Assemblyman shot dead in Binduri; controversy as killing linked to Bawku conflict

The slain Assemblyman of Nayoko, Dramani Hamidu.

The Assemblyman of Nayoko, an electoral area in Ghana’s Binduri District, has been shot dead, Media Without Borders has learnt.

Dramani Hamidu reportedly was gunned down from close range while sitting in a shop near his house around 7:00 pm on Friday, 23 June 2023.

His killing, said to be the fourth of its kind inside three months in the district, has provoked a fresh storm of protests from a group calling itself the Mamprugu Youth of Binduri.

The attacks, according to the members of the group, were carried out in three communities— Binduri, Gumyoko and Nayoko.

They suspect the killings are related to the conflict in Bawku and that some Kusasi individuals may have carried out the attacks.

But the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Binduri, Yakubu Abagre Ayinga, says the killings in the district and the conflict in Bawku are not interconnected.

Shells of bullets fired during one of the shooting incidents in Bawku this year (2023).

“All three communities are Mamprusi communities and all the four murdered individuals are Mamprusi,” a statement from the group, signed by five members and issued to media houses, said.

They fear that the protracted chieftaincy-related conflict in the next-door Bawku Municipality is gradually being ‘imported’ into Binduri and have entreated the Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery, to “urgently impose a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the district” to check the trend early.

The Binduri District Assembly’s office block.

The group also underscored the need for the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) and the District Security Council (DISEC) to “impose a 24-hour-a-day ban on the riding of motor-cycles within the district with immediate effect”.

They further made an appeal to the Regional Police Command to consider providing police patrols particularly within the three communities where the recent attacks took place— Binduri, Gumyoko and Nayoko.

A bullet mark left on a house wall after a gunfire in Bawku.

“We have taken note of the deliberate silence and lack of expression of sympathy and condolences by the Member of Parliament for the Binduri Constituency Hon. Abdulai Abanga, the DCE of the District, Mr. Yakubu Ayinga, and the Regional Minister, Hon. Stephen Yakubu, to the bereaved families.

“The three political leaders who all hail from the district have also failed to take some security measures to address the safety of the people of the 3 communities as many of them are currently leaving in fear and uncertainty since the incidents occurred,” the statement said.

Ghana’s Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery.

How the killings were carried out

According to the group, the first killing occurred in Gumyoko around 1:30 pm on Wednesday, 5 April 2023.

The perpetrators, whom the group suspects to have come from the Bazua direction, opened fire on Tahiru Gumah, 57, while he was resting under a shed.

Bullet holes created on a wall during a shooting incident recorded early this year in Bawku.

On Thursday, 22 June 2023, six young men, armed with guns, rode three motorcycles to a football viewing arena in the centre of Binduri and fired at two people— Fusheini Hamidu and Aminu Issifu. Hamidu died instantly. Issifu was rushed to the Upper East Regional Hospital, but he died six days later.

Two perpetrators were involved in the killing of the Assemblyman of Nayoko. They were armed with guns and committed the crime riding a motorcycle.

The District Chief Executive (DCE) of Binduri, Yakubu Ayinga (in the middle).

“Also, we want to draw the attention of the BNI (Bureau of National Investigations now National Intelligence Bureau, NIB) to a number of live-threatening audio recordings from one Kusasi man by name Moro Zabugu which have gone viral on social media. His recordings a day or two prior to the killing of Gumah Tahiru pointed to an imminent murder of people from the communities of Gumyoko and Binduri.

“A lot more of these unfortunate audio recordings mostly emanate from both known individuals and pseudo Facebook account holders. There should be effective measures put in place to investigate, track and identify those said audio recordings and Facebook account operators and when found, they should be dealt with according to the law,” the group stressed.

Mamprugu youth appeal for peace

Since its rekindling late in 2007 after years of disappearance and stability, the conflict in Bawku has claimed hundreds of lives and caused destruction to property.

Bawku remains a no-go town for many for now.

It has also brought about closure of some essential public institutions rendering health, educational and financial services. And several individuals and families, who do not foresee any ceasefire being restored anytime soon, have relocated from the municipality for fear of being targeted or caught in any crossfire.

Besides, the Government of Ghana is reeling from an extra burden to consistently cough up resources to keep peacekeeping troops there since 2007, while peace-building bodies are also making efforts to restore lasting truce in the area.  

On Saturday, 6 May 2023, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo sought the assistance of the King of Ashanti, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, in resolving the conflict. The Otumfuo-led search for peace in the area is still underway.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II (left) and President Akufo-Addo.

“We appeal to both factions, the Kusasis and Mamprusis, to lay down their weapons and resort to other legal means of addressing the chieftaincy dispute once and for all. This shall engender calm and peace for the good people of Binduri and Bawku to go about performing their daily activities without fear of losing their lives and property.

“Lastly, we believe and do humbly request that the REGSEC and DISEC should ensure that politicians desist from interfering in the work of the security forces,” the Mamprugu Youth of Binduri concluded in their statement.

Source: Edward Adeti/Media Without Borders/


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