Mr Ambrose Dery, Minister of Interior has said the recent chieftaincy clashes in Bimbilla that claimed 13 lives was because the Regent of Bimbilla disregarded caution from the Regional and District Security Councils to defer the installation of a sub-chief.
He however gave the assurance that: “Government will not shed its responsibility to ensure peace, security and safety for all persons in Bimbilla and government, in consonance with this commitment, has shown this by the heavy deployment to the place.
“In pursuant of that, a team of investigators are on the ground and we want to find out who the perpetrators are. As of today, three suspects have been identified are in custody of the police.”
He said the recent state of violence and relating matters commenced on Wednesday February 8, 2017.
Mr Dery, in a statement on the floor of Parliament, said the Government would apply the law to be used to resolve the tension.
In the briefing, the Minister informed that House that an attempt to enskin a sub-chief in the town by the regent in the town, despite warnings from police and the district and regional security councils, ignited the violent clashes between two factions.
Thirty families have fled the heavy fighting.
The Military and Police later moved in to control the situation.
“In respect of the security of each person in Bimbilla, the security personnel on the ground have been tasked to protect each person, and in particular, the homes of key stakeholders and we are doing so on both sides of the political divide,” he said.
According to the Minister, after the bloody clashes, security picked up intelligence that one of the factions was about to enskin a chief in the area divided by chieftaincy crisis.
He said the faction threatening to en-skin a chief was directed to hold on but ignored the warning and went ahead to attempt the enskinning which culminated into violence.
According to him, violence broke out even before the security men got into the area to protect lives and properties.
Hours of gun battle between chieftaincy factions claimed a number of lives.
The Minister said there were challenges of logistics and the unresolved security breaches threatened the security in the area.
Bimbilla has been a hotbed of chieftaincy violence since 2013 after the death of the overlord of Bimbilla, Naa Dasana Abdulai Andani II.
There seemed to be peace in the area after a 12-hour curfew imposed. The peace suffered pockets of intermittent violence.
The Minister narrated events in 2015 which led to the death of at least 13 people, and said the situation was still not settled, stressing that concerted efforts were needed to resolve the impasse.
There is already a 14 hour curfew, beginning at 1600 hours to 0600hours, an immediate measure to stop the violence as security personnel had been tasked to protect each faction, particularly the homes of all leaders of the factions in the area.
Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu however blamed government for the lives lost during the clash, explaining that the government had no excuse after it was furnished with intelligence.
“What happens to our early warning and urgency of deployment? He asked.
Meanwhile, the House has paid tribute, following a statement by Sports Minister Isaac Kwame Asiamah, to the memory of football coaches Frederick Osam Doudu, E K Afranie and Sam Arday.
Contributions recognised their sterling roles in the nation’s football game and stressed for coaches and other sports persons.