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Use ingenuity to end Bawku crisis – Avoka appeals to President

Mr Cletus Avoka, a National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Zebilla East, has appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to use his ingenuity to bring the Bawku crisis to a stop.

He said the President used his ingenuity during the prolonged Dagbon conflict to end it about three years ago and that the same must apply to the Bawku crisis to ensure peace.

Mr Avoka made the appeal in Parliament on Monday in his contribution to the debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“I plead with the President to use his good offices, and resources at his disposal as the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces and President of the people of Ghana to resolve this battle in Bawku before he hands over on January 7, 2025,” Mr Avoka said.

He said security in Bawku was critical for national cohesion, particularly when the town shared a boundary with Togo and Burkina Faso.

“So any security challenges make the town vulnerable. If we don’t address the issue in Bawku, if we don’t control the conflict by bringing it to an end, then Bawku can become dangerous for the security of the country,” he said.

“Ensuring peace in Bawku is very critical for the survival of the country.”

Mr Avoka noted that although measures like the imposition of curfews, banning of motor riding and smock-wearing in the town were used, they had not been workable and there was the need for more to be done to ensure peace not only in Bawku but for the country at large.

According to him, the Bawku chieftaincy issue had allegedly been resolved long ago in favour of the ‘Kusasis’ and there was no justification for the ‘Mamprusis’ to continue to fight for the chieftaincy.

“…In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled that the Mamprusis application to discontinue was granted but without the liberty to apply under PNDC Law 75 or under the Constitution of 1992 of Ghana,” Mr Avoka, a former Minority Leader said.

He, therefore, urged the two ethnic groups; Kusasis and Mamprusis, to learn to co-exist among themselves and not fight over “illegalities.”

The Bawku conflict in Ghana is a long-winded strife related to alleged land ownership rights and chieftaincy between the Kusasis and Mamprusis, two major ethnic groups in the Northeast of the country.

President Akufo-Addo in his presentation of the 2024 SONA to Parliament on Tuesday, February 27, underscored the Government’s intentional efforts in strategic planning that would ensure the safety and security of the country.

He noted that Ghana had remained unaffected by the extremism witnessed in neighbouring countries due to meticulous planning.

The President told Parliament about the Government’s commitment to the well-being of the armed forces and all security agencies, where he mentioned the allocation of resources to ensure the government’s readiness.
‘Our nation is safe and secure,” he said.

Furthermore, the President noted significant enhancements in the equipment and capabilities of the police force, that were now better equipped than ever before.

Recognising the challenges posed by extremism in other parts of West Africa, President Akufo-Addo cautioned against taking the territorial integrity of the country for granted and called for the need for continued vigilance.

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