Tension Escalating In Buipe
The entire Buipe community and its enclave in the newly-created Savanna Region is boiling, amidst tension over what the indigenes described as “dangerous and treacherous” decision by the Paramount Chief of the Buipe Traditional Area, Buipewura Abdulai Jinapor II.
According to the youth, the Buipewura had allegedly allocated several hectors of land permanently to a Fulanis in the area and enskinned one of them with the title ‘Mande’ chief.
The development has led to heavy joint military-police presence in the town, numbering over 200, following a planned demonstration by the youth over the matter yesterday, December 18.
Reports indicate, the heavily-armed soldiers were deployed by the Savannah Regional Security Council, after initial attempts to force the youth to cancel the planned street demonstration failed.
But, according to the youth, the unilateral decision taken by the Buipewura is in breach of the customs of Gonja and must be reversed.
“We are the future leaders and needed to be consulted as stakeholders before taking that dangerous and treacherous decision which has the tendency of making us lose our lands to the Fulanis in the future and that’s why we are concerned.
“A lot has happened in the past which we decided to remain mute about, but this time he has crossed his boundaries and we need to let him understand we are not happy.”
According to multiple media reports, tension in the area had begun early last month, following the installation of a Fulani chief by the Buipewura.
The chief is identified as Braimah Musah Barry, a long-time and popular Fulani youth chief in Buipe.
Reports say the same chief, in 2020, during the annual event by Tabital Pulaaku, a civil society organization focused on issues affecting Fulani communities, gifted the Fulani people 200 hectares of uninhabited land to build their homes and settle in the Buipe town.
Four plots of land were separately allocated in the same area for the construction of a school for Fulani children who are currently facing severe prejudice in some public schools in Buipe and around the Savanna Region.
Intervention by SREGSEC
The Savannah Regional Security Council (REGSEC), led by the Regional Minister, Saeed Muazu Jibril, has since Thursday been engaging the youth to rescind their decision to demonstrate.
The minister, among other things, raised concerns about the peace and security in his infant region.
“I beg you to leave the demonstration so we can deal with the issue,” he said, when he met the youth.
However, the youth insist they will go ahead with the demonstration on Sunday, December 18.
After several engagements with the youth proved futile, REGSEC, through the Interior Ministry and National Security Ministry, deployed about 200 military-police personnel to the Buipe Township ahead of the demonstration.
In a two-minute audio intercepted by 3news.com, in Gonja, the Savannah Regional Minister told the youth the Buipewura has vowed to shoot at anyone or group who try to enter his palace with a procession in the form of demonstration.
However, the youth have called the bluff of the threats of the Buipewura and ready to go ahead with the demonstration.
Fulani Community React
Leadership of a Fulani group has since disclaimed the assertion of the youth that Fulanis in Buipe have plans of appropriating some lands in Buipe.
In a statement signed by the General Secretary of the Tabital Pulaaku International Ghana chapter, Yakubu Musah Barry, people of Fulani extraction have coexisted peacefully and harmoniously with Gonjas across Gonjaland without any conflict or infractions.
“We also wish to assure that it is never the intention of the Fulani community in Buipe to appropriate any land or usurp the well-tested traditional structures of the good people of Gonjaland.
“To the best of our knowledge, we only have a Fulani chief in Buipe to coordinate activities of the Fulanis just as other tribes have chiefs in Accra, Kumasi, Techiman etc.”
Meanwhile, the Buipewura has since issued a statement warning the youth to keep their intended activity away from the vicinity of his palace.
“The Buipe Traditional Area has learned with serious concern the threat of invasion of the Buipewura’s palace by a youth group in Buipe, led by one Issah Alhassan and Yahaya Razack, who are natives of Buipe, on a false and baseless allegation that the Buipewura has enskinned someone of Fulani extraction as the traditional chief of Mande, a suburb of Buipe.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Buipewura wishes to place on record that nobody of Fulani extraction has been enskinned as a traditional chief contrary to the misinformation being peddled around.
“On the contrary, Mr. Alhassan Abdulai JB, a royal from the Chinchanko gate in Buipe, was nominated and duly enskinned as Mandewura of Buipe on Friday 16th December 2022 at the Buipewura’s palace. The palace further wishes to place on record that all attempt by the palace to engage the said group to seek an amicable solution has proven futile with their leaders insisting all Fulanis in Buipe are ejected an action which flies in the face of the 1992 constitution.
“While the Buipe palace recognizes the right to freedom of expression, we wish to state that Buipewura’s house is private property and thus must not be invaded by Mr. Issah and his group.
“We wish to assure the public that the Buipe palace has not and will not threaten any citizen, be it Gonja or otherwise, Buipewura is an avid proponent of the rule of law. Residents of the Buipe Traditional Area have lived in harmony with other tribes and will continue to do so as far as Buipe is concerned.”