CONCERNED KUSAUG YOUTH
Monday, 25th October, 2021, Bawku.
RE: BAWKU HAS NO CHIEF, AND THERE IS NOTHING LIKE KUSAUG TRADITIONAL AREA: A REACTION TO PROF AGBANGO’S CLAIMS AND MATTERS ARISING- MAMPRUGU KAYA NI TA’DA YOUTH GROUP.
Our attention has been drawn to a provocative press conference organized in the North-East Region by a disgruntled, blood thirsty Mamprusi group calling itself MAMPRUGU KAYA NI TA’DA YOUTH GROUP as a response to an interview granted by the renowned Professor George Akeya Agbango. In the said video, the celebrated academic chronicled the in-depth history and struggles of Kusaas in the Kusaug traditional Area.
We would have treated their distortions and invitation to violence with the contempt it deserves, but for the unsuspecting public who might not have been informed of their distorted claims. The good people of Kusaug and Kusaas see this immaterial presser as a piece emanating from some evil-minded persons using these hired trigger-happy youth to attempt to disrupt the peaceful tribal coexistence in the Kusaug kingdom.
Therefore, this brief response seeks to educate the mickey mouse group and their surrogates on their queasy and pathetic write up.
To make it brief and easy for them to appreciate, we sought to itemize the most outlandish portions of their mendacious claims that threatened the peace in Kusaug and Ghana as a whole, and which might sway the unsuspecting majority into believing their gibberish and vanished facts.
THE CLAIM THAT BAWKU HAS NO CHIEF:
One of the claims of the disgruntled Mamprusi group in their presser was that Bawku has no Chief.
To set the records straight;
1. Per Local Government Bulletin No. 26, dated 05 September 1986, Zugraan (Overlord), Naba Asigri Abugrago Azoka II was enskinned on 24 April 1984, as the Paramount Chief of Bawku.
2. Per Chieftaincy (Membership of Regional Houses of Chiefs) Instrument, (L.I. 2409, 2020), Naba Asigri Abugrago Azoka II was gazette as the Paramount Chief of Kusaug (Bawku)
3. The Zugraan, Naba Asigri Abugrago Azoka II is not just a permanent member of the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs but has served as President of the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs.4. The Zugraan, Naba Asigri Abugrago Azoka II has been and is a member of the National House of Chiefs.
Are these disgruntled evil-minded group of Mampusis questioning the competency of the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs and National House of Chiefs to determine who are the legitimate Chiefs in Ghana and their membership?
To further assist these hooligans to cure their ignorance, the legality of the Zugraan remains incontestable. Previous attempts at challenging the legitimacy and authority of the Zugraan failed miserably in the light of common sense, truth and justice. The most recent attempt is evidenced in the Supreme Court of Ghana decision in the case of Alhaji Ibrahim Adam Zangbeog v. Anincheema Abugrago & Anor, 2003. In this case, some Mamprusis brought a case challenging the legitimacy of the Zugraan as the Paramount Chief of the then Bawku Traditional Area. So bad, shallow and hollow was the Mamprusis argument against the daunting weight of evidence adduced by the Kusaas that, the Mamprusis sought to retreat.
On 29 April 2003, ACQUAH JSC (Presiding Judge then) granted their application to discontinue the case but without liberty to apply under PNDCL 75 and articles 270 and 277 of the 1992 Constitution. This literally means that the Supreme Court shut the doors on the disgruntled Mamprusi group never to come again challenging the legitimacy of the Bawku Skin.
The Supreme Court slapped the Mamprusis (led by Alhaji Ibrahim Adam Zangbeogo) a fine of ten million (¢10,000,000) old Ghana cedis.
Besides, if the overwhelming evidence adduced above is still difficult for these hoodlums to comprehend that there is a legitimate Chief in Bawku against their bilge water notion, we remind them of the remarks of recognition by past presidents. Evidently, in the two separate visits of the President of the republic of Ghana and Commander in Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, H.E NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFFO-ADDO to Bawku, He never minced words in re-affirming on both occasions that, there is only one Bawku Naba in the person of Zugraan, Naba ASIGRI ABUGRAGO AZOKA II. This remark by the first gentleman of the land in his chiefdom visits is not a funfair but to equally blacklist the minds of sycophants and whirlwind chasers to rather invest their energies into profitable ventures and forget daydreaming for chieftaincy titles in Kusaug.
Perhaps we need to avert their minds also to the fact that, His Excellency the Vice president (Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia) a true son of Mampurugu as a Guest of Honour at the 2019 Kusaug Samanpiid festival celebrations re-echoed the President’s position and eulogized the Zugraan and his chiefs.
CHANGE OF NAME TO KUSAUG TRADITIONAL AREA:
The disgruntled characters also questioned the change of name to Kusaug Traditional Area.
The change of name from Bawku Traditional Council to Kusaug Traditional Council (Ref. L.I. no. 2409, 2020 and letter No. KTC/P/VOL.3/15) is very legitimate and went through the right processes. People have the right to associate and identify themselves by a name that befit them as long as it is within the Laws of Ghana. Kusaas being the majority and indigenes in the Kusaug Traditional Area, have chosen to do same and that would be the status quo, no matter whose oxe is gored.
In any case, if we can have Asanteman, Dagbon, Mamprugu etc why not Kusaug?
The unending ego, ostentation and amour propre to be chiefs in Bawku and the hatred of seeing Kusaas in control of their own land and affairs must not find space in a right-thinking society such as ours. Refusing to come to terms with the reality and historical record that the Kusaa is no longer under the rule of the Bawku-Mamprusi as was condoned by some of the colonial masters (then) is not only dubious and canny but remains a precolonial tale.
CLAIM THAT MAMPRUSIS ARE MAJORITY IN KUSAUG:
One of the laughable and faulty claims of these evil-minded characters is that, Mamprusis are in the Majority in Bawku.
Kusuag is the home to many tribes and groups including Bissas, Bimobas, Hausas. Moshies, Yangas,Dagombas, Fulanis, Frafras, Mamprusis and many others and continuous to welcome more peace and development loving people across the world.
People are free to arrogate themselves all manner of titles and beliefs as long as its aim is to massage their egos. Is it not curious that they fell short of indicating the Mampruli speaking communities within Kusaug? The fact that a few Mamprusis have settled in some villages to live among Kusaas just like other tribes cannot and must not give them the false impression that Mamprusis dominate those villages.
THREAT OF VIOLENCE AND PLANNED ATTACKS:
The Kusaug Traditional area is confronted with huge developmental challenges including very deplorable road network linking the various districts and communities, very poor and inadequate educational infrastructure, poor drinking water and sanitation, long draught affecting dry season farming, huge unemployed youth resulting in social vices, and lack of electricity in several communities, among others. These remain the key focus of Kusaug and Kusaas and we would continually engage successive governments and other developmental organizations to address these and many other challenges.
The senseless irritation, attacks and violent extremism always orchestrated and unleashed on innocent men, women and children, by some of these hooligans and hoodlums has not only resulted in the needless loss of thousands of lives and destruction of properties but has equally deprived Kusaug of the needed peace. Government and Non-governmental Organisations (NGO’s) funding which could have otherwise been used for development projects are rather channeled into peace initiatives. Nurses, Doctors and other professionals refuse postings to the area because of the colonial entitlement mentality of these Bawku-Mamprusi group and their surrogates who do not seek peace and development of the area.
The good people of Ghana and the world at large know that Kusaas are respected for our commitment to peace and development. We therefore reject the invitation to violence and destruction and embrace peace and development. We call on these disgruntled troublemakers to wake-up from their slumber and respect the status quo.
CONCLUSION AND WAY FORWARD
As law-abiding people, while entreating and urging our people who are angered by the pronouncements of these scoundrels to remain calm and resolute, we call on the National Security apparatus (National Investigations Bureau, National Security, The Military, the Ghana Police Service), the National Peace Council and other stakeholders to wake up to this call for violence and bring these warmongering and blood-loving group with their indelible history of bloodshed, to book before their open threats are manifested.
However, we the youth and peace-loving people of Kusaug wish to unequivocally assure these characters of our resolve and readiness to defend ourselves in whatever form or shape as guaranteed us by the 1992 Constitution of Ghana should the State fail to act to prevent any disturbance of the peace and tranquility in Kusaug. We would not be gagged by anyone if they attempt to disturb the peace of Kusaug.
These novices must re-orient themselves and come to the realization that;
1. Similar violent acts by some of their forebearers resulted in disturbances that compelled the Governor General, (then) Lord Listowel, to set up the Opoku-Afari Committee of 1957 to inquire into the causes of the disturbances. The committee reported among other things that “the Nayiri’s practice of selecting and installing a Mamprusi Prince as chief of the Kusasi area is undemocratic and dictatorial” and consequently upheld the installation of Naba Abugrago Azoka I as legitimate and in accordance with Kusasi traditions (Opoku-Afari Committee, 1957, p. 13)
2. The Appeals Court (the highest court of Ghana at the time) in 1958 overturned the ruling by the divisional court which earlier ruled in favour of the Mamprusis and restored chieftaincy to Kusaas.
3. The Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) Law 75, 1983 (Chieftaincy- Restoration of Status of Chiefs, 1983) reversed the National Liberation Council (NLC) Decree 112, 1966 which earlier deskinned Naba Asigri Abugrago Azoka I and other 15 chiefs as Paramount chief and Divisional chiefs respectively and restored chieftaincy and paramountcy to Kusaas with Naaba Abugrago Azoka I as the Paramount Chief.
4. The Supreme Court of Ghana in 2003 (Supra) brought finality to the matter when it shut its doors to the Mamprusis following their shallow and hollow arguments. The Supreme Court barred them never to return on this same case.
5. Even slavery lost its luster several centuries ago and our colonial masters realized this themselves and granted not only Ghana, but many African Countries their independence far back in 1957.
6. The peace building processes in Bawku have been very tedious and complex but was achieved through the effective collaboration of all stakeholders. We will not allow this group of evil-minded persons or any other group with a baseless colonial entitlement mentality to derail our collective gains. Never!
7. These misguided and poorly informed individuals must learn to give peace and development of the area a chance if they wish to remain and live there peacefully with us.
8. Indeed, due to inter-marriages among the various tribes and groups living in and around Bawku, many of the Bawku-Mamprusis have their mothers being Kusaas.
We reiterate to the peace-loving people of Ghana that, the tenuous and spurious argument, bomb-sharing spree and violent threats by the disgruntled group and their ragtag surrogates are a fragile claim to fame and same must not stand.
Chiefdoms are no longer built on bloodshed and slavery but on innovations, liberty and democratization. The sooner these gangsters understood that their wrong assertions, insinuations, faulty claims and distortions are a disservice to themselves, the better.Kusaug and Kusaas refuse to be recolonized whatsoever and we shall and must defend this even if it is with the last drop of our blood. We shall employ all legitimate means to protect and sustain our identity.
We know that there are forward-looking Mamprusis in Bawku who have come to terms with the reality and are peace-loving and we entreat them to remain same and subject themselves to the authority and reign of the Zugraan in his pursuit for peace and development of the Kusaug Traditional Area.
Even though we choose peace and development over violence and mayhem, we will not be bullied by these backward-looking individuals.
Once again, we put this write up because we believe that a drop of ink, rather than a drop of blood may make some people think.
Long Live the Zugraan, Naaba Asigri Abugrago Azoka II
Long Live the Kusaug Traditional Area
Long Live Ghana
May God bless us all.
For and on behalf of the Concerned Kusaug Youth Group:
Convener: Abugri A. Harunn (0243855080)
Secretary: Akeem Ayaaba (0243513692)
Paramount Chief of Kusaug Traditional Area.
The Regional Minister, UER.
The Regional Police Commander UER.
The Regional Commander, NIB, UER.
The Executive Secretary, National peace council,
The MCE, Bawku Municipal Assembly,
The Army Commander, Bawku.
The commander, NIB, Bawku.
The Divisional Commander,
Ghana Police Service, Bawku.
The Municipal Commander, Ghana Police Service, Bawku.