As the death toll in the Bimbilla communal clash rises, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area, Mohammed Ibn Abass, has been accused of complicity in the feud that has so far claimed not less than 13 lives.
This was after some butchers in the community defied instructions to send some meat to the disputed regent of the area, Nylinboliguu Naa Yakubu Andani Dasana, leading to a clash.
But the Taribabu butchers, who had since sworn not to pay homage to the said regent, believed the DCE was partly to blame for the circumstances leading to the violent clash.
In a statement, the aggrieved butchers said if the DCE had not ordered the closure of the abattoir on that fateful day, no incident of violence would have been recorded.
Leader of the group Fusheini Yakubu narrated that on Sunday, July 5, 2015, some members of the ‘Taribabu’ family including Alhaji Abukari Taribabu, Majeed Fuseini, Ibrahim Gomda, Sayibu Haruna alias Baha, and Osman Iddrisu were summoned to a meeting where they were asked to honour their customary obligation by sending meat to the regent’s palace.
The following day, which was Monday, he indicated that two members of the family led by Mohammed Sayibu alias Baasha, went to meet the regent of Juo, Osman Mahama, who is also the acting Vice President of the Nanumba Traditional Council, over the issue.
In attendance were the BNI officer in charge of the district, the District Police Commander and the Army Commander.
On Tuesday, July 7, 2015 a District Security Council (DISEC) meeting was said to have been held, during which a decision was taken to allow the Taribabus to go ahead with their normal duties.
According to the Taribabus, everything was normal until Wednesday, July 8, 2015 in the evening when unknown persons went to lock up the abattoir, with a letter signed by the Registrar of the Nanumba Traditional Council claiming to have suspended some of the Taribabus from using the abattoir.
This was brought to the attention of the District Police Commander in the area, ASP Steven Abanga, who provided them with security the next day, July 9, 2015.
‘At the time the butchers were sending the meat to the Bimbilla butchers’ shop, a gang of youth believed to be followers of the regent prevented the butchers from entering the shop, claiming the DCE had ordered the closure of the shop’, Yakubu narrated.
At this point, he said, the butchers thought it prudent to send the meat to the old market in Bimbilla where they have their own structure, with police protection.
But even before the butchers could get to the said market, another group of young men were said to have laid siege and prevented them from entering the place.
The police was therefore said to have advised them to go and preserve the meat till the standoff was resolved.
While waiting, Yabubu claimed two gangs, led by Mohammed Ponadow, Amin Ponadow, Alhassan Mobila, Alhassan Kingjas, Hadi Alhassan Alias Akpaman, Adam Alias Lagege, Kassim Alhassan, Mohammed VRA, Illiasu and Afaabu allegedly attacked them with guns.
According to him, the group succeeded in burning two houses and three motor cycles belonging to the butchers, resulting in a clash that left in its wake not less than 13 dead bodies including innocent farmers who knew nothing about the issue.
But the affected butchers had sworn never to send meat to the current regent of Bimbilla since his very authority was in dispute.
‘If he, the regent, was relying on the strength of the National House of Chiefs’ ruling to act as though he was indeed a legitimate regent, we wish to place on record that a motion for leave to appeal against the ruling of the National House of Chiefs at the highest court of the land was granted since 26th February, 2015. And in accordance with the relevant laws of the Republic (specifically section 34 of the chieftaincy Act of 2008,Act 759) appeals in chieftaincy matters operate as stay of execution,’ they said.
Until the Supreme Court determines the case, they insist they would not honour the regent in any way.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu
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