The Mamprugu Youth Association, Bawku chapter has called on the Upper East Regional Security Council to pay attention to the atrocities on the Bolga-Bawku- Pulimakom read.
According to the association, that road is more insecure and dangerous for commuters than Bolga-Tamale road.
Responding to an earlier media engagement by the Kusasi Youth Movement on January 8, 2023, warning citizens to desist from travelling on the Bolga-Tamale road, the President of the Mamprugu Youth Association, Abudu Seidu said, per their security checks the Bolga-Bawku-Pulimakom road is more dangerous and warned all the citizens to stop travelling on that road.
Below is the full statement
MAMPRUGU YOUTH ASSOCIATION – BAWKU CHAPTER
BOLGA – BAWKU – PULIMAKOM ROAD IS MORE INSECURE AND DANGEROUS FOR ROAD USERS THAN BOLGA – TAMALE HIGHWAY AND SHOULD BE THE PRIORITY OF THE UPPER EAST REGIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, distinguished guests, sons, and daughters of Bawku, we warmly welcome you to the palace of the 14th Bawku Naaba, Naa Adam Zangbeo which has been and continues to be the home of all ethnic groups in Bawku.
First, we wish to thank you all for honouring our invitation to cover this press conference which we believe will bring out key issues as far as the peace and security of Bawku, its environs, the Upper East region, and Ghana are concerned.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, our attention has been drawn to a very surprising and claptrap press conference addressed by one Bukari Issahaku on behalf of the Kusasi Youth Movement on 8 January 2023. The said press conference, loaded with invectives and unprintable language directed at the peaceful Mamprusis and their sympathizers was centred on alleged insecurity on the Bolga – Tamale highway. We have also taken notice of similar comments made by the Upper East Regional Minister Stephen Yakubu on the morning of 10 January 2023 on A1 radio in which he expressed concern about the alleged insecurity on the Bolga – Tamale Highway.
We find the assertions and accusations of the Kusasi Youth Movement not only false and scandalous but highly hypocritical. We also find the sudden interest of the Upper East Regional Minister in the alleged insecurity in the Northeast Region to the detriment of more serious atrocities committed in his own region and constituency as insincere.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, in our continued interest and commitment to work for lasting peace in the Bawku area, we make the following observations in response to the press conference addressed by the Kusasi Youth Movement and the subsequent commentary of the Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu.
1. We would like to unequivocally dismiss the allegations made by the Kusasi Youth Movement that Mamprusis are behind the reported attacks on the Bolga – Tamale highway. It is a figment of their imagination and should be treated with the contempt it deserves. Mamprusis are peace loving people and have tolerated the attacks of the Kusasis for far too long. Has the Kusasi Youth Movement forgotten of the murder by their bandits of two innocent young men from Gambaga who were on a business trip around Bugri corner on 27 December 2021 and the horses they were sending to their customer seized and taken to Aninchema’s house (kusasi chief in Gingande)? The gruesome killings of Issifu Iddrisu and Baba Abdul Razak and the massive loss suffered by their families could have sparked retaliatory attacks on Kusasis within the Northeast Region. Yet our peace-loving father and overlord, His Royal Majesty the Nayiri exhorted everyone to exercise patience and allow peace to reign. As we speak there has not been a single arrest of the kusasi bandits who, in broad day light, killed these two innocent boys from Gambaga. Furthermore, the road stretch from Garu to Bugri Corner area has been made very insecure by Kusasi bandits for market men and women from the Northeast region who ply their trade in Bawku and Cinkasse in Togo. On 8 January 2023, armed Kusasi bandits attacked two market trucks from Gambaga on this same stretch of road but fortunately there was no casualties.
2. As indicated earlier, we consider the press conference by the Kusasi Youth Movement calling for increased security on the Bolga -Tamale highway in the Northeast Region as very hypocritical, insincere, misplaced and just meant to satisfy their selfish and parochial interest of downplaying the high insecurity on Kusasi settlements along the Bolga – Bawku – Pulimakom highway so that their kinsmen can continue perpetuating their acts of banditry ancd terrorism.
What is more revealing is the fact that their call comes only after what they term just 3 attacks on vehicles, they claim belong to them on the Bolga – Tamale Highway in which they claim only one of their people lost his life and others injured. We would like to ask them and the Upper East Regional Minister who is their tribesman; How many attacks have taken place within the past year on Kusasi dominated settlements along the Bolga -Bawku – Pulimakom highway? And how many lives have been lost? Have they organized a single press conference to complain of the insecurity on the road at their own backyard? Has the Upper East Regional Minister granted radio interviews on the insecurity at his own backyard? Is it today he and his tribesmen know the major road linking Tamale and Bawku is an international road?
What have they or the Upper East Regional Minister who is their kinsman, done on the over 12 attacks within the past year along Kusasi settlements on the Bolga -Bawku – Pulimakom highway? If the loss of over 10 lives, several severe and life threatening injuries and other life-changing casualties within kusasi dominated settlements has not been enough to get them issue a presser or for the minister to institute measures and grant radio interviews to that effect but the loss of one kusasi life in a case of robbery is reason enough to act, then it is so telling to the whole world the kind of people we are dealing with and the kind of person we have as a Regional Minister. What is even more telling is the fact that, survivors and eyewitnesses of the attacks perpetuated by this same Kusasi Youth Movement have given testimony and are alive to help identify the perpetrators, but the Regional Minister and his movement have failed to take any action.
3. Ladies and gentlemen of the press, it will interest you to know that the attacks perpetuated by the kusasi bandits along the Bolga – Bawku – Pulimakom highway are usually perpetrated with the highest level of impunity one can ever imagine. Armed Kusasi bandits patrol the Bolga – Bawku – Pulimakom road in broad day light launching attacks on people they suspect to be Mamprusis or their sympathisers. These bandits do not even care if users of the road are being escorted by the security agencies or not. In fact, these Kusasi bandits have at certain times attacked a vehicle belonging to the military intelligence at the Sabongari stretch of the Bawku – Pulimako road. They also attacked an ambulance transporting a sick person to the Tamale Teaching Hospital at the Bazua stretch of the Bolga – Bawku highway in the constituency of the Regional Minister.
All this while, the Kusasi Youth Movement and their fellow tribesmen have gloated over these attacks and celebrated the terrorist activities of their bandits who they use to implement their so-called “economic warfare and siege” on the Bawku township which is heavily populated by Mamprusis and their sympathisers.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, the military and security services identified that a Kusasi unapproved market at a location popularly called “Highways” was a major security threat and hotbed for banditry along the Bolga – Bawku highway. The military dismantled the market only to receive the wrath of the Regional Minister and kusasi politicians like Hon Mahama Ayariga, Hassan Ayariga, Hon Cletus Avoka, etc. As we speak the unapproved market and bus station continues to be in operation and remains a major security threat. Also, the Upper East Regional Minister issued an order to the military and police to stop planned escorts that were initiated by these security agencies but is quick to organize escort services for his kinsmen road users travelling through the Northeast Region.
4. Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, here are few details of some attacks on the Bolga – Bawku highway by kusasi bandits and these attacks are much more devastating than what was witnessed on the Bolga – Tamale highway.
I. The most recent deaths were the killings on 16 August 2022 of 3 men (Fatawu Ibrahim, Bunyamin Adam and Abdulai Ibrahim) who were returning from Bolga to Bawku.
II. Also, a Bissa woman was shot dead with many sustaining gunshot wounds on their way to Cinkase (Togo) along the Bawku – Pulimakom road.
III. On January 8th 2023 there was an attack at a kusasi settelement of Bazua when Kusasi bandits shot at a cargo truck transporting oranges into the Bawku township.
IV. A driver plying same road was shot dead and set ablaze along with his car by same kusasi bandits along the Bawku – Pulimakom road.
V. On January 9, 2023, a taxi driver by name Bashiru was shot and killed by Kusasi bandits because he patronized the station of the Bawku township.
VI. These bandits have assumed the roles of road and border guards setting up check points and stopping market trucks and cars plying the road.
VII. These outlaws have on several occasions, with impunity, turned back vehicles traveling to Togo and Burkina Faso from the Bawku township. As reported by one market woman and corroborated by other passengers, a Bittou-bound van was denied access of passage at Missiga, a Kusasi enclave, on December 26, 2022, forcing travellers to return to Bawku town against their will.
VIII. This incident happened right within the enclave where Bukari Issahaku, the gentleman who addressed the Kusasi Movement’s Press conference grew up and lives. It will not be far from the truth if we say he knows or even partakes in these banditry and terrorist activities perpetuated by his kinsmen on that stretch of the road.
5. Ladies and gentlemen of the media, we strongly urge the public to disregard the list of names of Mamprusis put out by the Kusasi Youth Movement in their press conference. We want to believe that they are only pre-empting their usual evil attack on these innocent individuals as is characteristic of them. We therefore urge the security agencies to act swiftly by picking up Issahaku, the one who addressed the press conference for these threats. We would also like to take this opportunity to remind the government to be circumspect with the factual inaccuracies and spurious claims contained in the Kusasi Youth Movement’s press conference. Falling for such misrepresentation without thorough investigations could lead to ill-conceived responses and potentially escalate more tension.
6. We want to add that, the Kusasis should desist from trying to draw in the wider Mamprugu into their frustrations by their unfounded and constant accusation of one of the respected Chiefs in Mamprugu by name Naa Aminu Janga. Naa Aminu Janga is a well-respected chief who is very concerned about the development of Mamprugu. We therefore urge the security agencies and public to disregard the unfounded allegations made against him and other National security operatives.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, while we recognize and support calls for government to increase security, monitoring and surveillance on our highways for easy mobility, we urge that particular attention is paid to all the troubled routes. The Bawku-Bolga-Pulimakom highway being the most precarious route to ply has long been ignored by the government. Over 90% of the ambushes, roadblocks, attacks and loss of lives and properties have occurred along that stretch because of government’s failure to provide security.
In this regard, we appeal to the security agencies and the Upper East Regional Minister to provide regular escorts and patrols to the targeted highways especially along the Bolga – Bawku -Pulimakom highway to save lives and property. Providing security for travellers along the Bolga-Tamale highway only demonstrates the government’s selective justice and we daresay bias against us here in Bawku. Regular and well-planned Police/Military escorts along the Bolga – Bawku – Pulimakom highway will also give life to economic activity in Bawku.
Finally, we would like to reiterate that Mamprusis are peace-loving and have no hand whatsoever in the unfounded allegations peddled by the Kusasi Youth Movement. We therefore entreat all and sundry to treat the Kusasi Youth Movement’s press conference with utmost contempt.
Thank you all for coming!
Awudu Seidu (President)
Abdul Majeed Bagura (Secretary)