Editorial: All hands on deck to rebuild Bawku peace

After a downpour recorded in Bawku on Monday night, some unidentified gunmen forayed into some suburbs of the Municipality, sporadically firing gunshots. At one of the areas, the gunmen reportedly fired on five persons who, according to the police from the area, were pronounced dead when they rushed the victims to the hospital.

The armed police personnel who rushed there to foil the attacks by the gunmen escaped before state security personnel arrived.

The local conflict in Bawku resurfaced a few months ago, and hitherto, one cannot figure out what exactly could have sparked the tension.

Listening to Chief Superintendent Simon Peter Akabati, the Bawku Municipal Police Commander, on Accra FM on Tuesday night, he said the situation in Bawku, like the weather, was unstable.

For example, he said, before Monday night’s shoot-out, Bawku was enjoying some stable peace after some recorded heightened tension.

Ruling out a chieftaincy dispute as spurring the recent tension, Chief Superintendent Akabati, in his view, pointed out some ethnic differences as what could have triggered the fresh worrying situation, which, he believed, had drawn some ‘terrorists’ from Ghana’s landlocked neighbouring countries to join in wrecking the peace in Bawku.

He argued that the unknown gunmen, who he believed could not be Ghanaian nationals, use sophisticated arms, although he did not rule out that there are sophisticated arms in the hands of some Ghanaians. It seems that the police in the municipality are overwhelmed by the arms in the hands of the public – both nationals and foreigners – who threaten the peace of Bawku.

So worrying and disturbing is the situation in Bawku that, as soon as possible, the state must pool the expertise of eminent chiefs, religious leaders, civil society organisations, and celebrities to begin the peace talks in Bawku, while National Security, relying on snippets of information it picks from the ground, clandestinely seals all gaping holes.

Having said that, the crazy bald heads and bloodthirsty politicians and nation wreckers who could be secretly fanning and financing the tension in Bawku, thus, making the situation intractable for their interest, should remember that the cubs they are inciting to cause mayhem today, would someday grow up to devour their household, when there is no prey from the enemies’ camp.

To our siblings in Bawku, we invite you to see eye-to-eye with one another by waving the olive branch for the sake of development. Stop trading your peaceful co-existence which had bonded you until these few weeks.

Residents of Bawku must bear in mind that there is no substitute for peace, which has kept all of us together in Ghana.

Bawku needs the peace to enable its people to happily converge at their local pito joints to share calabashes of the tasty local drink, meet on market days to do brisk business and gather at the usual public event ground to watch and enjoy their favourite local sports and festivals.

There is no substitute for peace, therefore, surrender your arms to guard your enviable history.


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