Security beefed up in Yendi
2010-02-25 20:33:46This article has been read 805 times.As part of measures to forestall violence during the Damba festivities, security in Tamale and Yendi Municipalities has been stepped up, as these areas are regarded as flash points in the region.
Though security officers are tightlipped over the number of personnel deployed to Yendi, which is regarded as the most delicate zone, DailyGuide gathered that about 200, including personnel from the 6th Infantry Battalion (6NB), are currently on the ground.
A contingent of security personnel has also been put on the standby in Tamale to provide assistance to their colleagues on the ground if the need arises.
Northern Regional Police Commander, ACP Awuni Angwubutooe, who announced the security reinforcement in Tamale at a meeting with the leadership of the Azorka Boys, an offshoot of the NDC, promised to personally move to Yendi to monitor the activities to avert possible clashes.
He urged the Azorka Boys to partner the police in the region to maintain peace before, during and after the Damba festival.
According to him, reports were rife that some self-seeking individuals were bent on using the Azorka boys to foment trouble during the period, advising them to be cautious.
The Police Chief warned that the security agencies were wide awake to track down any group of individuals who intend to cause rancor during this year’s Damba.
Peaceful Damba celebrations, he noted, would be a plus on the part of the Azorka Boys who were reported to be the masterminds of violence in the region, calling on them to act as agents of transformation in achieving total peace for the north.
He appealed to them to advise their colleague youth groups not to allow themselves to be used by anyone to derail the development potentials of the already under-developed region.
While commending them for the complementary roles they played during the NDC national delegates’ congress in the region, he appealed to them to ensure that the Damba festivities are also incident free.
Mohammed Ayuba, the Commander of the over 400 men of the Azorka Group, expressed surprise at the linkage of the association to violence, saying the group stood for peace and the fought for personal rights and freedoms.
He was shocked about rumors making the rounds that they intended bussing themselves to Yendi to perpetrate violence stressing they could not be a part of such a plan.
Mr. Ayuba assured the Police Chief that the group had rather instituted peace talks with sister youth groups in the region to find out ways of ensuring peaceful Damba festivities.
This, according to him, was one of the surest ways he thought would sup¬port the police in nipping violent acts during the period in the bud.
The period of the Damba festivities is always regarded as a tensed period in the calendar of the Northern Region as most violent conflicts in the region are believed to have come during that pe-riod.
It is usually this period that supporters of the two major chieftaincy gates (the Abudus and Andanis) express their misgivings over the manner the long standing feud is being handled by government and other relevant authorities.
Self-seeking individuals in the past use the period to whip up tension and set the tone for violence, destabilizing the fragile peace of the region.
It is against this background that the Northern Regional Police Commander has held a series of meetings with various groups to sensitize them on the need to eschew violence and peacefully co-exist to attract investors.
After surviving the tire festival which was expected to turn violent, the police boss is determined to also chalk some success during the Damba fcstival which would serve as one of his biggest test cases.
He has therefore warned outlaws who would attempt denting his clean slate during this Damba festival that they will be dealt with severely, saying he was out to make the region the envy of others by restoring its lost image.
The Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC), earlier in a press statement, banned the funerals in Yendi, owing to the threat of security in the area in a build-up to the Damba festival.
The ban was received with mixed feelings, as the Abudu gate felt it was a ploy by the government to repress them.