The remains of Na Dasana Andani, the murdered Bimbilla chief, would be released to the family on Wednesday for the performance of the necessary customary rites, before finally laid to rest on Thursday June 26 at Bimbilla.
This followed a plea from Kpatihi Naa, Natogmah Azindow, an elder at the late chief’s palace during the visit of the Minister of Defence to Bimbilla on Monday to assess the security situation and to convey government’s condolence to the elders and people of the area.
Naa Azindow said, in line with their customary practice, if the chief had died a natural death, he would have been buried for seven days before members of the public would hear about it, and pleaded with government to release the body for burial on Thursday.
“As much as we commend government for the swift arrest of some of the perpetrators, we will be much happier if government could release the mortal remains of our chief for burial on Thursday. The chief was a farmer and he had cultivated more than 100 acres of land, and no one can work on the land if he is not buried”, he explained.
Minister of Defence, Mr Mark Woyongo tasked the security agencies to immediately contact the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) authorities to conduct an autopsy on the body on Tuesday June 24, and release the body to the family on Wednesday June 25 for the performance of the necessary customary rites and burial.
He said what happened in Bimbilla was unacceptable and that natural justice would take its course against the perpetrators and assured the elders and people of Bimbilla, and Nanum in general that no stone would be left unturned to ensure the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators who allegedly murdered the chief in his palace last Thursday.
He said President Mahama has shown personal interest in the matter, and had instructed the National Security to treat the matter with the urgency it deserves, to immediately identify, arrest and bring all the perpetrators to book to serve as deterrent to others.
Mr Woyongo said, “We will find the perpetrators of this heinous act. For now they can run but they cannot hide forever. Where ever they are we will smoke them out and I am assuring the elders and people of this area that those who killed your chief would be arrested”.
He has, however, appealed to the people of Bimbilla not to shield the perpetrators, but should volunteer information that would lead to the swift arrest and prosecution of the people to bring sanity to the area.
Mr Woyongo expressed concern about the influx of arms and ammunition into the Northern Region saying, “We are crying of poverty we have money to invest in guns purchase to kill ourselves instead of investing in our children’s education”.
“In the past few weeks, there are worrying reports that guns are entering into the region indiscriminately. There is massive poverty in this part of the country but the people are rather investing in guns for destruction of life and property”, he said.
Earlier, Mr Woyongo and his entourage were conducted round the crime scene where traces of blood of the murdered chief and one other person, pellet marks on walls were visible and the house in which the alleged killers were camped.
The chief of Bimbilla, Na Dasana Andani was on Thursday June 19, attacked and killed by some armed men between the hours of 19hrs GMT and 19:30hrs GMT when he was praying in front of his room at Bimbilla.
The person who died with the chief was shot and killed at the entrance of the chief’s palace, while two others who sustained various gunshot wounds were later found dead, with the fifth person dying at the Tamale Teaching Hospital.
Nineteen suspects have so far been arrested, while efforts are being made to arrest all those who had a hand in the killings.
Meanwhile, calm has returned to Bimbilla with people going about their normal daily activities, while security has also been heightened to ensure adequate protection of life and property