As many as 30 armed soldiers were deployed to the Nanumba North District capital Wednesday evening after a rival family in the Bimbila chieftaincy dispute allegedly defied a Regional Security Executive Council order not to engage in drumming and dancing as Dagombas and other related ethnic groups advanced preparations toward celebration of the Damba festival.
The late Nakpaa family which formed a parallel authority last month had reportedly refused to obey this order by REGSEC to seize all activities relating to celebration of the Damba festival after defying an earlier one not to enskin a Regent.
The ban on drumming and dancing at the palace was reproduced by the District Security Council at a meeting on Monday superintended by the DCE, Abdulai Yaqoob who reportedly fled the town.
However, as the drums kept sounding loud from the palace of the Regent and rival family, the late Napkaa Naa family again disregarded the order and also beat drums and engaged in flurry of traditional activities in what obviously appeared to be a power sharing situation.
The army which came to stop the drumming after the local police struggled to ensure compliance were met with stiff resistance in a standoff that ensued between the youth and them.
Shots were reportedly fired when the soldiers stormed the palace. It is still not clear who fired the shots but a security source told Starr News the sound of the weapon showed it wasn’t sophisticated.
The DCE told Starr News he had no details of the new security arrangement and directed inquiry to the Regional minister and denied claims he had fled the town because of the tensions.
He said he departed the town to attend a program held in Tamale.
According to him, the Regional Security Executive Council were now in charge of the Bimbila chieftaincy issue and issued the ban.
A spokesman for the family Fuseini Adam Mustapha confirmed the military operations and accused the DCE of bias. He said the DCE must be held responsible in the event of any clashes in the town.
Mustapha said they would resume drumming on Thursday and warned they might not be able to control the youth if the military tries to scuttle the traditional rites again.
“The DCE knows why he is doing that – he is doing that because of his selfish interest and if they are problems tomorrow he would be held responsible, because he went to REGSEC and told them there is nothing in Bimbila and they asked if there is nothing why are you calling for reinforcements, he is a liar. Yesterday when we even contacted him he told us he called for the reinforcement,” he stated.
Sunglana Salifu Dawuni announced himself Regent of Bimbila exactly a week after the late Nakpaa Naa Salifu Dawuni was buried.
He declared at the time amidst spontaneous public cheers that “my grandfathers were the custodian of Bimbila and handed over to my father and it’s my turn now.
“The one talking [referring to the rival faction] has no traditional ancestral lineage. My forebears are bigger than his and therefore, it is our ancestors who would help me rule Bimbila.”
The two family have been fighting over the Bimbila skin for years. Many have been killed, mostly women and children in the conflict which is currently before the Supreme Court.
Eleven people were killed earlier this February when violence broke out between the Naa Dasana and Nakpaa Dawuni family.