What is happening in Bawku is not about chieftaincy, it’s criminality – Nitiwul

Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul has said the conflict in Bawku is not about chieftaincy but rather a criminality. 

He said he has asked the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to deal with the situation.

Speaking in Parliament on “What is happening today is not about chieftaincy. It is criminality. Those operating are criminals.

“I have asked members of the armed forces to deal with such persons as pure criminals.

“The government has done what it can on its part to ensure that Bawku is peaceful. We have moved Bawku from 50 to 400 soldiers, so we are sending another 500 military task force to Bawku alone next week.”

Last week, the Upper East Regional Security Council (REGSEC) war residents of Bawku not to engage in an exchange of fire with the Military.

The REGSEC held an emergency on Thursday, February 2 2023 to review the security situation in  Bawku.

Following the meeting, a statement released said “REGSEC calls on the people of Bawku to remain calm as it works to bring lasting peace in Bawku .

“REGSEC asked factions to desist from any attempt to engage the Miliary in combat since that will be catastrophic on the part of civilians.”

The military in Bawku was accused of killing some residents.

It was alleged by some individuals in Bawku that soldiers deployed on Operation Gongong to restore calm in the area are killing innocent Kusasi youth and women in their homes and communities.

It was also alleged that military personnel have seized Zoogin, a Kusasi community.

But the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) refuted these allegations.

“GAF wishes to categorically state that these allegations are false and unfounded,” a statement said.

It further explained that information received from the National Investigations Bureau by the Operation Gongong Team of GAF early this week indicated that passengers on board a yellow KIA Grand Bird Bus with Registration Number AS 3672-21 travelling from Accra to Missiga were attacked by unknown gunmen around Kpawelga on the Bawku Highways.

The gunmen fired through the tyre and engine compartment of the vehicle. The bus is currently packed at Assylum Down, Bawku Divisional Police Station for the investigation to be conducted.

Also one KIA Rhino truck with registration number AS 7093-17 was hit and the driver of the truck, Alhassan Abdella aged 40, from the Gonja tribe sustained a gunshot wound on the left foot. He is currently receiving treatment at the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital.

Again, it added, on Wednesday 1 February 2023, gunshots were heard around South Natinga in Bawku. A Patrol Team rushed to the general area of the shooting where a suspect, Abdul Malik Haruna, aged 35 from the Mamprusi tribe was arrested. He has since been handed over to the Bawku Police for further investigation.

“It must be also placed on record that based on a tip off by the Bawku Police on the hideout of the suspects alleged to be involved in the firing incident at Bawku, troops conducted cordon and search operations together with Bawku Police at Pateleme General Area.

“Three suspects, Fatau Alhassan Binda, aged 42, Abubakar Iddrisu, aged 44 and Alhassan Mustapha Binda, aged 33, all from the Dagomba tribe were arrested in a house at Pateleme. They were handed over to the Bawku Police for further investigations,” the statement said.

Source: By Laud Nartey

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