The Tamale Metropolitan Security Council has suspended the celebration of this year’s Fire Festival or “Bugum” Festival in Tishegu, a suburb in the metropolis, following an intelligence pointing to a possible chieftaincy violence between feuding families in the area.
According a statement issued by the Mayor, Mr. Iddrisu Musah on Friday, September 29, 2017 the decision was reached after a tight meeting with the two rival families fighting over the Tishegu skin.
The Security Council, however, entreated residents of the metropolis, particularly those in Tishegu, to go about their normal lawful duties without fear. Members or followers of the two families have been cautioned to stay calm, unprovocative but cooperate with the security agencies to ensure peace in the area.
Giving further details of the statement, Public Relations officer of the Assembly, Mr. Musah Issahaku, stressed the ban was only binding on the Tishegu and that other residents could go ahead and celebrate the festival.
He said again that residents in Tishegu who wish to celebrate the festival were free to go and do so in other communities.
Acting Metro Police Commander, Anthony Appiah, parried details of the security arrangement, saying only that armed soldiers and police would start patrols at 4pm tomorrow. The commander called for restraint and warned residents planning to foment trouble.
Tension has remained high, after the community witnessed a renewal of protracted chieftaincy violence three years ago. Supporters of the rival chiefs violently clashed last year during the celebration.
The Assembly Member for the area, Alhassan Yakubu, said there was widespread rumor of possible clashes in the area. According to him, supporters of the palace whose drum was seized, were planning to reclaim it in the manner it was confiscated.
Mr. Alhassan explained that the rival supporters wanted to launch a reprisal attack and take back the drum. Starr News understands the drum is an important emblem that adds to validate the chieftaincy of a royal and so where it is kept is very significant.
The Festival slated for today,30th September, 2017 would also not be celebrated in Yendi, the official seat of the Gbewaa Palace.
The festival was banned following similar chieftaincy stalemate. It was renewed three years ago by the current Regent and has since been enforced by the security.
The Municipal Chief Executive, Abubakari Ahmed Yussif, told Starr News the decisions were taken after a Security Council meeting were being implemented to maintain peace in the area.
He said security have been tightened and residents were to expect a surge of armed security on the streets of Yendi.
The Bugum Festival, due it mood of celebration, has been used as occasion by fighting parties to exact revenge, strike reprisals and spark violence. It is celebrated yearly by Dagombas where torches are lit and thrown at a spot outskirt of the community.