BUNKPURUGU-YUNYOO DISTRICT OWES PEACEKEEPERS
From: Joseph Ziem, Tamale
The frequent eruption of bloody conflicts in some parts of the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District of the Northern Region of Ghana appears to be fast depleting the coffers of the Assembly to the detriment of development projects.
Records showed that between January and April this year, over 46,000 Ghanaian Cedis had been spent on security personnel on local peacekeeping mission in the area.
Aside this, there is still an estimated 13,400 Ghanaian Cedis to be paid as arrears to security personnel who earlier this month withdrew their services due to starvation.
The Deputy Northern Regional Minister, San Nasamu Asabigi, who is now acting District Chief Executive for the area disclosed this during the Assembly’s meeting recently.
Figures from relief agency, National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) revealed that since the latter part of last year till date, about six villages had engaged in various kinds of violent conflicts leading to the burning down of 368 houses, with 4,048 persons displaced while two people killed in the latest conflict that occurred in April.
The first conflict was between Bufuok and Tobong communities over the rehabilitation of a grinding mill and later spread to the other four villages, namely Gbankoni, Kambatiak, Gbadauk and Nasiabuak which brought untold hardships to the residents, 3,000 of whom were now seeking refuge in the Republic of Togo. Schools in the conflict areas have remained closed up to date.
Mr. Asabigi called on the feuding factions to ceasefire and let the district enjoy some appreciable level of development.
He bemoaned that the huge sums of monies spent in conflict prevention was waste of resources because that could be used to build schools, health centres, provide safe drinking water for residents and tar the bad road networks in the area.
But an Assemblyman in the area who wants to remain anonymous says the minister’s call was a smack of hypocrisy.
He said the conflict in the area could never be resolved until the government come out to name and shame one of its own members who transported arms and ammunitions to assist his ethnic group in the area to fight.
He challenged the President Mills government to name the politician whose name came as the transporter of arms and ammunitions that were arrested in a bus by police in the region.
Twenty-eight (28) year-old Abdalla Yaro, driver and his mate, Yennusom Ibrahim, 19, were arrested at the Datoyili Police Barrier, border of the Tamale Metropolis from Kumasi, on a Bunkpurugu-bound 60-seater bus with registration number ER 3336X.
The driver’s seat of the Bunkpurugu-bound bus, popularly known as ‘Awudu Issahaka’ which they were travelling with, was stuffed with 178 rounds of ammunition for AK47 assault rifles, 80 pieces of 9MM for pistols, 8 military bayonets and 19 military pouches used in carrying weapons.
Northern Regional Police Commander, ACP Angwubutoge Awuni, told the media that his outfit had intelligence report that a prominent politician from the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District was planning to transport arms from Accra to the area.
The yet-to-be-exposed politician was smuggling the weapons to the area to assist one faction in the ensuing clashes between residents of Berug and Temaa, all Konkomba communities in the district. The case has since died a natural death because government would never tell the Ghanaian public which NDC member was behind the arms transportation.