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11th July, 2022

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Press.

I wish to thank you very much for honoring my urgent invitation to cover this press conference which will throw more light on recent happenings within the Bawku Traditional Area. It will also serve as a response to certain statements made by Aninchema Abugrago in his press conference of July 8th, 2022 which was read by his secretary Jingiri Thomas Abilla.

Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, first of all let me wish the good people of Bawku and Ghana as a whole a happy Eidul Adha celebration. It is my prayer that Allah answers the numerous supplications for peace that have been made during this blessed festive season. 

Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, you all will bear with me that my children (Mamprugu Youth) and myself have, over the past months, done our utmost best through press conferences to bring to light with facts and evidence the pressing issues that are a challenge to peace and security in Bawku and its environs. 

On several occasions especially our press conference dated March 20th, 2022 (copy attached), the Mamprugu Youth systematically, chronologically and backed with facts showed how the recurrent violence, banditry/terrorism was being perpetrated by Kusasi bandits and terrorists. These over a dozen heinous crimes covered separate incidents spearheaded and supervised at Kusasi enclaves which include the killing of innocent road users (men and women), arson attacks on innocent market women and the mother of all crimes which was the shooting of 3 military men who were on duty. These evidence-based press conferences were meant to draw Government's attention to the deteriorating security situation and how the Kusasi terrorist, with the help of their opinion leaders, terrorize innocent people.

However, these facts and evidence-based press conferences were often dismissed by the Kusasis and suffered from Government's inaction. Alas and glory be to Allah, the Kusasis led by Aninchema Abugrago and Jingiri Thomas Abilla confessed and confirmed in their press conference of July 8th, 2022 that the bulk of all the heinous crimes committed during this period occurred in Kusasi enclaves. But to hide their real motives and to hide their complicity, they deceptively claimed that even though these incidents happened under their watch in their enclaves, they are not those sanctioning them. With the severity of the crimes that include the murder of innocent men and women and disruption of trade on two of Ghana's major international trade routes (Ghana - Togo and Ghana - Burkina Faso), I implore all Ghanaians to kindly follow me so that together we interrogate these issues with facts to help us arrive at a solution:

1. Claims of innocence and attempts to feign ignorance by Aninchema Abugrago and Jingiri Thomas Abilla of the heinous crimes consistently perpetrated by the Kusasi bandits/terrorists are very frivolous and should be completely treated with the contempt it deserves. All the available evidence which includes their public statements point to the fact that they are very complicit and in fact the brains behind these violent crimes. For an illustration, Aninchema Abugrago in one of his usual outbursts captured in video openly said to the applause of his people that they “can kill all Mamprusis and they will run and leave the chieftaincy". He further single handedly worsened the inter-ethnic divisions when he sanctioned the splitting of his tribesmen from the Bawku Central Market. The Bawku Central Market was one of the avenues through which inter-ethnic cohesion was always realized. But Aninchema whilst deepening the divisions boldly said that his tribesmen will not come to the Bawku Central Market today nor tomorrow. It is these his statements especially threats of killing all Mamprusis and several others that have emboldened these terrorist criminals to act with such impunity. 

2. On March 17th, 2022 when Kusasi terrorists fired and severely injured 3 military officers, the entirety of the Kusasi leaders from Aninchema Abugrago to their politicians like MPs Mahama Ayariga and Cletus Avoka openly made statements in support of the heinous actions of their kinsmen. These statements are clearly captured in tapes. So, the question is, if these Kusasi bandits/terrorists can shoot and critically injure armed soldiers and yet go scot-free with a pat on the back by their leaders and politicians, what then will stop them from terrorizing and killing unarmed innocent civilians? Recently, when one of their terrorists by name Yakubu Abugrago (direct nephew to Aninchema Abugrago) who engaged in an open armed fight against the military was killed, Aninchema Abugrago with all the impunity organized a "hero's funeral" for him right in his house. Why won't the rest of his colleague bandits continue since they are guaranteed of such a "hero's funeral"?

3. A clear evidence of complicity of crime from Aninchema Abugrago's house was clearly captured on tape when his son by name Eddie Abugrago said in a voice recording that the Divisional Police Commander had clearly told him that the boys perpetrating the crimes especially unprovoked attacks on Abasana were Eddie's boys. These are the same boys who continuously engage in violent attacks around Gingande and the Bawku - Bolga highway. 

4. On March 24th, 2022 and after the series of heinous acts by the Kusasi bandits/terrorists, Kusasi leaders including Cletus Avoka sought to deflect attention and hide the real issues by claiming that it was the Mamprusis who were engaged in criminal activities in the name of Chieftaincy. His remarks as well as similar remarks by Mahama Ayariga are contributing factors that embolden their tribesmen to continue on the path of violence and terrorism. 

5. Subtle attempts by Aninchema Abugrago in his press conference of July 8th, 2022 to link the banditry/terrorism of his boys and subjects to the performance of a funeral by Mamprusis is very nauseating. This frivolous 'alibi' is the same technique they employed to justify the shooting of 3 military men. This further exposes the fact that he Aninchema Abugrago is very complicit in all the criminal activities of his boys and his press conference is nothing but a charade. We have continuously maintained that there is no way the performance of a funeral by we Mamprusis should be a cause for Kusasis to start a war in this day and age. Unless they are confirming to us that they are not civilized at all. For the avoidance of any doubt, the funeral of the late 14th Bawku Naaba Naa Adam Zangbeogo has been performed and nothing can be done about it. Their sole motivation and usual justification for always picking up arms to disturb the peace is done and dusted. Holding on that narrative does nothing but expose their pure criminal and malicious nature. The kusasis are also always quick to direct Mamprusis to go to the law courts and resolve the chieftaincy issue. If they so believe in the rule of law, why then do they embolden and sanction banditry and terrorism by their kinsmens agaist Mamprusis and their innocent sympathizers? It is high time they apply their fake admonition to Mamprusis to resort to the law courts to themselves. Mamprusis are very law abiding and as our father, the Nayiri has always indicated, we will use every legal avenue possible and time-tested institutions to get back what belongs to us and to let the whole world know the usurpers who have shown no semblance of traditional authority but rather banditry, terrorism and evil.

It is very obvious that the majority of the Kusasis especially the bandits and terrorists spearheading this violence do not believe Aninchema Abugrago's continuous song of a fake "finality" to chieftaincy matters in Bawku. The fact that he had to remind his people in a frustrating manner to stop fighting in the name of Chieftaincy demonstrates this fact. More evidence of complicity is the fact that barely an hour after Aninchema Abugrago's press conference, his kinsmen in Gingande and Gozesi attacked the Bawku township. This was after their colleague bandits had earlier on the eve of Eidul Adha killed a Burkinabe Fulani man around Barbare/Buabula and making away with cattle belonging to a Mamprusi man. A day earlier, the Kusasi bandits attacked a Cinkasse market truck and killed a woman whilst severely injuring several others. A few days earlier, they had killed and burnt a Mossi driver who had traveled to Cinkasse in Togo. The simple question is what has a so-called armed robbery got to do with killing and burning people? The answer is these actions are nothing but ethnic terrorism by bandits emboldened by their leaders like Aninchema Abugrago, Jingiri Thomas Abilla, Akpakpa Philip of Pusiga, Mahama Ayariga, Stephen Yakubu, Cletus Avoka, etc.

What Bawku is witnessing is a carefully orchestrated plan by the Kusasis from the 1980s to their 2009 guerilla camp at Nafkolga with the sole aim of "driving the Mamprusis and their sympathizers out of Bawku" as was captured in the report of the Minyila committee. This is the same rhetoric that was repeated very recently by Aninchema Abugrago when he said they could kill all the Mamprusis. They know the presence of the Mamprusis and their allies is first hand evidence that they the Kusasis are usurpers of the Bawku skin. 

I urge the security agencies to deal swiftly with these bandits to curb their activities and to bring them to book. We further urge the security agencies to as a matter of urgency retrieve the cattle belonging to the Mamprusi

man that were chased away by the Kusasi bandits and terrorists after they killed the Burkinabe Fulani man.

I urge Government to be the listening Government that it claims to be and relieve Stephen Yakubu the Regional Minister from his post. He has gleefully watched over as the chairman of the Regional Security Council whilst his tribesmen continuously terrorize innocent citizens. In fact, his home district of Binduri has been a hot bed for the banditry by his tribesmen. We have consistently complained of this and shown with evidence how his continuous stay in office is what emboldens these Kusasi bandits/terrorists. We therefore appeal to civil society organizations and religious organizations to look at these issues dispassionately and join us in calling on Government to dismiss him or at least reassign him elsewhere. 

Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, once again I thank you so much for coming around to cover this and I hope that you disseminate my message to all so that we can have peace and stability in Bawku. 

Alhaji Ibrahim Adam Zangbeo


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