President Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo

SONA204: Bawku being reduced to wasteland - Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo has expressed concern over the substantial financial burden caused by the prolonged chieftaincy conflict in Bawku, Upper East Region, on the national budget.


During his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on February 27, President Akufo-Addo lamented the significant expenditure incurred in resolving the conflict, which could have been directed towards other developmental projects. He emphasized that funds were diverted to ensure security in and around Bawku, rather than being utilized for its socio-economic development.

Highlighting the dire situation in Bawku, the President described the once vibrant town as being transformed into a desolate landscape of destruction and distrust. He expressed regret that valuable resources and efforts were diverted to maintain peace and security, preventing further loss of lives due to the conflict.

President Akufo-Addo noted that the unrest in Bawku has attracted mischief makers and extremists from neighbouring regions, posing additional security challenges. To address this, the government has implemented various measures over the past year, including the establishment of a special Bawku Taskforce and intensified engagements with factions involved in the chieftaincy dispute.

“Mr Speaker, I must make special mention of the troubles in Bawku. The tragedy is not only that a thriving and dynamic town is being reduced to a wasteland of destruction and distrust, we are spending money and energy that would have been better spent on the development needs of Bawku, providing security to keep brothers and sisters from killing each other”, he lamented.

Furthermore, in response to inflammatory language and hate speech perpetuated by some media outlets, the National Communications Authority has shut down four radio stations. Additionally, specialized courts have been established in Accra and Kumasi by the Chief Justice to expedite the adjudication of criminal cases related to the Bawku conflict.

“On the recommendation of the Upper East Regional and National Security Councils, four (4) radio stations, that have been broadcasting incendiary language and propagating hate speech, have been shut down by the National Communications Authority. The Chief Justice has also recently established specialised Courts in Accra and in Kumasi to deal expeditiously with criminal matters emanating from the Bawku conflict”, the President added.

President Akufo-Addo reaffirmed the government's commitment to finding a lasting solution to the conflict in Bawku and restoring peace and stability to the region.

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