugrago Azoka II is therecognised Bawku Naba, duly gazetted and a member of the National and Upper East Regional Houses of Chiefs.
The government has warned that any further developments that have the potential to undermine the peace of Bawku will also be dealt with swiftly and in accordance with law.
The King of Mamprusi Traditional Area, Naa Bohagu Mahama Abdulai Sherigu II, had in the early hours of Wednesday February 15, 2023 enskinned a new chief for Bawku.
The new chief, who was enskinned at the Nayiri Palace in Nalerigu, is known as Alhaji Seidu Abagre.
Amid tight security, jubilations erupted at the forecourt of the Nayiri Palace.
Nalerigu, the North East Regional capital, also serves as the traditional city of Mamprugu.
The newly enskinned chief, Alhaji Seidu Abagre, was expected to be accompanied by some elders from the Nalerigu Palace to Bawku, after he had undergone traditional rites.
The protracted Bawku chieftaincy crisis has claimed several lives, with at least 15 in this month of February.
Security experts believe that the conflict in Bawku, if not approached with tact, will escalate beyond the control of the state authorities.
Already, civil/public servants and financial institutions have withdrawn their services and relocated to the Regional capital, Bolgatanga.
By Maxwell Ofori & Inusa Musah