The University of Cape Coast (UCC) chapter of National Union of Kusasi Students have appealed to the Government to institute a reconciliation commission to assuage the anger that has existed between Kusasis and Mamprusis in Bawku.
Speaking at a press conference the chapter organised in Cape Coast on Saturday, its President Mr Wimbe Emmanuel Gantai said the Bawku conflict had been allowed to fester for far too long because succeeding governments had failed to state their definite positions on the matter.
Mr Gantai appealed to the Government not to suppress the truth about the Afare Commission’s findings and two Supreme Court rulings on the Bawku chieftaincy case and to come out with a White Paper to solve the problem once and for all.
He said the Government should be truthful and accountable since these are the hallmarks of good governance and the rule of law.
He commended President John Agyekum Kufuor for inviting the two factions to the Osu Castle but said more needed to be done if peace were to return to Bawku.
Mr Gantai appealed to the people of Bawku to resort to due process of the law to resolve their differences and that if they do not cooperate to resolve their differences through the due process of the law, devoid of bias and the modern destructive politics, they would be “attempting to fill a leaking jar or basket with water, that will never be full”.
Mr Gantai appealed to politicians to stop exploiting the situation for their parochial interests and reminded them that there is only one paramount chief in Bawku in the name of Naba Abugrago Azoka II and should be recognized as such.
He suggested to the Ministry of the Interior as well as the Upper East Regional Security Council (REGSEC) that curfew, though necessary in calming down volatile situations, is dehumanizing and violated the fundamental human rights of the people, citing the death of a pregnant woman, who died during prolonged labour because she could not be taken to hospital as a result of the curfew.
Mr Gantai called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the murderers of Alhaji Karim Ogah, a Kusasi Opinion Leader, since it was the callous and cowardly act that sparked off the recent reprisals.
He appealed to Ghanaians to bear with the Bawku situation until a lasting solution is found, saying; “we have been distressed by some of the commentaries on the conflict by people who are not well informed about the area and its people, since such statements can only inflame passions and aggravate the already volatile situation in Bawku”.
Mr Atenga Solomon, President of the Upper East Students Union, also expressed concern about the Bawku situation and appealed to the people of Bawku to give peace a chance since no meaningful development can take place in a conflict situation.
He asked the Kusasis and Mamprusis to reconsider their entrenched positions for the sake of progress of Bawku and its environs and urged the Government to look into the matter deeply and to come out with a solution that would satisfy both factions.
Mr Atenga suggested to the Chapter members to arrange a meeting with the chiefs and opinion leaders of Bawku to help find a lasting solution to the situation and also urged them to educate the chiefs on the need to use dialogue to settle their difference and not to allow politicians to influence them.
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