Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, the Minister of National Security, has reiterated that maintaining peace and security in Bawku has not been an entirely easy task, however, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
He said the Government was engaging various stakeholders within the Bawku area to help bring lasting peace to the Municipality.
Mr Kan-Dapaah said this on the floor of Parliament in his response to a question by Mr Kingsley Nyarko, Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwadaso, who asked the Minister about the current state of security in the country considering the instability within the sub-region and the measures that had been put in place to ensure the safety of people and stability of the country.
The Minister said the first quarter of 2022 had been characterized by some tensions emanating from lands and chieftaincy problems; notably the tension between the Kusasis and the Mamprusis in the Bawku Municipality of the Upper East Region.
He recalled that in November last year, a curfew was imposed on Bawku Municipality following reports of gunshots in the area ahead of the Samanpiid Festival, which was celebrated in December.
“Mr Speaker, although the festival was observed, it was observed with no major incidence, it was followed with some isolated cases of gun attacks resulting in the deaths of some persons including one Police Officer, Constable Regina Adzabu,” he said.
“Disturbingly, Mr Speaker between the 14th and 16th of March, there were further reports of gunshots resulting in the deaths of some persons and injuries of others including three personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces.”
Mr Kan-Dapaah reiterated that the aforesaid development underscored the need to intensify existing security measures in Bawku and to that end the Upper East Regional Security Council (RESEC) continued to institute some measures to address the situation.
The Minister said they were going to conduct investigations to unravel the individuals behind the shooting incidences.
“We try to make sure that all persons connected to the shooting incidences are arrested as quickly as possible and we will continue to intercept arms and ammunitions through the conduction of stop and search,” said.
He lauded the six MPs from the Bawku area namely Zebila, Bawku Central, Garu, Pusiga, Tempane, and Binduri, for visiting Bawku on their own initiative.
He said during the visit, the MPs met the RESEC as well the Municipal Security Council (MUSEC), the Bawku Naba, the Bawku community leaders, as well as the Pusiga Naa and residents of certain communities, all to resolve the conflict.
Mr Kan-Dapaah said on behalf of the Mamprusis, the Nayiri, the Overlord of the Mamprusis, had recently communicated that as a peace-loving King, it was his strong conviction that matters pertaining to chieftaincy should be settled through time tested institutions.
“And we believed he and his people would do just that,” the Mister said.
He noted that last week, the Bawku Naba, who was also in Accra, had a meeting with them and assured them that he would also do all that was necessary to get his people to desist from violent activities.
“So, we believe it won’t be long before we see the end of the hostilities,” he said.
Mr Kan-Dapaah said there had been a noticeable decline in criminal activities across the country; saying, “Mr Speaker, I want to also say that Ghana was ranked 93rd in the recently published Global Terrorism Index for 2022”.
He said according to the Index, Ghana was considered a country with a low impact on terrorism.
“Mr Speaker, in spite of this our neighbours, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Mali were ranked fourth, sixth and seventh respectively, while the Sahel region was identified as the global centre of terrorism, accounting for 48 per cent of global terrorism-related deaths,” he said.
“Mr Speaker, although the index gives a positive outlook for Ghana, the proximity of terrorists’ activities to the country coupled with ongoing attempts by terrorists to extend their activities, southward, demands that we in Ghana should remain on high alert to address the terrorists’ infiltration.”
He said in view of this the Government had put in place a number of proactive measures to address the situation such as ongoing counter-terrorist’ activities along the borders of the country.