The Mamprugu Traditional Council has strongly criticised the government for what it considers to be a ‘Rambo-style’ attempt to arrest the Mambrugu Overlord, Naa Bohagu Mahami Abdulai Sheriga.
The Council contends that the enskinment of chiefs in the kingdom is the sole prerogative of the Nayiri and thus would not tolerate government interference.
“The authority of the Nayiri to select and enskin chiefs for the Bawku skin predates the colonial era and the founding of modern Ghana. This authority of HRM, the Nayiri, to select and enskin a chief for the good people Bawku is not shared with any government of group of individuals”, the Mamprugu Traditional Council said in a statement.
There have been reports that military personnel assigned to carry out an order by the High Court to arrest Naa Bohagu Mahami Abdulai Sheriga, the Nayiri of the Mamprugu Traditional Area, failed because they were stopped by some angry youth in Nalerigu.
The government had also declared the enskinment of a new Bawku Naaba in Nalerigu to be illegal.
But in the statement issued by the Traditional Council, it expressed shock at the turn of events.
“Notice is also taken of the bizarre events of the night of Sunday, February 19, 2023, to Monday, February 20, 2023. Four military armoured cars led by a pick-up truck, entered the North East regional capital of Nalegiru to carry out directives in a purported warrant issued in Bolgatanga for the arrest of the Nayiri and the Bawku Naaba”.
The Council condemned the attempted arrest and demanded that the government apologizes and retracts its statement on the development.
“It is unbelievable that such a Rambo-style activity could be initiated against no mean a person than the King of the Mamprugu Kingdom. We take exception to this and want this to be the last time this government ever disrespects our king in this manner.”
“We further call for an unconditional apology and a public withdrawal of the statement issued by the Minister of Information”, it added.
The Bolgatanga High Court had earlier issued an arrest warrant requested by a one Lieutenant Colonel Ajibadeck Benjamin Baba (Rtd), who had asked the court for the paramount chief and his kingmakers’ arrest following his enskinnment.
A few days later, the arrest warrant was revoked by the Bolgatanga High Court.
As a result, the court modified the prior ex-parte motion, which is now “hereby rescinded under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court”.
The reason for the chief’s arrest was unclear, but it was thought to be related to the unlawful and condemned enskinment of a new chief for Bawku, Naa Alhaji Seidu Abagre, on February 15 done at the palace of the Mamprugu overlord.