The Tamale Metropolitan Security Committee (MESC) has suspended the celebration of this year's fire ( Bugum) festival at Tishegu, a suburb of Tamale. The suspension follows intelligence picked up over a possible eruption of violence.
The security committee chaired by the Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive, Iddrisu Musah Superior met with the two warring factions in a protracted chieftaincy issue that has been lingering for some time now.
By the committee’s decision, no one has the right to set torches on fire to celebrate the Bugum or fire festival, which comes off tomorrow, Saturday.
Individuals from Tishigu can however go to different areas to join in celebration but not at Tishigu, the security said.
The security committee says peace in Tamale is paramount to the assembly, and it will ensure that residents live in peace before, during and after the fire festival.
The assembly is therefore urging residents to go about their lawful daily duties without fear because a combined team of military and police personnel will be deployed to the Tishigu community to forestall any possible breach of the peace.
Confirming the suspension to Zaa News, the Public Relations Officer of the assembly, Issa Musah pleaded with all feuding factions at Tishigu to adhere to the assembly’s decision in the interest of peace and coexistence.
Speaking to Zaa News, assembly man for Tishegu electoral area, Mr Alhassan Yakubu said some residents expressed their disappointment at the ban and vow to celebrate.
I received official communication for the assembly and I was directed to served all the parties, he said.
Mr Yakubu pleaded with the disappointed residents to remain calm and adhere to the assembly's directives.
Dakpema appeals to youth
Meanwhile, The Tamale Dakpema, Naa Alhassan Mohammed Dawuni has made a passionate appeal to the youth in Tamale to exercise a high sense of restraint and respect the culture of Dagbon, during the celebration of this year's fire festival.
The celebration of fire festival has only one principle, which guides all celebrants and there is no need to alter the cultural activities, which existed for over 50 years now.
Celebrants, Naa Alhassan said, have to converge on the Chiefs palaces to start it but not to set torches to chiefs’ palaces. Again, there are numerous fuel stations dotted around the Metropolis and so any misbehavior could cause a major disaster.
The police should deal with those holding both local and foreign guns during the celebration. Allcelebrants who wish to start at the Dakpema’s palace should follow up to the Kaladan Park and not pass through the two fuel stations along the road.
The Acting Tamale Metropolitan Police Commander, Superintendent Anthony Appiah, who was at the Dakpema’s palace, said the Security Committee has already met over the celebration and some chiefs were briefed on the security arrangement.
A police patrol team, he said, will start patrolling some streets of Tamale to ensure that the celebration is peaceful. Flash points have also been zoned and enough security men, both uniformed and plain, will be on the ground.