The Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed, has angrily responded to those he labelled as “chieftaincy contractors” and “conflict – preneurs” accusing him of seeking to spark fresh chieftaincy trouble in Dagbon.
The highly incensed Minister denounced the allegations as “palpable lies” and threatened to ensure the arrest and prosecution of those peddling same.
Mr. Saeed, since the restoration of peace in Dagbon, has come under shifting allegations, notably from groups and individuals associated with the Andani Royal family.
He was first accused of using state powers to assist some chiefs within the Abudu royal gate to sidestep the authority of the Ya-Naa Abukari Mahama II, after the Regional Security Council decided to hold back a military intervention in Nanton, where a former chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Naa Haruna Sulemana Tia, declared himself chief after the people there rejected a candidate chosen by the Dagbon overlord.
The allegations intensified recently after members of the two royal families clashed at Kpatinga in the Gushegu area in which at least two persons died and several properties such as foodstuffs and houses were damaged.
Only last week, a grandson of the late Ya-Naa Yakubu Andani II, Dr. Mahama Shaibu, led a group of Andani youth to hold a press conference against Mr. Saeed, alleging that the Minister had ordered some Andani chiefs, including the Gukpegu Naa of Tamale, to vacate their palaces for the Abudus to hold funerals for their late royals.
It followed similar but a furious news briefing by the warlord of the Tamale chief, who threatened what he called “unprecedented mayhem and chaos” in Dagbon and called on the president, Nana AKufo-Addo to rein in the Regional Minister.
Many people have also taken to social media platform, WhatsApp, to spread the allegations against the Minister.
However, in response, the Regional Minister descended heavily on his accusers, describing them as veiled politicians trying to awaken chieftaincy politics in Dagbon in an election year.
Addressing the 63rd Independence Anniversary parade in the capital, Tamale, on Friday, March 6, Mr Saeed pushed back the allegations.
“Even when REGSEC has not taken a decision, people are going about and telling lies, that the Regional Security Council headed by the Northern Regional Minister is telling some chiefs to move out of their palaces for people to perform funerals,” he angrily veered off from his prepared speech.
“It’s palpable lies. It’s complete lies. Where is their evidence? I am the first person to call for their arrest and imprisonment because they cannot just create lies and go scot free,” he continued.
The Minister said he would take legal action against those peddling the falsehoods as well as cause the arrest of those secretly plotting to foment trouble.
Pleading with the chiefs to advise their subjects and representatives, the Minister reassured that he would take every necessary action, as chairman of the Regional Security Council, to protect and preserve the Dagbon peace.
Mr. Salifu has earned accolades from several quarters and establishments both locally and internationally including the UN, for his exceptional contributions in the successful implementation of the Dagbon peace plan.
“If Regional Security Council wants to do something with a chief, be it a divisional chief or Paramount chief, we have a responsibility to come to them directly,” he assured.
“From now onwards, anyone who will hide under the cover of the phone (and do recordings to cause trouble), we are going to ensure that the person will be arrested and no chief would ask the release of that person,” he concluded.