Two separate incidents in which one man was accused of being a wizard and the other invoking curses on a community led to violent attacks and the destruction of property at Choggu and Janga, two farming communities in the Northern Region, last Wednesday night.
The first incident happened at Choggu in the Sagnarigu municipality, where a house belonging to Isahaku Abdulai, 72, accused of wizardry was burnt down by an irate youth
In the second incident, which occurred at Janga, a farming community in the West Mamprusi municipality, the chief of the village, Soo Naaba Seidu Nantongma, who was accused of being responsible for the drowning of the son of a local warrior in the White Volta, was attacked by some residents of the community.
According to the police, four persons had been arrested in connection with the incident that happened at Choggu, while tension remained high at Janga after the attack on the chief.
Confirming the two separate incidents to the Daily Graphic in Tamale yesterday, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Northern Regional Police Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mr Mohammed Yusif Tanko, said the irate youth at Choggu set the house of Abdulai ablaze, but the Operation Calm Life patrol team saved the man from being lynched.
The police declined to give the name of the victim who was said to be responsible for the misfortunes in the community.
No casuality was recorded in the incident, but the occupants of the house could not salvage any of their belongings.
An eyewitness, who gave his name only as Adam, said the irate youth, wielding dangerous weapons, attempted to lynch his father, but the man was saved by the patrol team that arrived at the scene.
In the Janga incident, DSP Tanko said the police managed to bring the situation under control after the chief had been attacked.
He said Soo Nantongma was, on Monday, April 30, 2018, suspended by the Overlord of Mamprusi, Nayiri Mahami Bohagu Sheriga.
The suspended chief is said to have invoked curses that whoever crossed the White Volta to farm would not return home.
About 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2, 2018, the police in Walewale, the capital of the West Mamprusi municipality, had information that the son of a local warrior had drowned in the White Volta.
The people of Janga attributed the drowning to the curse invoked by the suspended chief and, therefore, attacked the chief, a development which created tension in the village, but the police were able to calm tempers down.
There are rampant cases of people being accused of possessing witchcraft in the Northern Region and that has often led to violent attacks on the victims and the burning down of their homes by their accusers, who are mostly the youth.
Most victims of such accusations who have been chased out of their communities have sought refuge in the various witches camps in the region.
The oldest witches camp in the Northern Region is the one at Gambaga in the East Mamprusi municipality.