The Mamprusi Youth Association (MAYA) has attributed the prolonged chieftaincy dispute in the Bawku municipality of the Upper East Region, which has persisted for over four decades, to government interference.
The group contends that the government’s actions have emboldened the rival Kusasi people and contributed to the ongoing turmoil in the area.
During a press conference held in Accra, Dr. Musah Issahaku Yamba, the spokesperson for the Mamprusi Youth Association, criticized the government for its role in exacerbating the lawlessness associated with the chieftaincy dispute.
He called on the government to handle chieftaincy-related matters with competence and impartiality.
Dr. Yamba highlighted what he deemed to be inconsistencies in President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s involvement in chieftaincy issues, characterizing it as inconsistent and unhelpful interference.
The group expressed concern that such inconsistencies may be viewed as hypocritical and counterproductive to achieving a peaceful resolution of the dispute.
As concerned citizens, MAYA felt it’s necessary to shed light on these alleged inconsistencies and the biased of the government’s meddling in the chieftaincy affairs of the Bawku people.
The group argued that such biases on the part of the government only serve to embolden criminal elements, particularly in the Bawku traditional area.
Dr. Yamba cited an example to support their claims.
On February 15, 2023, the Nayiri(Overlord of the Mamprugu traditional area), exercising his traditional birthright as the sole lawful enskinning authority of the Bawku skin, enskinned the 15th Bawku Naaba, Naa Sheriga Alhaji Seidu Abagre.
According to Dr. Yamba, this action was consistent with Nayiri’s traditional authority and not in violation of any provisions of the 1992 Constitution or other laws in the country.
However, the government chose to interfere in this traditional process by asserting that Bawku already had a chief.
This assertion, made just 12 hours after the enskinment, raised questions about the government’s involvement and its claim that the so-called chief of Bawku had been gazetted.
MAYA criticized the government for disregarding Mamprugu’s traditional authority and for breaching the 1992 Constitution, which prohibits political interference in chieftaincy matters.
The group argued that the government consistently acted in bad faith and demonstrated bias by interfering in the Bawku chieftaincy conflict while ignoring similar issues in other parts of the country.
They cited the government’s response to the Nayiri’s enskinment of Bawku Naaba and the Okyehene’s enstoolment of a rival chief of Adoagyiri in the Eastern Region as evidence of double standards on the government’s part.