The Bolgatanga Traditional Council in the Upper East Region has called on President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo to call to order, Mr. Rockson Ayine Bukari, the Regional Minister.
At a news conference in Bolgatanga yesterday, the council was upset that since his assumption of office, Mr. Bukari has undermined its authority and relevance, as he has blatantly refused to recognise the Paramount Chief, Naba Awogya-Lebna Abilba IV, even though the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs settled on him as Bolgatanga Naba on October 25, 2016.
The council regretted that Mr. Bukari’s claim that Naba Abilba IV was not yet gazetted as a Paramount Chief was unfortunate, as he [Bukari] has since recognised the newly-enskinned Zuarungu Chief, less than one month after his installation, and was equally not gazetted.
It further regretted that the Minister, upon assumption of office, did not pay a courtesy call on the Paramount Chief, but after the Zuarungu Chief was installed, he paid a courtesy call on him on June 10, 2017. “This is smacks of hypocrisy at the highest order,” the council added.
Naba Awuni A. Johnson, acting President of the Council, who addressed the journalists, said President Akuffo-Addo and former President John Mahama, among other high-profile dignitaries, recognised that the Bolgatanga Traditional Council existed and duly visited them. “Therefore, it does not depend on him to determine our existence or otherwise,” the chiefs stated.
The chiefs also accused Mr. Bukari of interfering and personally driving to the Bolgatanga Municipal Police Station, where he ordered the release of some suspects who were arrested in connection with the recent disturbances linked to the chieftaincy feud. Those disturbances led to the death of two persons and a number of houses being set ablaze.
The council, again, lamented: “Instead of bringing about peace, he is stoking fire, hence, making the work of the police very difficult and biased, based on his dictates.”
The Naba Awuni-led Traditional Council also alleged that the Minister had adopted ‘divide and rule tactics’, and further accused him of relocating a proposed airstrip from Sumbrungu to Sherigu, a suburb of Bolgatanga, without consulting land owners and chiefs of the two communities.
According to the chiefs, the Minister claimed the soil at the initial site was not suitable for an airstrip. They said the way the issue was handled could have brought about a conflict between the two communities.
The council, therefore, appealed to the chiefs, land owners and people of the two communities to stay calm and use dialogue to come to terms, and not be swayed into a full-blown conflict by those “…who do not care about what happens in Bolgatanga.”
“We wish to call on the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to call the Upper East Regional Minister, Hon. Rockson Ayine Bukari, to order,” the chiefs concluded.
Meanwhile, when this reporter contacted Mr. Bukari, he declined to comment on any of the allegations leveled against him by the chiefs, except to say: “Yes, if they want the President to bring me to order, I know the President can do that, and not they, the chiefs.”
Source: William Nlanjerbor Jalulah || The Chronicle, Bolgatanga.