Sheikh Anas Tawfiq Ibrahim Bakri appeals to Bawku indigenes to lay down weapons

A renowned Islamic scholar and the Imam of Darul Hadith Institute for Islamic Studies in the Ashanti Region, Sheikh Anas Tawfiq Ibrahim Bakri has joined a growing list of calls for a multi-stakeholder collaboration to find lasting and urgent solutions to the conflict in Bawku in the Upper East Region.

He said the conflict in Bawku has since compromised the security of the country and continues to taint the good image Ghana has made on the international stage as a citadel of peace in a sub-region.

He expressed concerns about the continuous loss of lives and destruction of properties due to what seems to be an unending-armed confrontation which has also stalled economic activities in the area.

The conflict has also deprived several school-going children of the opportunity to pursue their education and civil servants are also abandoning their duty posts- a development Sheikh Anas Tawfiq noted is making the indigenes of Bawku become refugees in their own country.

Addressing a packed congregation at the Darul Hadith Institute for Islamic Studies in Kumasi, the renowned preacher called on stakeholders including government, Naayiri, Kusasi Chief, Civil Society Organizations, the Media, Faith-based Organizations, Northern Political and Business elites, youth groups, Mamprusi and Kusasi graduates and students’ organizations, women groups, and the entire Ghanaian community to join hands in waging an enduring peace in Bawku.

He advised that, “we also call on the youth and other stakeholders to be measured and exercise some level of moderation in their pronouncement in order to restore peace in the area. On the part of government, high level of humility and sincerity is needed in handling the situation at hand – the labelling of the parties as criminals by the Minister for Defence was highly condemnable–it was avoidable, unhelpful and counterproductive.”

He also called on the Government to set up a Special Relief Fund for displaced victims especially for women and children as they continue to lose their businesses and breadwinners through the conflict.

The Darul Hadith Institute for Islamic Studies he further indicated will continue to pray and continue to renew its call to the people of Bawku to do more and lay down their weapons in the spirit of peace and unity that Islam teaches.

Sheikh Bakri urged the National Media Commission (NMC) to step up its regulatory mandate by applying appropriate sanctions to media houses that use their platforms to incite violence in Bawku.

He further called on the Minister for Defense and Minister for the Interior, being sons of the north to do more in resolving the conflict in Bawku while insisting that the President has done it all by entrusting the security of the country into their hands, “so there should be absolutely no justification for this conflict to continue in a relatively small area like Bawku.”

The renowned Islamic scholar cited the former President of the United States, John F Kennedy who once said “Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.”

Bawku has recorded substantial instances of violence, and clashes between residents and the security deployed to the town in recent weeks.

The town has been unstable for decades now following chieftaincy disputes between the Mamprusis and Kusasis leading to the loss of lives and the destruction of properties.

The military was recently accused of killing ten residents which prompted 25 divisional chiefs in the area to petition the overlord of Bawku and the government.


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